Five Things to Know in Florida for Aug. 18

DEFENSE TEAM FOR PULSE SHOOTER’S WIDOW RECEIVES WARNING

U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Byron decided Thursday not to sanction lawyers defending Noor Salman after they explained why they missed an Aug. 1 deadline to present expert witnesses. Attorney Mark Horwitz told the judge they needed more information about the government’s mental health expert before their expert could give his opinion.

SECURITY THREAT LEADS FLORIDA TO CANCEL PRISON VISITATIONS

In a statement released Wednesday, prison officials said the cancellation is in response to “credible intelligence indicating that small groups of inmates at several institutions may attempt to disrupt operations and impact safety and security.” The Orlando Sentinel reports prison officials have canceled visitation at the Jackson Correctional Institution in Florida’s Panhandle for the last two weekends.

FLORIDA MAN DIES IN EARLY MORNING MOBILE HOME FIRE

Escambia County officials said in a news release that the fire broke out early Thursday morning in Florida’s Panhandle. Emergency communications officials received a call at 3:06 a.m. reporting that smoke and flames were shooting from the mobile home. Firefighters found the victim inside.

ELECTION WORKER GETS HOUSE ARREST FOR MARKING BALLOTS

Gladys Coego received two years of house arrest and three years of probation during a Wednesday hearing. She had pleaded guilty to filling out somebody else’s absentee ballot. Coego was hired by a temp agency and working as an elections support specialist at the Miami-Dade election office last October, just weeks before the Nov. 8 election. Police say fellow workers saw her marking absentee ballots for Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado, who ultimately lost to incumbent Carlos Gimenez.

POWERBOAT TEAM BREAKS RECORD FOR FLORIDA KEYS-CUBA CROSSING

Throttleman Nigel Hook of San Diego, and driver Jay Johnson of Scottsdale, Arizona, piloted the 48-foot SilverHook on Thursday just over 103 miles from Key West to a point off the El Morro castle in Havana in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 3 seconds. The boat averaged 79.23 mph (127.5 kph) in what veteran racer Hook labeled “very tricky water.”

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