Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Gov. Rick Scott kicks off 7-city tax cut tour
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is hitting the road on a seven-city tour Monday to celebrate a tax cut package he signed into law. The Florida Legislature passed the $400 million tax cut measure during its recent special session. It’s less than what he’d hoped for though. He originally asked for nearly $700 million in tax cuts. But lawmakers scaled back the size of the tax cuts and used the money to shore up other parts of the state’s nearly $79 billion budget.
Mom, 2 young children killed in house fire in Florida Keys
A mother and her two young children have died in a house fire in the Florida Keys on Sunday. Robin Ferrer, 46, her 7-year-old son Roman and 5-year-old daughter Hazel were killed. Eighteen-year-old Jacob Shores was airlifted to the hospital with severe burns after trying to save his family from the fire. He is expected to recover. A 19-year-old girl also escaped unharmed. The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the deadly blaze.
19-year-old from University of Florida crowned Miss Florida
A new Miss Florida has been crowned. Miss University of Florida MaryKatherine Fechtel was crowned Saturday night in St. Petersburg. The Orlando Sentinel reports the 19-year-old Leesburg native will now continue on to compete in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. in September. The last Miss Florida to take home the crown was Orlando resident Ericka Dunlap in 2004.
Authorities investigate foster care contractor after employee allegedly raped teen prostitution victim
State child welfare officials are investigating after an employee at one of its private foster care contractors allegedly raped a 17-year-old foster girl who had previously been the victim of child prostitution. The Miami Herald reports the privately run Family Resource Center sent a 25-year-old new employee to drive her home. In an interview with the state attorney’s office, the girl said they shared alcohol and cigarettes and had sex. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are investigating.
Officials identify body found in burning car
Authorities have identified a body found in a burning car on a Lakeland golf course as a 70-year-old man. Polk County Sheriff’s officials say golfers at the Club at Eaglebrooke noticed the burning car Saturday morning. When authorities went to extinguish the fire, they noticed the body of a badly burned person in the driver’s seat of the four-door Kia Sedan. The vehicle was in an area with thick vegetation behind a barn where the golf carts are kept. Authorities have identified the man as Ramon Herrera, who was last seen early Saturday morning. Polk County Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilder says Herrera was recently diagnosed with dementia and moved from North Carolina to Florida two months ago.