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Articles written by Terry Spencer

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Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to 2018 Parkland school massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering 17 people during a rampage at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving a jury to decide whether he will be executed for one of the nation's deadliest...

 

Attorney: Cruz to plead guilty to Parkland school massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Parkland, Florida, high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said Friday, bringing some closure to a South Florida community more than...

 

Ex-Marine held without bond in shooting of Florida family

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former Marine sharpshooter who told authorities he was high on methamphetamines when he invaded a home in Florida and fatally shot a mother, her 3-month-old baby and two others was ordered held without bond during...

 

Judge blocks Florida governor's order banning mask mandates

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida school districts can legally require their students to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a judge ruled Friday, saying Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order ban...

 

Hospitals run low on nurses as they get swamped with COVID

The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. has caused a shortage of nurses and other front-line staff in virus hot spots that can no longer keep up with the flood of unvaccinated patients and are losing workers to burnout and...

 

US now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge in another bleak reminder of how quickly the delta variant has spread through the country. Heal...

 

Recovery workers vow not to let up in Florida condo collapse

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Rescue workers now focused on finding remains instead of survivors in the rubble of a Florida condominium collapse vowed Thursday to keep up their search for victims until they cleared all the debris at the site. A fire...

 

Search of collapsed condo shifts from rescue to recovery

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Emergency workers gave up Wednesday on any hope of finding survivors in a collapsed Florida condo building, telling sobbing families that there was "no chance of life" in the rubble as crews shifted their efforts to recovering...

 

Fewer people missing in collapse; nearby tower is evacuated

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — The number of people missing in the Florida condominium collapse fell Friday following a new review, but fears of another potentially catastrophic failure deepened after engineers found unsafe conditions in a different tower...

 

Death toll in Florida collapse rises to 4; 159 still missing

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — With nearly 160 people unaccounted for and at least four dead after a seaside condominium tower collapsed into a smoldering heap of twisted metal and concrete, rescuers used both heavy equipment and their own hands to comb...

 

Sheriff: Florida supermarket shooter made Facebook threats

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The gunman who stalked and then fatally shot a grandmother and her 1-year-old grandson inside a Florida supermarket had been threatening to kill people, including children, on his Facebook page but no one reported him,...

 

Vaccinations reach nursing homes as California faces crisis

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The first COVID-19 vaccinations are underway at U.S. nursing homes, where the virus has killed more than 110,000 people, even as the nation struggles to contain a surge so alarming it has spurred California to dispense...

 

Loss of 'snowbirds' amid pandemic another hit to US tourism

PHOENIX (AP) — This is the first winter in five years that Steve Monk and his wife, Linda, haven't driven to Arizona from their home in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They typically leave Canada to hunker down in warmer climates for six months. They...

 

Trump ex-campaign boss hospitalized amid threat to harm self

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalized after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials. Police officers talked Parscale out of his...

 

Schools mull outdoor classes amid virus, ventilation worries

It has been seven years since the central air conditioning system worked at the New York City middle school where Lisa Fitzgerald O'Connor teaches. As a new school year approaches amid the coronavirus pandemic, she and her colleagues are threatening...

 

Florida governor takes first 'baby step' to reopening state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's restaurants and retail stores will be allowed to reopen Monday at 25% capacity, if the local government allows it, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday, as the state begins the slow climb from the economic abyss...

 

Presidential primaries in 4 states will go on as planned

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The four presidential primaries scheduled for Tuesday will go on as scheduled, after a judge in Ohio turned down a request to delay that state's election over concerns of widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus outbrea...

 

Pence says states will receive help if coronavirus spreads

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that the federal government is prepared to assist the states if the coronavirus spreads significantly across the country — an eventuality he called unlikely. Pence told a brief...

 

Police open fire at 'impaired' driver in Mar-a-Lago breach

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Law enforcement agents opened fire on an SUV driver who smashed through two security checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago on Friday in what authorities described as the actions of "an obviously impaired" driver but not an intentional...

 

'Like the world was ending': Shopping plaza blast injures 21

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) — A vacant pizza restaurant exploded Saturday in a thundering roar at a South Florida shopping plaza, injuring more than 20 people as large chunks of concrete flew through the air. The blast flung debris widely along a busy...

 

Florida deputy charged for inaction during Parkland shooting

MIAMI (AP) — The Florida deputy who knew a gunman was loose at the Parkland high school but refused to go inside to confront the assailant was arrested Tuesday on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction during the massacre that killed 17 people...

 

New Florida governor suspends sheriff over school massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, saying he "repeatedly failed and has demonstrated...

 

5 children heading to Disney killed in fiery Florida crash

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A church van packed with children was headed to Walt Disney World when it got caught in a fiery pileup involving two 18-wheelers. Seven people, including five of the youngsters, died in the crash. On Friday,...

 

Florida school massacre panel recommends arming teachers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future...

 

Captain retires, sergeant suspended over Parkland massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida sheriff's captain who oversaw the initial response to February's Parkland high school massacre resigned Tuesday and the first sergeant to arrive at the scene has been suspended over what other law...

 

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