SpaceX Launch Pad Test (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- SpaceX says the much anticipated test flight of its Falcon Heavy Rocket could be taking place in about a week. All 27 engines were fired for the first time yesterday in a critical launch pad test at Kennedy Space Center. If it successfully launches as planned next month, it would be considered the most powerful rocket in the world. The purpose is to be able to take larger payloads to the International Space Station.
DC Lawmakers Ask For Commitment To Drilling Ban (Washington, DC) -- Florida's Republicans and Democrats are uniting over an issue they say is critical to the state's economy. Senator Bill Nelson's office yesterday sent a letter to the Interior Department to make sure Florida is still off-limits for offshore drilling. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had said drilling in the eastern Gulf was off-limits, but recent comments by another federal official seemed to contradict that. The letter was also signed by Senator Marco Rubio and 22 House members from Florida, including Neal Dunn, Al Lawson and Matt Gaetz.
Tax Collector Asks For 'Professional Courtesy' To Avoid Ticket (Lake Mary, FL) -- A Seminole County official is accused of trying to use his position to get out of a speeding ticket. Tax Collector Joel Greenberg was ticketed this week in Lake Mary for going 39 in a 25 zone. Police video shows Greenberg asking the officer for professional courtesy to get a warning instead of a ticket. It didn't work, though, and Greenberg tells the "Orlando Sentinel" he'll pay the 200-dollar ticket. THE PROBLEM IS WHEN THEY THINK THEY ARE PRIVILEGED!
Helicopter Lands On Downtown Street (Fort Lauderdale, FL) -- A helicopter pilot is credited with avoiding injuries in a bizarre landing. A Schweizer 269C-1 made a hard landing yesterday in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Despite it being rush hour, no one was hurt when the helicopter landed on Southeast Second Street. Some streets did have to be shut down for hours. There's no word on a cause, and the FAA is investigating.
Nearly A Dozen Toys-R-Us Stores Closing In Florida (Undated) -- As Toys-R-Us prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection, the company is planning to close almost 200 stores nationwide. About a dozen of them are located all over Florida. Close-out sales will begin in a few weeks, and the stores will shut down in mid-April.
Disney Skyliner And Project S Move Forward (Orlando, FL) -- Two big changes at Disney are a step closer to happening. The Reedy Creek Board of Supervisors yesterday approved millions for construction of the Disney Skyliner and Project S. The Skyliner is a gondola system that will take visitors by air to some Disney parks and resorts. It's less clear what Project S is, but WDWThemeParks.com reports that it's the codename for Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.
Locals Needed For New Movie (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- Future Hollywood stars looking for their big break could be discovered at the Kennedy Space Center. Actor Ryan Gosling is filming a new movie there and extras are needed. The picture is called "First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong." Producers are looking for men and women over the age of 20 for a variety of roles. Filming is set to start in the middle of next month.
Camels Disqualified From Saudi Contest Over Botox (Rima) -- Cheating has led to the disqualification of 12 camels in a Saudi Arabian "camel beauty contest." Reuters reports the camels were kicked out of the competition after judges found out they were given Botox to improve their looks. The Arab Emirates newspaper "The National" reports some cheaters turn to Botox and fillers to enhance the camel's features. Camel festival judges look for the size of the animal's hump but also their "droopy lip and large features." The newspaper reports camel pageant winners can rake in millions of dollars in prize money. I CAN’T IMAGINE THE SWIMSUIT COMPETITION.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
2011, a series of street demonstrations began in Egypt in what would become known as the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Marches, rallies and acts of civil disobedience took place in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities throughout the country.
2006, Hamas won control of the Palestinian Authority Government by capturing a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections. The United States' Department of State had classified Hamas as a terrorist organization.
1994, an out-of-court settlement was reached between Michael Jackson and the family of a 13-year-old boy he was accused of molesting.
1971, Charles Manson and three of his followers were sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder.
1961, President John F. Kennedy presented the first, live presidential press conference.
1956, RCA released Elvis Presley's first record, "Heartbreak Hotel."
1924, the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France.
1915, Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his assistant Thomas A. Watson in San Francisco beginning the first transcontinental telephone service.