Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EST


Man accused of slashing girls with machete held without bond

LAUDERHILL, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities say a man accused of slashing two children with a machete is being held in jail without bond on charges that include attempted murder. The Sun-Sentinel reports 47-year-old Dennis Anthony Reid appeared in court Saturday in Broward County. A judge ordered him not to contact the girls, who remain in Broward Health Medical Center in serious condition. According to police, Reid went to care for the children on Friday while their mother prepared to fly to Jamaica. But the visit turned violent, and  witnesses said he grabbed a machete and started slashing the children.


Bloomberg opens new campaign offices throughout Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg opening seven new campaign offices in Florida, bringing the total number to ten throughout the state. Offices in Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Sanford, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach opened Saturday. The former New York mayor already had offices in St. Pete, Orlando, and the Little Havana area of Miami. Campaign officials say 10 additional offices will open in coming weeks, as will a statewide campaign headquarters in Tampa. Bloomberg has blanketed the TV airwaves with ads in Florida. According to the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics, Bloomberg has already spent over $300 million on TV, radio and digital advertising.


Florida Legislature is past the halfway point of its session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Linked Media (0)The Florida Legislature is past the halfway point of its annual 60-day session and hasn't tackled any major issues. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been sent seven bills, and most of them are housekeeping items. But in the week ahead, a bill that's on DeSantis' priority list could be heading to his desk. It's a measure that would require girls under the age of 18 get a parent's permission before having an abortion. The House and Senate will also start working out the $1.4 billion gap in their budget proposals.


Trump looks to rev up his base at Daytona 500

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is looking to rev up his appeal with NASCAR fans, who are a key voting demographic, when he takes in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. NASCAR drivers may drive toward the left on their trip around the oval racetrack, but their fans lean right, which helps explain the regularity with which GOP presidents have made their way to the track. Trump will be the second sitting president to attend the race. George W. Bush was the first. Like Trump, he also attended the race during a presidential election year. Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the track, but during races other than the Daytona 500.


Mating snakes prompt closure of part of Florida park

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A Florida city has shut down a section of lake after receiving reports that numerous snakes had swarmed the area to have sex. The Lakeland Parks & Recreation department wrote on its Facebook page Thursday that a group of non-venomous water snakes congregated to mate near a traffic roundabout. City officials said the snakes aren't aggressive as long as they aren't disturbed, adding that once mating is finished, they should disperse. Water snakes are native to Florida.


Man charged with trespassing near Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man was arrested after officers spotted him hiding near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The Palm Beach Post reports that police charged 38-year-old Allen Cox on Thursday with violating a previous trespass warning that prohibited him from being near the property. Cox told Palm Beach police officers that he had been sleeping in between the bushes and privacy wall of the private club so he would be safe. He also told officers that he had no home address. Authorities say Cox acknowledged that he had been given a previous trespass warning but that he preferred jail to seeing his parents.


National Black News Channel makes debut

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The nation's only black news network is on the air. Black News Channel began airing this week, launching with an image of the National Museum of African American History & Culture followed by a recap up of the Oscars. The network is aimed at an audience that's considered under-served in the media. It follows years of planning for former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, who likened the launch to giving birth to a child. It is also made possible by the backing of billionaire businessman and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.


Parkland widow renovates home, preserves memories

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — It was a bittersweet moment when representatives of the TV show “Military Makeover" surprised Parkland, Florida, shooting widow Debbi Hixon to let her know they were going to renovate her entire home. The show aired Friday on the two-year anniversary of her husband Chris Hixon's death. Hixon and 16 others were killed on Valentine's Day 2018 when a mentally disturbed gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The athletic director died running into the school, trying to help students. The home has a bright new kitchen, wood floors and other fancy updates. But the most important things to Debbi are the the things that were there before the renovation even started: mementos of Chris.


Police: Mall shooter found dead from apparent suicide

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man accused of shooting and killing a former Under Armour coworker at a Florida mall has been found dead from an apparent suicide. Orlando police say a jogger found Daniel Everett's SUV in Fort Pierce on Friday and contacted local police. Officers responded and found the body in the vehicle. Fort Pierce is located on Florida's Atlantic coast, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Orlando. Everett was fired Monday morning from an Under Armour store at Orlando International Premium Outlets. Police say he returned that evening and fatally shot store manager Eunice Marie Vazquez.


Hurricanes prompt Spirit to move operations control center

MIAMI (AP) — Spirit Airlines says it is moving its operations control center from South Florida to just outside Nashville, Tennessee, after recent hurricanes forced the low-cost carrier to temporarily move some staff during storms. Officials say the move will bring 345 jobs to Tennessee over the next five years. Spirit spokesman Field Sutton says about 240 positions are being moved from the Florida headquarters, which has about 1,000 employees. That will leave fewer than 800 workers in Florida. But Sutton says the company expects to be back up to 1,000 Florida employees within two years when they move into a new building in Dania Beach.