Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
US investigating Florida prisoner’s death in scalding shower
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the death in a scalding shower of a Florida prisoner and may conduct a broader civil rights probe of state prisons. Existence of the criminal investigation into the 2012 death of Darren Rainey was confirmed in a recent Justice Department letter to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which last year requested the probe. Rainey died after he was locked in the shower at Dade Correctional Institute.
Federal complaint dismissed over Florida boy’s circumcision
An attorney for a Florida woman who sought to make a constitutional case out of her fight to prevent her son from being circumcised withdrew his federal lawsuit Wednesday, signaling a likely end to move the fight out of state court. Thomas Hunker voluntarily dismissed the civil rights filing two days after the case got its first hearing in federal court before a judge who openly expressed skepticism over whether he had jurisdiction to proceed. Hunker offered no immediate explanation for apparently abandoning the federal fight over stopping the surgery on the 4-year-old boy. A phone call, text and email to him were not returned. A spokesman said he had no details.
Florida hospital commission meeting echoes Scott’s agenda
Gov. Rick Scott’s hospital commission met for the first time, overwhelmed at times by mounds of data but intent on determining whether hospitals that receive tax money are being managed efficiently. The commission, stacked largely with Scott’s Republican donors and allies from the business community, were incredulous Wednesday when learning that 72 percent of all services provided by UF Health Jacksonville were Medicare or Medicaid — meaning they’re paid for by tax dollars.
Florida man reunites with dog that went missing 8 years ago
A Florida man who was separated from his dog for eight years has been reunited with his pet. The Miami Herald reports Joshua Edwards’ Rottweiler puppy Duke disappeared from his South Florida home in 2007. Edwards searched for the puppy for 6 months but believed someone may have stolen him. Last week, Maria Elena Cartaya spotted the now 9-year-old, 120-pound dog wandering the streets. Cartaya took him to Tamiami Animal Hospital, where they checked the dog for a microchip. It linked back to Edwards.
St. Pete officer runs over man in road
A St. Petersburg police officer heading to a scene where a stolen vehicle had been recovered ran over a man who was lying in the road. Police say 46-year-old Officer Nicholas Lazzari turned onto the road around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday and didn’t see the man who was wearing dark clothing and is small in stature. The cruiser ran over 67-year-old Mark F. Duffy, and dragged him a short distance. Lazzari stopped his vehicle, found Duffy at the rear of the cruiser and called fire rescue. Duffy was treated and taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. Police say he is in serious condition.