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Officials: Power to be restored by early November

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Electric utility providers in the Florida Panhandle say they're hoping to have nearly all power restored to customers whose homes are equipped to receive it by early November. That's roughly a month after the area was hit by Hurricane Michael.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the goal Tuesday. This includes the hardest-hit areas of Mexico Beach and towns in Calhoun and Jackson counties where the electrical infrastructure required a complete rebuild.

A governor's office news release says fewer than 47,700 accounts remain without power, down from the more than 400,000 immediately after Hurricane Michael. Both of those totals include homes and businesses destroyed or damaged too heavily to accept power.

Michael slammed into Florida's Panhandle with 155 mph (250 kph) winds on Oct. 10, and also affected Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

9 Investigates: Apopka officer's K-9 mauls small dog

9 Investigates has learned that an Apopka police officer who is under internal investigation for use of force was also involved in another incident.

Officer Kenyon Friedline’s K-9 partner mauled another dog in an incident at a mobile home park last month, reports show. 

The owner of the small dog was also hurt while trying to pry the animals apart.  

The small, 5-year-old rescue dog, named Flacka, which is Spanish for skinny, is still recovering after being mauled by the K-9 during the week of Labor Day.

“Things like this shouldn’t happen,” attorney Dan Morgan said.

The veterinarian bills are mounting.  Morgan said Flacka’s owner took the dog for a walk on a leash in The Valley 55-plus mobile home community, where officer Friedline had his K-9 partner unrestrained and out in the open.

“The K-9 made a beeline for my client’s dog, ended up getting the dog in his mouth, mauled the dog open,” Morgan said.

Friedline is currently on desk duty there while under investigation for a different incident regarding the arrest of alleged burglar, Dalton Mosley. 

Body camera video shows Mosley and Friedline breaking through a wooden fence, and Friedline performing a takedown maneuver, causing the 22-year-old suspect to fall face-down onto the ground.

Friedline’s use of force is under investigation because a captain questioned it during a standard use of force review.

Friedline wrote in a supplemental report that, “Mosley tried pulling away” from him and a “redirection of momentum” caused the suspect to fall.  

“They slammed me through a (expletive) fence,” Mosley told medics on scene.

Apopka’s K-9 policy states, “The handler will maintain physical control of their assigned canine at all times. Canines will be secured on a lead when outside of the handler’s vehicle, unless deployed to apprehend a suspect, inside a secure training facility, or in the performance of his duties.”

“Definitely worries you, one, that it happened, and two, that the officer wasn't able to stop it from happening,” Morgan said.

The owner of Flacka told 9 Investigates that The Valley requires dog owners to sign a paper acknowledging that dogs are to be on leashes at all times.

Apopka police would not comment on the incident. 

Escaped inmate claiming to be twin headed back to prison

MIAMI (AP) - An escaped Georgia inmate who claimed to be his twin brother when he was arrested in Florida is heading back to prison.

The Miami Herald reports that a Miami-Dade circuit judge ordered 63-year-old Raul Prado be returned to Georgia.

Prado was arrested in Miami in May, a day after authorities say he fled from a work detail at an Augusta, Georgia, water treatment plant. He was serving 25 years for drug trafficking.

Since his capture, Prado has claimed to be his twin brother, Jean Vernet Prado. He told authorities he was only using a copy of his imprisoned brother's ID and that he was a former Cuban military pilot.

Investigators say the fingerprints of the man they have in custody match the fugitive sought in Georgia, and there's no evidence the twin actually exists.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

Escaped inmate claiming to be twin headed back to prison

MIAMI (AP) - An escaped Georgia inmate who claimed to be his twin brother when he was arrested in Florida is heading back to prison.

The Miami Herald reports that a Miami-Dade circuit judge ordered 63-year-old Raul Prado be returned to Georgia.

Prado was arrested in Miami in May, a day after authorities say he fled from a work detail at an Augusta, Georgia, water treatment plant. He was serving 25 years for drug trafficking.

