DAYTONA BEACH - The company that owns the Daytona Beach News-Journal has promised to pay $13-million toward building an arts center in exchange for naming rights for 26 years.
The News-Journal Corp. will prepay the full amount in order to get construction started soon, said Tippen Davidson, president. Construction could begin next year and be completed by fall 2005.
The $13-million is about 90 percent of the project's fundraising goal, said Julie Rand, executive director of the Lively Arts Center.
The center, overlooking the Halifax River, will include two theater spaces, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, a sculpture garden, a catering kitchen and a gift shop. Its two main tenants will be Seaside Music Theater, a professional company, and the University of Central Florida's master's degree program in musical theater.
Man who fatally stabbed two in office still unknown
WINTER HAVEN - Polk County detectives on Thursday were still trying to determine who fatally stabbed a Winter Haven man and a receptionist at an office complex Wednesday afternoon.
Jeremy L. Jarvis, 24, and Allison Sousa, 27, of Lake Wales, a receptionist at Total Construction Management Inc., were stabbed multiple times by a man who pursued Jarvis there.
"We are still conducting a focused manhunt," Polk County sheriff's Col. Grady Judd said Thursday. "We have some suspects we're looking at. We're not focused in on one person."
Jarvis was stabbed in a scuffle at a nearby company warehouse where he lived and ran to the construction office seeking help. When he arrived, bleeding from the chest, Sousa and a female co-worker met him.
The co-worker, whose name was not released, went to a back room to get a towel and then heard Sousa screaming. The co-worker got a look at the killer before locking herself in a bathroom until he left, and was able to describe him, officials said.
The killer was described as a 6-foot or 6-foot-2 white man in his 20s with wavy, shoulder-length black hair.
Education chief Horne should go, say Democrats
TALLAHASSEE - State Democratic leaders said Thursday Education Commissioner Jim Horne should resign or be fired.
Florida Democratic Party chairman Scott Maddox told reporters that investigations into the state's voucher programs are just the latest problem. More important, Maddox said, schools haven't improved under Horne.
Later Thursday, state Sen. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, voiced the same concerns and also criticized Horne for saying Wednesday that the class size reduction provision voters added to the state Constitution would never be implemented.
Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush, said he thinks Horne is "doing a good job and is a good public servant."
Coaster reopens two days after rider's heart attack
ORLANDO - The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park reopened Thursday, two days after a woman suffered an apparent heart attack on the ride.
Leslie Killer, 34, of Jensen Beach, who collapsed in her seat as her 2-minute ride neared an end Tuesday afternoon, remained in critical condition at Sand Lake Hospital on Thursday.
Park officials kept the ride closed for a day and a half after the incident to conduct checks. "There was nothing wrong with the ride, but we were making 200 percent sure," Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said.
Lightning strikes gazebo, killing one, injuring two
LAKE MARY - A 22-year-old man died and two teenagers were injured Thursday when lightning struck a gazebo.
Eric J. Speery, of Sanford, was fishing when a storm moved into the area. Speery went to the gazebo at the end of the dock, where he was joined by David Mallard, 15, and Timothy Godbold, 16.
Speery suffered the brunt of the lightning strike, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said.
Mallard and Godbold were taken to Florida Hospital Altamonte. Hospital officials would not release information on their conditions.