5 Things to Know in Florida for July 3

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

SIDES SQUARE OFF ON FLORIDA GAY MARRIAGE BAN

5 Things to Know in FloridaAttorneys for gay couples, the state of Florida and traditional marriage groups squared off in court in a battle over a lawsuit challenging Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel issued no immediate ruling after the two-hour hearing Wednesday in a packed courtroom. Like others filed across the country, the lawsuit contends the gay marriage ban added by voters to the state constitution is discriminatory and violates equal protection guarantees.

SHERIFF SUSPENDS 4 FOR BOTCHED ARRESTS

A northeast Florida sheriff has suspended two detectives and two supervisors for wrongfully arresting a Louisiana woman. Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler announced the suspensions Wednesday. He said his office will also be instituting new policies, including an arrest check list that deputies must fill out. Officials say the mistakes included incorrect identification, not showing a photo lineup and not reviewing case evidence.

PINELLAS COUNTY HAS FIRST MOSQUITO VIRUS CASE

The first case of the mosquito-borne chikungunya illness has been confirmed in Pinellas County. The state’s health department says a Pinellas County resident who traveled to the Caribbean in June came down with the viral illness. There have been 52 cases in Florida this year through Friday.

ABOUT 600 VETERANS HONORED BY GOVERNOR AT 2 EVENTS

Nearly 600 more Florida veterans have received honors from Gov. Rick Scott. The governor held ceremonies Wednesday in Jacksonville and Orlando as part of a week of events honoring veterans in the lead-up to July 4.

DEPUTIES FATALLY SHOOT MAN IN ZEPHYRHILLS

Tampa Bay area deputies fatally shot a man they were trying to arrest for selling prescription pills outside a tire store in Zephyrhills. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco says 41-year-old Jerry Dwight Brown was shot Tuesday afternoon. Officials say Brown was not armed when deputies shot him, but Nocco defended their actions, saying they were trying to protect the life of an undercover detective who had just conducted a drug deal with Brown.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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