Among the stories for Saturday from the Florida AP:
TALLAHASSEE — The three Florida Supreme Court justices whose merit-retention campaigns are drawing opposition from the state Republican Party and other conservatives appear together in a panel discussion on the process that would let Gov. Rick Scott appoint replacements if they are voted off the bench on Election Day. By Bill Kaczor.
MIAMI BEACH — Soaring high above the ocean, tethered to a boat, a parasail ride is at once exhilarating and peaceful, even quiet. But every year, there are accidents. The Parasail Safety Council, which tracks injuries and deaths nationwide, reports more than 70 people have been killed and at least 1,600 injured between 1982 and 2012, out of an estimated 150 million parasail rides during those 30 years. That's a casualty rate of about one per 90,000 rides. In comparison, the chance of being seriously injured at an amusement park is about one in 9 million rides, according 2010 data from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
MIAMI BEACH — I'm not afraid of heights, or flying, or thrill rides. So I didn't hesitate to take a parasail ride for an Associated Press story about the activity's lack of safety regulations. Equipped with a small video camera, I was buckled into a tandem harness along with Miami Beach Parasail crew member Gabriela Samut. With a parachute-like sail already aloft behind the boat, we sat on the aft deck in our harnesses and got clipped into a tow bar. Then the boat picked up speed and we were gradually lifted into the air by the wind.
NEW YORK — Health providers are scrambling to notify patients in nearly two dozen states that the routine steroid injections they received for back pain in recent months may have been contaminated with a deadly fungal meningitis. It became apparent Thursday that hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people who got the shots between July and September could be at risk after officials revealed that a tainted steroid suspected to have caused a meningitis outbreak in the South had made its way to 75 clinics in 23 states. The Food and Drug Administration urged physicians not to use any products at all from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate. So far, 35 people in six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana — have contracted fungal meningitis, and five of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All had received steroid shots for back pain, a highly common treatment.
NEW YORK — When you're at Olive Garden, you're part of a modern family that may not have time for a leisurely sit-down dinner. That's the message behind a new ad campaign the Italian chain will start airing Sunday night. After 14 years, Olive Garden is abandoning its "When You're Here, You're Family" tagline as it looks to freshen up its image and boost struggling sales. Instead of evoking Old World charm, the new ads will feature brightly lit snapshots of modern life — little girls at ice skating practice, a woman striking a yoga pose, a group of friends taking a picture of themselves with a smart phone. To underscore the point, the "Go Olive Garden" ads will be voiced over by actress Julie Bowen, who plays a neurotic mom on "Modern Family," a popular TV show that dismantles notions of traditional family roles. The new ads will kick off the first phase of a year-long overhaul for Olive Garden, which is owned by Darden Restaurants Inc. The Orlando, Fla.-based company is focusing on affordability and greater variety, a strategy similar to the one it's taking at its other major chain, Red Lobster. It's also trying to stress that people can duck into Olive Garden for a bite any time of day, not just for a family dinner.
NEWBORN KILLED — A 14-year-old girl who authorities say secretly gave birth to a son and then strangled him, will be prosecuted as an adult.
OFFICER KILLED-ARREST — A man has been arrested in Florida for the 1996 shooting death of a police officer in North Carolina. Thirty-six-year-old Scott Vincent Sica was arrested this week in Cape Coral, Fla., and charged with first-degree murder.
SEMINOLES-MOBILE HOME PARK — The Seminole Tribe is closing one of Broward County's largest mobile home parks.
SHIPWRECK MYSTERY — A corroded uniform button found in the mud off the St. Augustine Beach pier could be the "smoking gun" that leads to identifying a mystery shipwreck.
— Tallahassee, Brendan Farrington, 850-224-1211 (office), 850-224-2099 (fax)
— Pensacola, Melissa Nelson, 850-438-4951 (office), 850-438-0720 (fax).
— Tampa, Mitch Stacy, 727-823-4721 (office), 727-821-2931(fax).
— Orlando, Mike Schneider, 407-425-4547 (office), 407ok-648-8011 (fax).
— West Palm Beach, Matt Sedensky, 561-832-3466 (office).
The AP, Miami