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Florida's 2014 Teacher of the Year will be Named Thursday

The Florida Department of Education will name the 2014 Macy's Teacher of the Year on Thursday in Orlando.

For 25 years, Macys has honored the most exceptional educators across Florida. Five teachers became finalists for the 2014 Teacher of the Year award and were chosen from 180,000 public school teachers from across the state:

Nancy Smith, Citrus High School (Citrus County).
Apryl Shackelford, Northwestern Middle School (Duval County).
Patricia Gair, Cypress Lake High School (Lee County).
Dorina Sackman, Westridge Middle School (Orange County).

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Law Enforcement Considers 'Response Plan' before Zimmerman Verdict

The Broward County sheriff's office said it's working closely with the Sanford Police Department before the verdict is released in the George Zimmerman trial, hinting at preventing the possibility of violence as the verdict comes out.

Freedom of expression is a constitutional right, the office said in a statement. While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not.

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Zimmerman Trial Winds Down

The defense is winding down its case early Wednesday afternoon in the George Zimmerman trial, and it appears less and less likely that Zimmerman himself will take the stand.

Even though Zimmerman hasn't testified, jurors have still been watching video of statements he made to police investigators. Zimmerman is currently charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old from Miami. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

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Gap Narrows Between Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Voters

In the wake of Wendy Davis' nearly 12-hour long filibuster against closing down abortion clinics in Texas, the percentage of American voters who are pro-choice and pro-life is the narrowest it's ever been. The new poll found 46 percent of likely American voters considered themselves pro-choice, the lowest finding in nearly three years of studying. The poll also found 43 percent of American voters consider themselves pro-life, the highest finding to date.

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Snowden Accepts Asylum Offer

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted an offer for asylum in Venezuela, according to a tweet sent Tuesday byRussian parliamentary spokesman Alexei Pushko. However, the tweet was deleted thereafter and it was not immediately certain why.

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Pam Bondi Trashes Obamacare

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi had some choice words on Obamacare on FOX News Tuesday morning. Bondi appeared on the news channel's "FOX & Friends" to give her insight about the newest twist in the federal health-care law after the Obama administration announcedon Friday it would be delaying requirements that health care insurance exchanges run by the states need to verify applicants eligibility for subsidized health care coverage.

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Rick Scott to Obama: End Furloughs

Gov. Rick Scott has joined forces with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant in sending a letter to President Barack Obama, calling for an immediate end to the National Guard furloughs. The furloughs (forced leave without pay) began Monday.

"We are deeply concerned that the furlough will impact the readiness of the National Guard of our states to respond to state and regional emergencies during this traditional period of extreme weather," read the letter.

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Tropical Storm Chantal Forms in Atlantic

Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the Atlantic Ocean late Sunday evening and began her path toward the Lesser Antilles, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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U.S. Adds 195,000 Jobs in June

The U.S. added 195,000 private-sector jobs in June, according to the newest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on unemployment across the country. June's job numbers were higher than expected, but the percentage of unemployment remained unchanged at 7.6.

The U.S. Department of Labor also revised its job estimates for April and May, adding an additional 70,000 jobs to its previous estimates.

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Youth Unemployment Remains High in U.S.

A new report released Friday by Generation Opportunity, a national, nonpartisan youth advocacy organization, revealed the unemployment rate for 18-to-29-year-olds is 16.1 percent -- well above the national average of 7.6 percent.

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