Top 5 Florida stories for Friday

June 5, 2014 

A daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday.

FLORIDA FILES SUIT AGAINST VA FOR HOSPITAL ACCESS The state Agency for Health Care Administration has filed suit in federal court in an attempt to inspect federal Veterans Affairs hospitals in Florida. The lawsuit was announced Thursday. This comes after the state agency made several unannounced visits to inspect Florida’s six VA hospitals and other VA-operated facilities.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT REINSTATES DEATH SENTENCE The Florida Supreme Court is reinstating a death sentence against a central Florida man convicted in the fatal stabbing of an elderly Illinois couple at a trailer park. The court did not agree that Thomas Woodel deserved a new sentencing hearing, as ordered by a circuit judge in 2011. Justice Barbara Pariente dissented in the decision. This marks the third time that the high court has dealt with whether Woodel deserved a death sentence.

FLORIDA TEACHERS AND UNION APPEAL MERIT PAY RULING Florida’s teacher union is appealing a recent ruling that upheld the state’s contentious teacher evaluation law. A federal judge in May concluded the 2011 law was unfair but stated there was no legal reason to overturn it. Seven teachers from three counties, as well as the Florida Education Association, contended that the 2011 law tying teacher evaluations and pay to standardized testing is unconstitutional.

JACKSONVILLE OFFICER KILLS SHOOTING SUSPECT A Jacksonville sheriff’s officer has fatally shot a shooting suspect after a car chase. Officials say Jacksonville officers were called to an apartment Wednesday night after a shooting.

FORMER JUDGE DISBARRED FOR HANDLING OF MURDER CASE The Florida Supreme Court is disbarring a former judge who got involved in a relationship with a prosecutor. The court Thursday took away the law license of former Broward County Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner. The high court said the severe sanction was appropriate because Gardiner’s actions resulted in a new trial in a murder case.

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