‘#MeToo’ spray-painted on iconic statue of WWII sailor kissing nurse

Police in Florida are looking for the vandal who painted “#MeToo” on the leg of the nurse in the “Unconditional Surrender” statue.

Source: ‘#MeToo’ spray-painted on iconic statue of WWII sailor kissing nurse

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Florida Boy, 11, Arrested After Refusing to Stand For Pledge of Allegiance

An 11-year-old boy in Florida was arrested and is facing charges after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The boy was arrested for causing a disruption and refusing repeated instructions from school staff and law enforcement, according to Polk County Public Schools.

The sixth-grader from a Tampa suburb allegedly told his teacher the flag is “racist” and that national anthem is offensive to black people. The substitute teacher then reportedly asked the boy why he still lived in the U.S. if it’s “so bad here,” to which he is said to have answered: “They brought me here.”

The teacher then reportedly said: “You can always go back because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore, I would find another place to live.”

The teacher called the cops because she didn’t want to keep “dealing with him.” An officer and school administrator tried to calm the boy, and then asked him to leave the class. The student allegedly made threats while being escorted to the office. He was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence.

Source: Florida Boy, 11, Arrested After Refusing to Stand For Pledge of Allegiance

Related: Student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance expelled, Texas attorney general backs school

More: Atlanta charter school drops morning Pledge of Allegiance

Grenade ends up at Taco Bell after Florida fisherman discovers it – CNN

(CNN)A Florida man made an explosive discovery Saturday while magnet fishing.

While using a magnet to search water for salvage items, the fisherman pulled up a World War II hand grenade, according to police in Ocala, Florida, about 80 miles northwest of Orlando.
The fisherman threw the grenade in his trunk and drove to a Taco Bell, where he called police. The Taco Bell was evacuated, police said, but was reopened later that day.
Ocala police later verified on their Facebook page the device was a WWII hand grenade and a bomb squad had removed the device without incident.

Source: Grenade ends up at Taco Bell after Florida fisherman discovers it – CNN

Senior Florida official quits after blackface images emerge – BBC News

Michael Ertel quits his top post after pictures of him dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim emerge.

Florida’s Secretary of State Michael Ertel has resigned after photos emerged of him in blackface dressed as a victim of Hurricane Katrina.

The images, printed by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, were allegedly taken at a Halloween party in 2005.

Mr Ertel – wearing a bandana and a shirt with “Katrina Victim” written on the front – was a local supervisor of elections at the time.

Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people, most of them in Louisiana.

The secretary’s of state’s responsibilities include overseeing elections in Florida and promoting its economic interests around the world.

Source: Senior Florida official quits after blackface images emerge – BBC News

At Least 5 Dead In Shooting At Central Florida Bank; Suspect In Custody : NPR

At least five people were killed when a man opened fire Wednesday afternoon in a bank in Sebring, Fla., according to officials.

At a brief news conference, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund named 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, of Sebring, as the suspect. Xaver is in police custody.

“Today has been a tragic day in our community,” Hoglund said. “We’ve suffered a significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime.”

At approximately 12:36 p.m., Sebring police and Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a SunTrust bank branch after a man called police dispatchers and said he had fired shots in the bank.

Responding law enforcement agents began negotiating with the barricaded shooter, trying to get him to surrender. A SWAT team from the sheriff’s department entered the building and continued to negotiate with the gunman until he eventually surrendered. Video footage from the scene showed a standalone, low-slung brick building with apparent damage to one of its main entrances.

Source: At Least 5 Dead In Shooting At Central Florida Bank; Suspect In Custody : NPR

Nearly 500 people are now sick on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

More than 275 people had initially come down with a gastrointestinal illness, a spokesman for Oasis of the Seas said.

The number of people hit with a gastrointestinal illness on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship has swelled to nearly 500, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

The increase to 475 people comes a day after the company said 277 passengers on the Oasis of the Seas had initially fallen ill.

Travelers on the cruise ship — which according to Royal Caribbean’s website is a 1,187-foot long vessel and was voted the best cruise ship 2014 by Travel Weekly readers — started feeling sick after the ship departed from Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, on Sunday.

The cruise liner was scheduled to sail through the Caribbean before returning to Florida on Sunday. The Oasis of the Seas will now arrive back at Port Canaveral on Saturday. All of the ship’s passengers will get a refund due to the outbreak.

Source: Nearly 500 people are now sick on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Florida governor pardons ‘Groveland Four,’ wrongly convicted of rape in 1949 – CNN

(CNN)Four black men are now officially free nearly 70 years after they were wrongly accused of raping a 17-year-old white girl.