Since his capture, Prado has claimed to be his twin brother, Jean Vernet Prado. He told authorities he was only using a copy of his imprisoned brother's ID and that he was a former Cuban military pilot.

Investigators say the fingerprints of the man they have in custody match the fugitive sought in Georgia, and there's no evidence the twin actually exists.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

Seacor: 3Q Earnings Snapshot

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Seacor Holdings Inc. (CKH) on Tuesday reported third-quarter net income of $17.1 million.

On a per-share basis, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company said it had net income of 88 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 82 cents per share.

The provider of offshore drilling services posted revenue of $220.3 million in the period.

Seacor shares have dropped slightly more than 1 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $45.59, an increase of slightly more than 2 percent in the last 12 months.

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This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CKH at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CKH

Florida sheriff won't pay man left paralyzed by deputy

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida sheriff's office says it has not settled a lawsuit and won't pay millions to a black man who became a quadriplegic when a deputy shot him.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Tuesday saying it would oppose paying 25-year-old Dontrell Stephens more than the $200,000 it has already paid him. The Palm Beach Post originally reported Monday the lawsuit had been settled, but later updated the story.

Sgt. Adams Lin shot Stephens in 2013 after stopping him for riding his bike into traffic, saying he mistook Stephens' cellphone for a gun.

A federal jury in 2016 awarded Stephens $22 million but under Florida law, government agencies cannot pay more than $200,000 without the Legislature's approval. The sheriff's office said Tuesday it opposed any additional payment.

Azinger does not plan on using 'choke' in replacing Miller

Paul Azinger used to say for years that the only thing that made a player choke was cash or prestige.

So he's not afraid to use the word "choke."

Just don't expect to hear it when he takes over for Johnny Miller on NBC Sports next year. Azinger has pledged to call the shots the way he sees them - that's the advice Miller has given him - but he has a different perspective when it comes to his vocabulary.

"I'm not afraid to use that word, but I'm not going to stick it on somebody because I don't think that's fair," Azinger said during a conference call to announce his hiring by NBC. "It's irresponsible as a broadcaster to do that. I want to help build their brand, not tear them down, and I want to do it in the way that I do it."

He also pointed out that Miller, who once said he should have a doctorate in "chokology," never called anyone a choker.

"I think he said, 'If there's ever a shot you could choke on, this is it,'" Azinger said.

Azinger has used "choke" frequently in discussions on golf, mainly his own, and it's always been the same topic. He long has said that only two things cause a player to choke: cash and prestige.

"That's about it," he said. "I just don't see any value in labeling somebody a choke. I would probably go about it a different way."

Meanwhile, Azinger picked up a new nickname during negotiations with NBC.

The network first contacted him in 2013 when Azinger was with ESPN, and it was little more than contact. But when Miller began talking seriously this summer about retiring, Azinger was the first phone call.

It reached a point where Tommy Roy, the golf producer at NBC Sports, wanted to meet with him. Roy lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and Azinger lives near Bradenton on the Gulf Coast of Florida. They decided to meet in Ocala, a halfway point.

"We found a Ruby Tuesday just off the freeway, so that's where we met," Roy said, confident that no one would recognize them.

The meeting went well, and Roy believed Azinger would be the right fit. Then, it was up to the NBC executives to work on a deal.

"Whenever we have big-time deals at NBC, we operate in total secrecy," Roy said. "So from that point forward when we had any internal texts or communications on this, we always referred to Paul as 'Ruby Tuesday.'"

AMERICAN RULE

The final World Golf Championship of the year provides an opportunity for a first at the HSBC Champions.

No country has ever had four players win the four World Golf Championships, and even with only 19 players in the field - two of whom are not PGA Tour members - the United States has a chance to just that.

Phil Mickelson won the first one at the Mexico Championship. Bubba Watson won the Dell Match Play three weeks later. Justin Thomas won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. Oddly enough, none is in Shanghai for the last WGC.

The Americans did sweep the WGCs in 2013 with three players. Tiger Woods won the Cadillac Championship at Doral and the Bridgestone Invitational, while Matt Kuchar won the Match Play in Arizona and Dustin Johnson won the HSBC Champions.

