News Briefs


State Rep. Curtis Richardson told Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday that the Legislature could provide more funding for public schools if the state can afford tax breaks to attract new businesses to Florida. Richardson (D-Tallahassee) also asked House Speaker Johnnie Byrd to investigate the corporate tuition-voucher program. Tom Gallagher, the state’s chief financial officer, recently began an audit of the $80 million program.


JACKSONVILLE – David Denslow, University of Florida economist, said Friday that Florida’s poverty rate increased and its median income decreased. According to the economist, it was the result of the state’s dependence on tourism, which caused the increase in the poverty rate and the decrease in the median income. Florida’s poverty rate increased to 12.1 percent over a three-year period ending in 2002, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the same time, the median income decreased by 3.3 percent to $38,533.


WASHINGTON- A group known as The Future PAC, political action committees, is campaigning for black women candidates running for state and national offices. Out of the 435-member House, there are only 15 black women holding seats. There are no black women in the Senate.  According to the PAC, there are only 189 black women out of 7,382 state legislators.


FALLUJAH, Iraq (CNN) – U.S. soldiers fired on a vehicle containing at least six Iraqis after it ran a U.S. checkpoint in Fallujah. According to the U.S. military, two Iraqis were killed and another four were injured. Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division opened fire on the vehicle at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday, the military said.

Compiled by: Teesa Johnson