5 Things to Know in Florida for July 3


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

Attorney General Bondi discusses BP oil spill settlement

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says a settlement with oil company BP prevents going down a “black hole” of litigation. During a news conference at the Port of Tampa on Thursday, Bondi announced the settlement terms. Florida is receiving the most money of any state — $3.25 billion. In early 2016, Florida will receive the first of the funds, more than $400 million for economic losses. Three-quarters of that money will go to Triumph Gulf Coast, a trust fund set up by the Legislature, to help the eight counties in the Florida Panhandle that were most affected by the spill. The final 25 percent of the money will be distributed by the Legislature.

Bond granted for release of doctor linked to Sen. Menendez

A federal judge has approved bond to allow the release of a Florida doctor charged with corruption alongside New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hopkins agreed Thursday to an $18 million bond package and other terms surrounding Dr. Salomon Melgen’s release from jail. Melgen has been held more than 11 weeks since his arrest in a sweeping Medicare fraud case. It is separate from the case he faces with Menendez in New Jersey.

Judge blocks Florida’s 24-hour abortion waiting period

A Florida judge is blocking the state’s new 24-hour waiting period for abortions while the legal battle moves forward. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson on Thursday sided with lawyers representing a Gainesville clinic challenging the law. The law took effect on July 1 despite the lawsuit. Lawyers representing the clinic argued the new law is causing “irreparable harm.” They said 14 women were unable to obtain abortions at the Gainesville clinic the first day the law was on the books. Lawyers for the state argued there is no need for an injunction and said the new requirement does not block access to abortions.

South Florida pair accused of stealing $250K from tire store chain

Authorities say a Fort Lauderdale man stole more than $250,000 from Tire Plus stores while working as a district manager for the company. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 60-year-old Louis J. Dailey on Tuesday. He faces charges including grand theft, organized fraud and communications fraud. The state agency says Dailey began instructing employees in 2009 to process more than $104,000 in petty cash transactions for email advertising at local Chamber of Commerce offices. Two years later, the agency says Dailey teamed up with 28-year-old Candice N. Padron. They instructed employees to process some $150,000 by claiming transactions were for email advertising at Quantum Ad Tech.

State Supreme Court upholds death sentence in triple murder

The Florida Supreme Court is denying the appeal of a man on death row for a 2002 Jacksonville triple murder. The court rejected Pinkney Carter’s claim that he had an ineffective lawyer when convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, her new boyfriend and her daughter. Carter fled to Mexico after the crime, swimming across the Rio Grande after abandoning his truck at the Texas border. Mexican authorities immediately arrested him on weapons charges, but set him free three months later after he paid a $1,000 fine. Two years later he was arrested in Kentucky on a public intoxication charge and a state trooper recognized him from a wanted poster.

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