Prosecutors: Reduced sentence, prison time for Gaetz friend
A former Florida tax collector whose arrest on sex trafficking and identity theft charges led to a probe of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz should get his sentence reduced for cooperating with authorities, but he still deserves prison time to send a message that no public official is above the law, federal prosecutors said in court papers. Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg is facing a 12-year prison sentence when he is sentenced in federal court in Orlando, Florida in two weeks.news.yahoo.com
Judge tosses challenge to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill
For the second time in about a month, a lawsuit challenging Florida's so-called “don't say gay" legislation restricting teaching on gender identity and sexual orientation in schools has been dismissed by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Wendy Berger in Orlando on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by LGBTQ students, parents and their families — as well as several civil rights groups — and refused their request for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being implemented. The judge gave the plaintiffs until Nov. 3 to file an amended lawsuit if they desired.news.yahoo.com
After Ian, Florida college students left homeless by floods
Students living at the complex near the UCF campus on Friday carried out water-logged clothes in garbage bags, used a pontoon and an air mattress to rescue friends and moved furniture out of flooded apartments. “We still had power, which is terrifying, and the lights were still on, and there's knee deep water in our apartment,” said Holbert, a nursing student.news.yahoo.com
A bag was tossed over a bridge in Florida. Cops found out something was alive inside
A caller reported seeing someone throw a plastic tote over a Central Florida bridge from a moving vehicle this week, according to a Thursday Facebook post from Orlando-based Orange County Animal Services,.news.yahoo.com
Secret Service recovers $286M in stolen pandemic loans
The U.S. Secret Service said Friday that it has recovered $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic loans and is returning the money to the Small Business Administration. The Secret Service said an investigation initiated by its Orlando office found that alleged conspirators submitted Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications by using fake or stolen employment and personal information and used an online bank, Green Dot, to conceal and move their criminal proceeds. The agency worked with Green Dot to identify roughly 15,000 accounts and seize $286 million connected to the accounts.news.yahoo.com
Landlords try to stop rent control initiative in Florida
Ballots haven’t even been printed yet, but already a group of landlords, apartment managers and real estate agents in Florida are trying to stop voters from deciding on a measure that would implement rent control for a year in the theme park hub that has been one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. The Florida Apartment Association and the Florida Association of Realtors last week sued Orange County, Florida in an attempt to halt a ballot initiative aimed at limiting how much...
UCF removes anti-racist statements from department websites
The University of Central Florida has removed anti-racist statements from departmental websites, a move that one professor has decried as an “infringement on academic freedom” in the wake of the passage of a Republican-backed law that restricts how race can be taught. Ann Gleig, a religious studies professor, said in an email Wednesday that the anti-racist statement on the philosophy department's website and those of other departments have been taken down. The philosophy department's statement was crafted in the summer of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, she said.news.yahoo.com
Gaetz friend faces December sentencing as he helps in probes
Sentencing for a former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a probe of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been set for December, as his lawyer indicated that his client continues to cooperate with federal investigators in multiple jurisdictions. After several postponements, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg will be sentenced on Dec. 1 in federal court in Orlando for six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official, according to an order filed this week. Greenberg faces a minimum 12 years in prison, although court papers indicate his attorney plans to ask for less because of his continuing cooperation with federal prosecutors.news.yahoo.com
Florida city apologizes for saying 'a lot of people probably don't want to celebrate our nation right now'
A statement that questioned if July 4 celebrations were appropriate in the wake of “division, hate and unrest” across the country has prompted cheers, backlash and an apology from the city of Orlando, Florida.news.yahoo.com
Woman filmed spewing racist slurs at Orlando restaurant’s Asian staff after refund disagreement
A seafood restaurant in Orlando, Florida, took to social media to expose a woman who hurled racist abuse at its Asian staff after reportedly being denied a refund on Monday. The woman’s tirade, which was caught on surveillance and cellphone videos, occurred at around 2:55 p.m. inside King Cajun Crawfish at 924 North Mills Avenue. The restaurant said the confrontation started after the woman finished her meal — consisting of snow crabs and fried shrimp — and demanded a refund.news.yahoo.com
Parents sue after death of teen from Florida drop-tower ride
The parents of a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from a 430-foot (131-meter) drop-tower ride in central Florida’s tourist district sued its owner, manufacturer and landlord on Monday, claiming they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride.
Attorneys Ben Crump, Bob Hilliard hired by family of teen who fell to his death from Orlando thrill ride
Attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard have been hired on retainer to represent the family of Tyre Sampson, 14, who fell to his death Thursday night from the Orlando Free Fall at ICON Park, according to a news release.
Did teen’s big size factor in Florida amusement ride death?
A rising middle school football player in Missouri, only 14 but already 6 feet, 5 inches tall and well over 300 pounds, Tyre Sampson fell to his death from a towering Florida amusement ride. Lawyers for his family want to know if negligence about his size, or other factors, played a role.