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Researchers, Sen. Nelson, to meet on reform school

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Researchers from the University of South Florida will meet with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to discuss the excavation of the graveyard at a former reform school on the Panhandle.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at Nelson's Tampa office.

According to Nelson, the researchers will share what they have found at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

The USF researchers will also talk about information on DNA testing. They will also reveal the first facial composite of one of the sets of remains excavated from the site.

Some former students from the 1950s and 1960s have accused employees and guards at the school of physical and sexual abuse, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded after an investigation that it couldn't substantiate or dispute the claims.


3 GOP governors blast Medicare Advantage rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Three Southern Republican governors are writing President Barack Obama to complain about newly announced Medicare Advantage payments.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the April 15 letter that says changes to Medicare Advantage payments will harm "America's seniors." The changes are blamed on the nation's health care overhaul.

The letter contends an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that payments will increase "amounts to little more than political theater."

CMS earlier this month said 2015 payments should increase less than 1 percent overall. Analysts expect actual funding to fall when many other variables are considered.

This might lead to fewer changes for the privately-run plans, which serve nearly 16 million people, or about 30 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries


Man arrested in Tampa boy's shooting

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A man faces two charges of attempted first-degree murder after a 4-year-old Tampa boy was hit by a stray bullet as he walked with his mother.

Tampa police say 23-year-old Bakari Deonte Parks turned himself in to authorities on Monday night, hours after Renaldo Moore was injured by a bullet.

The Tampa Tribune ( ) reports that Parks got into an argument with another man around 11 a.m. on Monday. Parks fired a gun and the child, who was about 250 yards away, was struck in the upper arm.

The child is listed in stable condition at a hospital.


Panhandle mom gets 24 years in toddler's death

(Information in the following story is from: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal,

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A Pensacola woman was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her role in the death of her toddler who was found unresponsive in a neighbor's goldfish pond.

Circuit Judge Jan Shackleford issued the sentence Monday after jurors found 32-year-old Jennifer Eiland guilty of negligent manslaughter last month.

Prosecutors say 14-month-old Alana Mae Eiland was found in the pond, about 80 feet from her home last August.

The judge says it wasn't an easy case to hear. In determining the sentence, she says she considered the crime, Eiland's minimal criminal history and the effect of the child's death on her four siblings.

During the trial, Eiland's husband Dannie Eiland called the death "a horrific accident."

But neighbors testified it was common to see her children playing outside without supervision.


Army Corps beach erosion fix would cost $43.4M

(Information in the following story is from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal,

FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers says it will be expensive to fix beach erosion problems along Flagler County's shoreline.

A new report estimates it will cost $43.4 million over 50 years to create a 10-foot seaward extension of existing dune and berm. Army Corps project manager Jason Harrah told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the plan faces hurdles as it heads to Congress for reviews.

Officials say appropriation is slated for 2016, with construction beginning in 2017 at the earliest.

The plan calls for construction in phases. The initial construction would be followed by four "periodic renourishments" over 50 years.

Flagler County engineer Faith Alkhatib says design work could begin later in the summer if the county and potential partners are able to "front fund" the work.


Homeless man is severely beaten; arrest made

(Information in the following story is from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post,

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Palm Beach County man is in custody after authorities say he severely beat a homeless man.

The sheriff's office reports that 41-year-old George Gravatt was charged with aggravated battery after a weekend attack in which a man was asleep in his tent behind a convenience store in West Palm Beach. The victim said he was beaten with a pipe.

Deputies say Gravatt admitted to the beating because of an "ongoing personal dispute." The Palm Beach Post reports Gravatt has been arrested 17 times in Palm Beach County since 1997, including nine times for assault or battery.

He's being held on $15,000 bond. It's not known if he has an attorney.

Deputies say the victim suffered cuts, bruises and a possible fracture of his left forearm.


Military leaders, spies in Tampa for convention

(Information in the following story is from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune,

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Some of the nation's top spies and military leaders, along with about 4,000 others in the defense, intelligence and homeland security communities, are descending on Tampa for a symposium being billed by organizers as the largest intelligence event in the U.S.

The GEOINT Symposium 2013(asterisk) began Monday and runs through Thursday. The asterisk in the symposium's name denotes how it was scuttled last year by the government shutdown, costing the sponsoring organization and hotels and other businesses in Tampa a lot of money.

The Tampa Tribune reports that Geospatial intelligence - known as "geoint" in military parlance - uses imagery, the intelligence derived from that imagery and mapping to determine activity on the Earth down to minute details from the sea bottom to space.


Panhandle sees interest from TV and film makers

(Information in the following story is from: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal,

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - Tourism leaders in the Pensacola area say more television producers and film makers are paying attention to their region.

The Santa Rosa Island Authority, which oversees Pensacola Beach, says it is working with a Spanish film crew that plans to shoot a movie about Spanish explorer Bernardo de Galvez.

Tourism officials say the film industry is good for the region's economy and that they are excited about the various projects.

The Pensacola News Journal reported on Monday that The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel and HGTV have recently filmed episodes in the area.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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