5 things to know Thursday in Florida

May 29, 2014 

A daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories being talked about Thursday.

SECRET PROCEEDING HELD IN FLORIDA REDISTRICTING TRIAL A landmark trial over whether Florida legislators broke the law and used a “shadow” process when drawing up new political maps for Congress is now being held behind closed doors. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis removed members of the public and the media from the courtroom Thursday during the eighth day of the ongoing trial.

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO VOTER INTIMIDATION A Seattle man has pleaded guilty to charges related to sending letters to Florida GOP donors questioning their citizenship status and ability to vote in the 2012 election. Prosecutors say James Webb Baker Jr. became angry after reading about efforts in Florida to purge voter registration rolls of non-U.S. citizens. Baker believed the purges were an effort to suppress voter turnout of naturalized citizens who were likely minorities and more likely to vote Democratic.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG DEATHS IN FLORIDA ON THE DECLINE Prescription drug deaths decreased during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period the year before. The report released Thursday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Attorney General Pam Bondi showed that the most significant drop in prescription drug deaths was in those caused by oxycodone and alprazolam.

TODDLER DIES AFTER BEING SHOT IN TORSO An 18-month-old boy has died after being shot in the torso Wednesday in West Palm Beach. Officials say he was shot during an altercation in a vehicle. He was in the car with two adults and another child when an unknown man got into the car and drew a gun. When one of the other adults pushed it away, the weapon discharged, striking the boy.

2 ROOFERS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING IN SOUTH FLORIDA Lightning struck two men who were working on the roof of a car dealership in Pompano Beach on Thursday morning. One man was critically injured and the other was conscious.

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