In 1949, Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas were accused of sexually assaulting Norma Padgett in Groveland, Florida, about 30 miles west of Orlando. The group came to be called the “Groveland Four.”
There were doubts about Padgett’s testimony from the onset, but in the era of Jim Crow, a jury convicted the men without evidence of a crime.
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued full posthumous pardons to the men on Friday.
“For seventy years, these four men have had their history wrongly written for crimes they did not commit. As I have said before, while that is a long time to wait, it is never too late to do the right thing,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I believe the rule of law is society’s sacred bond. When it is trampled, we all suffer. For the Groveland Four, the truth was buried. The Perpetrators celebrated. But justice has cried out from that day until this.”
The pardons were unanimously approved by the Executive Clemency Board, a release from the new governor’s office says.

Source: Florida governor pardons ‘Groveland Four,’ wrongly convicted of rape in 1949 – CNN

Florida woman, 86, accused of beating husband, 89, to death with cane

An 86-year-old Florida woman is accused of beating her 89-year-old husband to death with her walking cane inside the couple’s home.

Ramona Maxine Lund was arrested after her husband, Francis Joseph Lund, was found dead in their home, Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson announced during a press conference on Monday. Police said the scene was originally believed to be a medical emergency but was later determined to be a crime scene.

Neighbors called police on Saturday after seeing Ramona Lund standing over her husband’s body, believing he had fallen down, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

When officials spoke with Ramona Lund, she was unaware of where she was and what time it was.

Source: Florida woman, 86, accused of beating husband, 89, to death with cane

More than 1 million Floridians with felony convictions get their right to vote back today – CNN

A new state law takes effect in Florida Tuesday that is expected to restore voting rights to more than 1 million people with felony convictions — despite questions from state officials about its implementation.

Source: More than 1 million Floridians with felony convictions get their right to vote back today – CNN

Florida woman told dispatcher ‘please help me’ in terrifying 911 call as her car sank in muddy ditch | Fox News

As she sat in her overturned car in the early hours of New Year’s Day, sinking into the mud with cold water rising up to her chest, Amanda Antonio had one message for a 911 dispatcher: please help, and fast.

Source: Florida woman told dispatcher ‘please help me’ in terrifying 911 call as her car sank in muddy ditch | Fox News

Westmoreland Co. Sheriff’s 2 Teenage Sons Charged In Florida Armed Robbery « CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Westmoreland County sheriff’s two teenage sons are facing charges. They’re accused of robbery and theft in Florida.

This comes as the sheriff himself has faced charges that he had his staff do campaign work while on the clock.

Ryan Tutera, Sheriff Jonathan Held‘s attorney, says he can’t comment on the Florida case: “It has nothing to do with what he’s on trial for. It has absolutely zero to do with it.”

Source: Westmoreland Co. Sheriff’s 2 Teenage Sons Charged In Florida Armed Robbery « CBS Pittsburgh

Shooting outside Papa John’s restaurant in Florida leaves 2 dead, 2 injured, police say | Fox News

Two men were killed and two others were injured after gunfire erupted outside a pizza restaurant in Florida on Saturday night, officials said.

One man was found dead by a car behind the restaurant and was shot “several times,” according to police.

Another man who was injured in the shooting went into the Papa John’s to ask for help before he was transported to the hospital, where he died, WKMG reported.

Two other men were found by deputies suffering from gunshot wounds and had “serious injuries.” They were taken to a nearby hospital, and additional information about their conditions was not known.

Source: Shooting outside Papa John’s restaurant in Florida leaves 2 dead, 2 injured, police say | Fox News

Ocala shooting at Walmart: Man shoots woman dead in garden center of store today – live updates – CBS News

 

OCALA, Fla. — Police say a man fatally shot a woman during an apparent domestic argument that started in the garden center of a north Florida Walmart store. The suspect, a 55-year-old man, is in custody after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Ocala Police Department said on Twitter.

No further details were immediately available.

Source: Ocala shooting at Walmart: Man shoots woman dead in garden center of store today – live updates – CBS News

With Brenda Snipes’ resignation, who will be in charge of replacing her?

The new Broward County Supervisor of Elections could be appointed by Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis – depending on when exactly Brenda Snipes’ resignation goes into effect.

Florida counties elect their election supervisors in general elections every four years in years that are a multiple of four, according to Florida state statutes.

The term begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January following the election, according to the statutes.

BRENDA SNIPES, BROWARD ELECTIONS OFFICIAL AT CENTER OF BALLOT STORM, HAS HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY

Source: With Brenda Snipes’ resignation, who will be in charge of replacing her?