Five Things to Know in Florida for July 15

VICTIMS’ FAMILIES OF ORLANDO CLUB SHOOTING WILL GET MOST MONEY FROM FUND

The families of the victims slain at the Pulse nightclub will get the most money from a $20 million fund established to help the victims’ families and survivors the mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The exact amount each family will get is to be determined by how much is raised by the end of September.

FLORIDA PAROLE BOARD WILL FREE ‘PRISON HOUDINI’ AFTER 36 YEARS

A man known as the “prison Houdini” for his numerous escapes was given a path to freedom Thursday, 36 years after being convicted of stealing mechanic tools his father bequeathed to him. Florida’s parole board voted 2-1 to set a July 26 release date for Mark DeFriest and providing help for mental health issues and to prepare him for the world outside of prison.

LESS FRESH WATER HEADED TO ALGAE-PLAGUED COASTLINE

Less freshwater will be streaming toward Florida coastlines plagued by algae. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a statement Thursday announcing another reduction in flows from Lake Okeechobee.

TAVARES MAYOR SUSPENDED FROM OFFICE AFTER INSURANCE FRAUD CHARGE

Gov. Rick Scott has suspended from office the mayor of the central Florida city of Tavares after he was charged with insurance fraud. Scott issued the executive order on Thursday, one day after Mayor Robert Wolfe was arrested on the third-degree felony charge

ALABAMA PICKED BY MEDIA TO WIN SEC FOOTBALL CROWN

Alabama is the media’s pick to win another Southeastern Conference football title. The Crimson Tide received 223 of 331 total votes, followed by LSU and Tennessee. Florida was picked to finish second in the East Division.

 

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