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    Commissioners in a Florida city outside Orlando have unanimously agreed to pay $2.4 million for the design of its library and civic center project in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. News outlets report the commissioners in Winter Park made the decision Monday that will bring together HuntonBrady Architects with renowned architect David Adjaye to design the project. They will plan the 50,000 square-foot library, which includes 8,500 square-foot civic center and 200-vehicle garage. Adjaye designed the National Museum of African-American History and Culture for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The commissioners have budgeted $30 million for the center, which includes $27.5 million in bonds approved by voters. The project was delayed by a lawsuit that challenged the center's location. The Orange Circuit Court tossed out the suit last month. The contract states design work will begin next month.
  • A 59-year-old woman is dead after she tried crossing the street on I-95 North near Forsyth Street.  According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Courtney Lynn Richard was driving in the outside lane of I-95 Northbound and her Toyota Corolla hit Deborah Tompkins on her left side.   Richard continued to drive on I-95 to her home where he car was later found. Charges are currently pending. 
  • The State Department has removed its promotional posting about President Donald Trump's Florida resort, after a storm of ethics criticism. In an April 4 blog post that was republished by several U.S. embassies abroad, Mar-a-Lago was described as 'Trump's Florida estate,' where he has hosted foreign leaders. 'By visiting this 'winter White House,' Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer,' the post said. Left unsaid: Mar-a-Lago is part of Trump's business empire. After his election, the resort doubled its membership fee to $200,000. As president, Trump has visited the property seven times, and its restaurant fills up when he's in town. The State Department said late Monday that its intention was 'to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders' and that it regrets 'any misperception.' That statement now appears in place of the original blog post. The White House did not respond to questions about whether it had any involvement in the original posting or the decision to take it down. The post originated on 'Share America,' a State Department project. Its website describes its mission as 'sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.' Other topics on the Share America page include a new U.S. coin honoring Frederick Douglass, debate over the Confederate flag and news about first lady Melania Trump's participation in the State Department's International Women of Courage award ceremony. The Mar-a-Lago post was nearly three weeks old but gained traction Monday when several people noticed the U.S. embassy to the United Kingdom was featuring it. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, asked on Twitter why taxpayers are 'promoting the president's private country club' and referred to the incident as 'kleptocratic.' Norman Eisen, who was President Barack Obama's chief ethics attorney, said the promotion is 'exploitation.' Eisen compared it to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's promotion of Ivanka Trump's clothing business, for which she was 'counseled' but not otherwise reprimanded by the White House. 'This idea of using government for private gain is metastasizing,' Eisen said. 'It must be stopped.' On Twitter, Richard Painter, who served in an ethics role for President George W. Bush, called the State Department post 'Use of public office for private gain pure and simple.' Eisen, Painter and other attorneys have sued Trump, alleging violation of the 'emoluments clause' of the U.S. Constitution. That provision says the president may not accept foreign gifts or payments without the consent of Congress. The Trump Organization argues that this prohibition wasn't intended to cover fair-market exchanges. __ AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.
  • Closing arguments are expected in the Medicare fraud trial of a prominent Florida eye doctor who authorities say bribed a U.S. senator. Prosecutors will try to convince federal jurors in West Palm Beach on Tuesday that Dr. Salomon Melgen stole up to $105 million from the federal insurance program between 2008 and 2013, giving patients treatments and tests that couldn't help them. Melgen's attorneys say he's a good doctor who aggressively treated his patients in attempts to save their sight. They say any billing issues were mistakes. The trial is in its eighth week. Separately, federal prosecutors in New Jersey say Melgen bribed Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. They say Melgen took Menendez on expensive vacations to get his help with issues such as the Medicare probe.
  • The last of the 'cocaine cowboys' who investigators say smuggled vast amounts of the drug into the U.S. is due back in a Miami courtroom 26 years after fleeing an indictment. Court records show 55-year-old Gustavo Falcon will appear Tuesday afternoon. Falcon was arrested earlier this month near Orlando, where he had been living under an assumed name with his wife. Falcon vanished in 1991 when he, his older brother Augusto 'Willie' Falcon, Salvador 'Sal' Magluta and others were charged in a major federal indictment. The gang purportedly smuggled at least 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S. and made some $2 billion during the hyperviolent 'Miami Vice' era. Gustavo Falcon faces a cocaine conspiracy charge that carries a potential life prison sentence. He has not yet entered a plea.
  • Authorities say a crash killed two men who were using the emergency lane to pass traffic on Interstate 75 in southwest Florida. The Naples Daily News (https://goo.gl/eTxbZM) reports that the crash occurred Sunday night. Florida Highway Patrol says a box truck had been parked on the outside shoulder of I-75, and 20-year-old Joel Diaz Lemus crashed into it. Lemus and his passenger, 21-year-old Daniel Ramirez Ortiz, died at the scene. The box truck was not occupied at the time of the crash. ___ Information from: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com
  • Months after a boat strike nearly severed its tail paddle, a rehabilitated manatee nicknamed 'Key3PO' has been returned to waters in the Florida Keys. The release Monday came about eight months after rescuers from Dolphin Research Center and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recovered the 900-pound male marine mammal with crushed vertebrae and deep wounds to its tail paddle. The extremity is the animal's primary means of propulsion. After it was rescued, the manatee was transported to the Miami Seaquarium for several surgical procedures and rehabilitation. Even though the animal is missing more than half of its tail paddle, marine mammal experts are confident it can dive, stay submerged, forage for food and survive on its own. Florida manatees were recently reclassified from an endangered to a threatened species.
  • Atlanta police say a midafternoon kidnapping report turned out to be mistaken, but the accused man was arrested on a fugitive warrant from Florida. WXIA-TV reports (http://on.11alive.com/2pbDaYj ) that 19-year-old Eric Harris is accused of a burglary last year in Orlando. Police Sgt. Warren Pickard told news media that a man called about 4 p.m. Monday to report that a man dragged a woman out of a salon and drove off with her. However, the woman, Shayla Thomas, told WSB-TV (http://2wsb.tv/2oZ3Ugq ) that it was 'just a big misunderstanding.' She said her boyfriend pushed her into the car during an argument, but did not kidnap her.
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