Americans in three other years won all the WGCs, but that was before the HSBC Champions was added in 2009. Woods won two WGCs in 1999 and 2005 (Jeff Maggert and David Toms won the Match Play in those years). Woods and Steve Stricker won WGCs in 2001 and the third one was canceled because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

GETTING TO THE TOP

Brooks Koepka reached No. 1 with his eighth victory worldwide on a main tour - three majors, two PGA Tour events (Phoenix Open and CJ Cup), two on the Japan Golf Tour (Dunlop Phoenix back-to-back) and one in Europe (Turkish Airlines Open).

That's the same number as Fred Couples when he first got to No. 1 by winning at Bay Hill in 1992. It's one more victory than what Jason Day had when he first reached No. 1 in the world at the 2015 BMW Championship.

The fewest for a player when reaching No. 1 for the first time is five victories by Tom Lehman, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Lehman won four times on the PGA Tour and the Casio World Open in Japan. Woods won five times on the PGA Tour. McIlroy won three times on the PGA Tour and twice on the European Tour. All three had won a major.

JUNIOR PLAYERS

Akshay Bhatia and Yealimi Noh have been selected players of the year by the American Junior Golf Association, an award that dates to 1978 and includes Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Inbee Park and Paula Creamer.

They will be honored Nov. 18 at the Rolex Junior All-American Awards Banquet at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Bhatia, a 16-year-old from Wake Forest, North Carolina, won the Junior PGA Championship by holing a 40-foot chip for eagle on the last hole. He had two other victories this year, including a 10-shot win at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, and was runner-up at the U.S. Junior Amateur.

Noh is a 17-year-old from Concord, California. She won five times this year, including the Junior PGA, the U.S. Junior Girls and the Canadian Women's Amateur, and she was low amateur in the two LPGA Tour events she played.

She played for the winning team in the Junior Ryder Cup and Junior Solheim Cup.

DIVOTS

Paula Creamer tied for 12th in the Buick LPGA Shanghai on a sponsor exemption, her best finish since a tie for seventh in June 2017 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. ... Lee Westwood and Luke Donald remain the only two players out of 23 who have never won a major but were No. 1 in the world. ... Fran Quinn tied for third last week and moved from No. 64 to No. 45 in the Schwab Cup. It's the second straight year he advanced to the second playoff event with a top-10 finish. ... Steven Bowditch is having spinal fusion surgery after finally finding the source of his pain. The Australian missed all but two cuts in 2017 and all eight PGA Tour events he played last season. ... Michelle Wie will miss the rest of the year after surgery on her right hand.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The average world ranking of the last five winners of the Sanderson Farms Championship is No. 459. The highest ranking belonged to Ryan Armour last year at No. 321.

FINAL WORD

"I'm not going to feel bad for the guy. The guy's kind of had things go his way for the last 12 years." - Woody Austin after beating Bernhard Langer by one shot in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic on the PGA Tour Champions.

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For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Will 'all Trump, all the time' help the GOP in the midterms?

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is betting that his ubiquitous role in the midterm elections - all Trump, all the time - will pay off for Republicans trying to hang onto their perilous majorities in Congress.

Trump's campaign said Tuesday it will spend more than $20 million on the November elections, including $6 million in national TV and digital ads beginning Oct. 29, and the president will be holding at least 10 more of his signature rallies through the election. Since July 5, Trump has held 20 of his "Make America Great Again" rallies around the country and is staging three more this week in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Illinois.

With two weeks until the election, the White House is battling against history as it tries to defend a lengthy slate of seats held by congressional Republicans. Democrats need to flip 23 House seats to win back the majority, a target that falls in line with the typical losses of about two dozen seats for a first-term president in midterm elections. Republicans are playing on a friendly Senate campaign terrain but can ill afford any mistakes with a narrow 51-49 majority.

Here's a look at midterm campaign activities Tuesday:

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ABRAMS-FLAG BURNING

The campaign of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams defended her involvement in burning the state flag - featuring a prominent Confederate symbol at the time - during a college protest more than two decades ago.

