Five Things to Know in Florida for Feb. 22

FLORIDA HOUSE PUSHES AHEAD WITH BID TO DISMANTLE PROGRAMS

A divided House panel on Tuesday voted for a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and cut back spending on tourism advertising. The contentious legislation moves to the full House, which is expected to take up the bill in March. The measure is a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

DROP IN FLORIDA HOME OWNERSHIP BUT GAINS IN FORT MYERS AREA

New Census figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the home ownership rate in Florida dropped from 64.8 percent in 2015 to 64.3 percent last year. However, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area had the nation’s third biggest gain in the homeownership rate of major metro areas, going from 62.9 percent to 66.5 percent.

TIME TO PLAY A GO THIS YEAR? FLORIDA MAY MANDATE RECESS

A Senate panel approved a bill Tuesday that would require elementary schools to set aside 20 minutes each day for “free-play recess.” For the past two years mothers of school children have lobbied for the change. They say children need recess to expend energy and give them a break from schoolwork.

GRANDPARENTS CHARGED IN CASE OF BOY KILLED BY BROTHER

Sabrina Potter and 47-year-old Robert Potter were arrested Tuesday on charges of culpable negligence by storing or leaving a loaded firearm within reach or access of a minor. Police reports say Christopher Scurry was visiting from Jacksonville with his 12-year-old brother when they found the gun in a filing cabinet in the garage last July.

TRAIN HITS MAN STANDING ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS IN FLORIDA

Holly Hill police Chief Steve Aldrich says the train’s conductor spotted the man just after 1 a.m. Tuesday. The conductor told investigators the man was facing the train and made no attempt to move off the tracks. The train didn’t stop in time and hit him. The identity of the man hasn’t been released. An autopsy is planned.

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