CRIST, SCOTT TO MEET IN FIRST GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE
Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist are preparing meet in the first of three debates. Telemundo will host the first debate which will be broadcast in Florida on the Spanish-language network Friday night. The debate could play a key role in a race that right now is too close to call. Voters can also expect the debate to be nasty. The campaign has been one of the most negative Florida has seen.
MEXICAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY FOR HOLDING YOUNG GIRL CAPTIVE IN BRUTAL SEX TRAFFICKING RING
A man has pleaded guilty for his role in a brutal sex trafficking ring where he coerced young victims into prostitution to pay off smuggling debts. Miami U.S. Attorney officials said Thursday that Rafael Alberto Cadena-Sosa pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of holding a person in involuntary servitude. Authorities say the 45-year-old Mexican national kept a young, undocumented Mexican girl in involuntary servitude from 1996 to 1997. He allegedly beat, raped and threatened to harm her family to force her into prostitution to pay off a smuggling debt.
EBOLA FEARS CHANGE GUEST LIST FOR SOUTH FLORIDA CONFERENCE
West African delegates won’t be attending a South Florida conference over fears of Ebola. The Millennium Campus Conference beginning Friday at Lynn University in Boca Raton was to include more than 500 participants focused on global poverty. But a spokeswoman for Lynn says organizers have decided to call off the attendance of seven delegates from Liberia, which has been ravaged by Ebola. The weekend events will otherwise go on as planned.
FLORIDA DEPUTY RESCUES DOG LOCKED IN TRUNK OF CAR AFTER HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
A hit and run in southwest Florida ended up leading a deputy to a dog locked in the trunk of the suspect’s car. Collier County sheriff’s officials say Cpl. Jason Stauffer got a license plate from a witness Wednesday and tracked it to a car owned by 24-year-old Daniel Stack. After Stack’s arrest, deputies found a small, black and tan dog in the trunk. It’s unclear how long the dog had been there.
FLORIDA MUSEUM TO UNVEIL PAINTINGS OF SINGER JOHN MELLENCAMP
John Mellencamp is known for his music, but a Florida museum is hoping to introduce audiences to his paintings. The Museum of Art-DeLand opens its new exhibit, “The Paintings of John Mellencamp,” on Friday. It features roughly 40 paintings by the singer. According to the museum, Mellencamp’s mother was an artist and encouraged him at a young age to paint. He attended art school in New York in the early 1980s.