5 Things to Know in Florida for Jan. 8

US WILDLIFE OFFICIALS DECIDE ON MANATEE STATUS PETITION

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Thursday that the manatee population has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.

WATER PROTECTION BILL TO MOVE FORWARD, THOUGH ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY IT’S FULL OF ‘LOOPHOLES’

Critics say they still hope floor amendments will close loopholes in Senate and House companion bills and are trying to pressure legislators.

16-YEAR-OLD SOCCER PLAYER COLLAPSES, DIES

The central Florida school’s principal says the girl died of complications from asthma during Wednesday night’s junior varsity soccer game.

POLICE EXAMINING SUSPICIOUS BACKPACKS AT FLORIDA NAVY CENTER

The building was evacuated Thursday morning after a person described as acting suspiciously was detained without incident. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s bomb squad and arson unit was examining the two backpacks the person was carrying.

BUCCANEERS FIRE COACH LOVIE SMITH

Smith was fired Wednesday night after going 6-10 this season and 8-24 overall in two years running a team that’s missed the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons.

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