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Local News

Fla. considers best way to implement education reforms

Sweeping changes the Florida Legislature has made to education in recent years are likely to come to the forefront again during the upcoming session as lawmakers grapple with their implementation. Contentious debate over Florida’s adoption of the Common Core standards, a set of uniform benchmarks in language arts and math, appears to have simmered with the Board of Education’s recent passage of several changes following public hearings and input from thousands of parents, teachers and education leaders around the state. The Legislature could still make additional adjustments to the newly renamed Florida Standards, but any changes are expected to be minor. The next topic lawmakers are likely to focus on in the new session is how to best hold students, teachers and schools accountable. The state is required to implement a new test tied to the standards in the next school year, but many say that is too quick a timeline, especially given that the test has not been selected. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is expected to recommend a vendor for the test by the end of March. The new test would replace the current Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT. “That is an aggressive timetable,” Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, chair of the Senate …read more Source: WPLG Local News...
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2 dead after crash causes downed power lines

Authorities say two people are dead following an early morning car crash in Tarpon Springs that caused live power lines to fall on a road. The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1cu4MKj ) reports the collision happened around 3 a.m. Saturday. Witnesses told police a car flew over a six-foot fence and into a retention pond. Police say they found the body of one man amid the downed power lines. They say it is unclear whether he was a pedestrian or had been a passenger in the car. A dive team found the body of another man buckled into the passenger seat of the car. Officials say driver of another vehicle that struck the power line after the initial crash was treated and released from an area hospital. An investigation is ongoing. …read more Source: WPLG Local News...
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Local News

Deputies: Drunk driver fled, tried to hide crime

Deputies have arrested a woman who they say killed a motorcyclist Friday night then attempted to cover up the crime. Nadia Verdoni, 42, was driving her Ford SUV northbound on N. Federal Highway at approximately 9:36 p.m., when she turned left at a light to go southbound on N.E. Fourth Street. According to deputies, Benjamin Piorsky was driving southbound and attempted to brake, but struck the rear of Verdoni’s SUV, causing him to be ejected due to the impact. Piorsky was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said Verdoni left the scene of the accident. When they arrived to her home, deputies found her attempting to conceal the damage to her vehicle by covering it with a tarp. Deputies determined Verdonia had been driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested. She will be charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene involving death and tampering with evidence. Anyone with any information on this accident is asked to contact Detective Miller at Broward County Sheriff’s Office at 954-321-4840. …read more Source: WPLG Local News...
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Local News

Winter-weary Americans flock to South Florida; tourism industry rejoices over record numbers

On a bitterly cold day earlier this year, bundled up New Yorkers were greeted by a group of men and women in beach attire – complete with flip flops, sunglasses and bathing suits – in an effort to show them what South Florida’s winter looks like. …read more Source: Miami Herald...
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Miami immigrant rights group to host annual awards dinner with hopes for immigration reform

Every year for the last 15, the Miami immigrant rights organization Americans for Immigrant Justice, formerly Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, has held an annual awards dinner to celebrate accomplishments helping immigrants and honoring those who help its cause. …read more Source: Miami Herald...
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