The news editor is Terry Spencer. The supervisor in Miami is Jennifer Kay. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via e-mail to Miami(at)ap.org; or fax to (305) 594-9265. The AP's general website is http://www.ap.org. The Florida AP's website is http://www.ap.org/Florida/. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Developing from 6:45 p.m. event.
CUBAN DISSIDENT: Will be updated.
XGR-FLORIDA BUDGET: Will be updated from 4 p.m. event.
PANHANDLE-EXOTIC LIZARDS: Expected to move by 3 p.m.
ORLANDO — Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents, and George Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara, will address the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Banquet on Saturday about how social media played a role in the case that led to nationwide protests. By Suzette Laboy.
MIAMI — Berta Soler, leader of the Cuban protest group "Ladies in White," speaks in Miami to Cuban exiles and others after accepting in Europe the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. By Christine Armario.
TALLAHASSEE — While Republicans on the national level are wondering if they've gone too far to the right, no such debate is going on in the Florida House. In Will Weatherford's first session as speaker, the chamber is advancing bills that will allow guns in schools, protect fetuses and allay fears that Islamic law will be applied to Floridians. By Brendan Farrington. MOVED.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida legislators are racing against the clock in order to finish work on a proposed $74 billion budget. Top Republicans in the House and Senate are spending the weekend negotiating on the final details in a spending plan. Late Friday they agreed to a 3 percent tuition hike for college students despite the ardent opposition of Gov. Rick Scott. Lawmakers could announce a final deal on state pay raises later Saturday. Other high profile items left outstanding include the final wording on a $480 million teacher pay raise. Legislators must wrap up their work by Tuesday in order to end the session on May 3. That's because the budget has to finished 72 hours before a final vote. By Gary Fineout.
WASHINGTON — Some feisty Republicans are challenging a claim widely held among GOP leaders that the party must support more liberal immigration laws if it's to be more competitive in presidential elections. These doubters say the Republican establishment has the political calculation backward. Immigration "reform," they say, will mean millions of new Democratic-leaning voters by granting citizenship to large numbers of Hispanic immigrants now living illegally in the United States. The argument is dividing the party as it tries to reposition itself after losing the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections. It also could endanger President Barack Obama's bid for a legacy-building rewrite of the nation's problematic immigration laws. By Charles Babbington. MOVED.
SOUTH FLORIDA BUTTERFLIES
MIAMI — Federal wildlife officials are reviewing a South Florida butterfly survey that concluded five rare species may be gone for good. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hired entomologist Marc Minno to perform the survey. In reports filed late last year, Minno concluded that the Zestos skipper, the rockland Meske's skipper, the Zarucco duskywing, the nickerbean blue and the Bahamian swallowtail had disappeared from the pine forests and seaside jungles of the Florida Keys and southern Miami-Dade County, the only places where some where known to exist. Minno said he spent six years on a survey that was only supposed to take two. He said neither he nor other butterfly experts ever saw these species in any stage of life, from larvae to adult butterfly. "I thought I was going to find some at some point so I just took a lot more time," Minno told The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/Z4pl9j). "They're just not there." MOVED.
PANAMA CITY — Almost three dozen exotic lizards have been captured in a Florida Panhandle neighborhood where state wildlife officials say a licensed seller abandoned them. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff captured 33 black-and-white tegu lizards this week in a Panama City neighborhood. The lizards appeared after a previous resident licensed to sell tegus left town and abandoned them, said Jerry Shores, an investigator with the wildlife commission.
BALLROOM DANCING FOR BUSINESS
TAMPA — When Sade's Smooth Operator came on, the dance teacher clenched his teeth into a grin, pointed both fingers to his cheeks and instructed his class to follow suit. It was, after all, the ultimate job skill. "Gentlemen, do box steps and underarm turns as you wish," instructed Tom Stango. "5, 6, 5, 6, here we go!" Allison Fernandez shuffled her tweed ballet flats in time with her partner's feet, brown hair gathered in a slack ponytail. She had worked all day at her internship, gone to economics class at the University of South Florida and was nervous about a final exam that night. And between it all, she was learning how to ballroom dance. It was fun, yes, but it was more than that. She hoped this might help her get to Wall Street. The 40 students sequestered in a USF dance studio were technically in a professional development class. But they carried no books or papers, only themselves in pressed khakis and polos, heels and demure mall dresses. They were studying business, all the management skills and investment practices. But they were studying something less tangible, too, a posture, a panache. By Stephanie Hays, Tampa Bay Times. An AP Member Exchange. MOVED.
HUMPBACK WHALE CARCASS — Researchers are testing the remains of a humpback whale that washed ashore in central Florida for contaminants.
BUDGET CUTS-CONCH REPUBLIC — Revelers in the Florida Keys have been poking fun at federal budget cuts that kept the Coast Guard from joining the annual Conch Republic anniversary celebration.
DRUG TAKE-BACK — Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking Floridians to participate in National Drug Take-Back Day.
TAX EVASION-CRITICAL JUDGE — A South Florida federal judge has harshly criticized federal prosecutors for bringing a tax evasion case against a 79-year-old Palm Beach woman, saying she should seek a presidential pardon.
DAVIE — In a five-minute span Saturday, the Miami Dolphins improved their depth at linebacker and tight end. Miami drafted linebacker Jelani Jenkins of Florida in the fourth round with the 104th overall pick, then added tight end Dion Sims of Michigan State with the 106th selection. By Steven Wine.
The AP, Miami