The issue surfaced ahead of Abrams' Tuesday night debate against her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp.

Abrams' role in the protest emerged after The New York Times published a story citing a June 1992 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. A photo caption identifies Abrams as a woman standing with her arms crossed, watching three other protesters burn the flag.

Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, faces Abrams, the former state House minority leader, in one of the nation's most competitive races for governor. Abrams is trying to become the nation's first black female governor.

Abrams' spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said Abrams was involved in a "permitted, peaceful protest against the Confederate emblem in the flag" while a student at Spelman College in Atlanta in 1992.

The Confederate battle flag was added to Georgia's state flag in 1956 as a rebuke of the growing civil rights movement. Decades later, political pressure to remove what many considered to be a symbol of white supremacy grew as Atlanta drew international attention by hosting the Olympics in 1996. The Confederate symbol was phased out of the flag in 2001.

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BIDEN-FLORIDA

Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for a second day in Florida, making a quick visit to a Tallahassee coffee shop before heading to a rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Biden urged students and others milling around the shop to vote for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson over his Republican opponent, Rick Scott, and stopped for several selfies with the crowd that surrounded him.

"For many of you, this is your first vote, but I tell you: Whether you're your age or my age, this is an election that is bigger than politics," Biden said, citing President Donald Trump's comments after an anti-Nazi demonstrator was killed at a violent white nationalist rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"This is much bigger than any single issue. It's about decency; it's about respect," Biden said.

Before departing, Biden was asked about the prospect of running for president in 2020. "We'll see," he said as the car began to pull away.

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WALKER-IMMIGRATION

Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin asserted in a new campaign ad Tuesday that Tony Evers, his Democratic challenger, wants "special treatment for illegals," bringing immigration to the forefront ahead of a rally with President Donald Trump.

Walker's ad is based on comments Evers made during a debate Friday. Evers voiced support for allowing in-state tuition for students who were children when their parents brought them into the U.S. without legal permission. Evers also said he supported allowing workers who are here illegally to obtain driver's licenses to get to and from work.

Walker opposes allowing people here illegally to get driver's licenses. Walker's ad ends with the narrator saying, "Tony Evers: Special treatment for illegals, higher taxes for you."

Evers' campaign spokesman Sam Lau accused Walker of fearmongering. "This is a sad, desperate attempt by a career politician to mimic Donald Trump to save his political career," Lau said.

Polls show the race between Walker and Evers to be a toss-up.

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HARRIS-IOWA

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California was cheered by hundreds of University of Iowa students and party activists in Democratic-heavy Iowa City during a rally to promote early voting.

Harris, who is weighing a 2020 campaign for president, referenced the explosive confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"Everybody watched the Kavanaugh hearings," said Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Well, elections matter. When you win elections, you get the power. So, let's take back the power."

Harris spent part of Monday and Tuesday campaigning for Deidre DeJear, who is running for secretary of state and is Iowa's first black nominee for statewide office from a major political party.

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STRONG ENDORSEMENT?

President Donald Trump's "Strong Endorsement" of Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., drew a wary reaction from the congressman, who has distanced himself from Trump as he tries to keep his suburban Minneapolis seat.

Trump praised Paulsen late Monday on Twitter for cutting taxes and regulations and urged voters to "Keep Erik in Congress, he has my Strong Endorsement!"

Paulsen said he didn't seek Trump's endorsement and said in a statement, "Rather than endorse my campaign, I wish the President would endorse my position to protect the Boundary Waters, Minnesota's Yellowstone."

Paulsen was referring to his vote last year against reversing the Obama administration's moratorium on new mining leases and prospecting in an area of the Superior National Forest near Ely that's upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Paulsen is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Dean Phillips in Minnesota's 3rd District, which Hillary Clinton carried by 9 percentage points in 2016. Paulsen avoided Trump's recent rally in Rochester and has said he wrote in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's name in the 2016 election rather than vote for Trump.

