Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Defendant awaiting punishment in FAMU case to be sentenced
A former FAMU band member who’s been awaiting his punishment for more than two years for his role in a drum major’s hazing death is set to be sentenced. Caleb Jackson is scheduled to appear before Judge Marc Lubet on Tuesday. The 26-year-old pleaded no contest to manslaughter and felony hazing in 2013 for his role in death of Robert Champion, who was from Decatur, Ga. Jackson faces 35 years in prison.
Pickup truck crashes through Florida pool hall, killing 1
Police say one person is dead and three are injured after a pickup truck crashed into a southwest Florida billiards hall. Cape Coral police say the Monday afternoon crash was apparently alcohol-related. They did not release the blood-alcohol level of the driver. The News Press of Fort Myers reports the person who died was inside Diamond Billiards. The names of the victims have not been released. Police spokesman Dana Coston says the other victims don’t appear to have life-threatening injuries.
Canadian discount airline to fly between Toronto, Sarasota
Capitalizing on growing interest from Canadian travelers, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has sold a second airline on scheduling regular flights between SRQ and Toronto. Canadian discount carrier WestJet will begin seasonal, twice weekly flights between the two airports starting Dec. 18. They join Air Canada as one of two Canadian carriers flying between Ontario capital and the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
Police: 80-year-old slashes 70-year-old with machete
An 80-year-old homeless man has been accused of slashing a 70-year-old man several times with a machete outside a Hialeah grocery store during a dispute over a cell phone. Multiple media outlets report that Guillermo Bejerano was arrested Sunday and faces second-degree murder and aggravated battery charges in the afternoon stabbing of 70-year-old Emerito H. Lopez. According to a police report, Lopez was in the Villaverde Shopping Center when Bejerano accused him of stealing his cell phone.
7 orphaned otters released into wild
Wildlife officials say seven young otters are back in the wild after a rehab stint at the Florida Wildlife Hospital Sanctuary. The otters were released into Lake Melbourne on Monday. Florida Today reports the otters were brought to the hospital by different people and all seven appeared to have been orphaned. The hospital’s executive director Tracy Frampton says their likelihood for survival isn’t known since the facility doesn’t tag the animals to keep track of them after their release. Frampton says the hospital waited several months to release the otters until they were “old enough to fend for themselves.”