Phillips' campaign seized on Trump's endorsement, referring to it as the president's "seal of approval."

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GEORGIA DEBATE

In the first debate of their race for Georgia governor, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp sparred over claims of voter suppression and people who are in the country illegally being encouraged to cast ballots.

Abrams said that Kemp's record as Georgia's secretary of state "causes great concern" and pointed to the release of voter data under Kemp's watch and the state's "exact match" voter registration system. She said Kemp has made it harder for legal citizens to cast ballots.

Kemp said those characterizations were "totally untrue." He fired back, citing a recent video clip in which Abrams seems to say that "undocumented" immigrants were part of her coalition.

"Why are you encouraging people to break the law to vote for you?" Kemp asked.

Abrams said that Kemp was twisting her words and her record of making it easier for legal citizens to vote.

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Associated Press writers Ben Nadler in Atlanta, Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla., Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., Thomas Beaumont in Iowa City, Iowa, and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

Trump signs water projects bill; 1 aimed at Fla. toxic algae

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a wide-ranging bill to improve the nation's water infrastructure, including a Florida project intended to reduce toxic algae blooms that have devastated coastal marine life and emptied beaches.

The new law will help create a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee designed to filter out toxins that contribute to harmful algae blooms that have killed turtles, fish and other marine life - even manatees - and have ravaged South Florida's tourism-driven economy.

The America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 authorizes more than $6 billion in spending over 10 years for projects nationwide, including the $1.3 billion Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir. The law also boosts projects to restore Gulf Coast wetlands damaged by Hurricane Harvey and improve harbors in Seattle, Savannah, Georgia, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The law also sets up a new framework intended to increase local input on large water projects run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Congress approved the bill with just one dissenting vote, by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Lee said the measure spends federal dollars on a series of local projects that should be funded and maintained by state and local governments.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the new law helps the economy, cuts red tape and improves aging drinking water systems in communities such as Flint, Mich.

Just as important, the law demonstrates that lawmakers from both parties and all regions can join together for projects to improve infrastructure, Barrasso said.

"It doesn't get a lot of press - conflict is what gets covered - but this is a good, solid, major piece of infrastructure legislation," he said in an interview. The next step is an infrastructure bill to improve roads and bridges, Barrasso said, acknowledging that such a bill was unlikely before the next session of Congress.

Trump said during a White House ceremony that he pledged to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure during the campaign and "today we're taking another major step toward that goal."

"After years of rebuilding other nations, we are finally rebuilding our nation," Trump said.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who is locked in a close re-election fight with Republican Gov. Rick Scott, hailed the water bill. Nelson praised Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for working with him to advance the Everglades project.

"This reservoir is particularly important right now to help mitigate the toxic algae crisis that's sweeping the state, but it's also critical for our broader Everglades restoration effort," Nelson said.

Rubio said on Twitter he was glad Trump signed the legislation, which also was pushed by Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast.

"This is an important step toward solving Florida's water challenges," Rubio said.

Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the nonprofit Everglades Foundation, said approval of the reservoir project is almost two decades late. He urged the Army Corps of Engineers to build the project in four years - not 10 or 15 years, as some have speculated.

"Florida's estuaries, coastlines and America's Everglades are imperiled, and the people of Florida cannot afford to wait," Eikenberg said.

Florida sheriff won't pay man left paralyzed by deputy

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida sheriff's office says it has not settled a lawsuit and won't pay millions to a black man who became a quadriplegic when a deputy shot him.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Tuesday saying it would oppose paying 25-year-old Dontrell Stephens more than the $200,000 it has already paid him. That contradicts a Monday story by The Palm Beach Post saying the lawsuit had been settled.

Sgt. Adams Lin shot Stephens in 2013 after stopping him for riding his bike into traffic, saying he mistook Stephens' cellphone for a gun.

A federal jury in 2016 ordered the sheriff's office to pay Stephens $22 million but under Florida law, government agencies cannot pay more than $200,000 without the Legislature's approval. The sheriff's office said Tuesday it would oppose such a bill.

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