Successful SpaceX Launch (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- Tons of supplies and experiments are on the way to the International Space Station. The SpaceX rocket carrying the cargo successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral yesterday afternoon. However, the rocket booster missed its intended landing spot and ended up in the Atlantic ocean.
Wounded Police Officer Honored (Orlando, FL) -- An Orlando Police officer who saved a life is fighting for his own. The police department yesterday honored Officer Kevin Valencia with the Life Saving Award for helping save the life of a shooting victim nine months ago. Valencia was shot three months later while on duty, and he's now in an Atlanta hospital awaiting his 11th surgery. His wife accepted the award on his behalf, and she told the Orlando Sentinel she's praying for a miracle.
Chitwood Doesn't Back Down From 'Scumbag' Comments (DeLand, FL) -- Volusia County's sheriff has more harsh words for the government's leaders. After calling county committee members scumbags the day before, Sheriff Mike Chitwood yesterday called the county attorney a slimeball and Chairman Ed Kelley a puppet. Chitwood took issue with the commission Tuesday night when they voted to legally challenge Amendment 10, which would give Chitwood more control over his department's budget and personnel. Kelley, yesterday, said Chitwood is being childish.
Bay County Elections Official Defends Controversial Decision (Sarasota, FL) -- The man in charge of Bay County's elections has no regrets about a decision that left him open to criticism. Elections Supervisor Mark Anderson allowed residents, last month, to vote by fax and email because of the damage caused by Hurricane Michael. At a meeting yesterday in Sarasota with other elections officials, Anderson said he did what was needed at the time and took care of his voters. Over a hundred ballots were submitted by fax or email, and Senator Bill Nelson sued to get those ballots invalidated, but no ruling has been issued.
FHP Trooper Released From Hospital After Saving Man (Hobe Sound, FL) -- An FHP Trooper is out of the hospital a day after a heroic act. Investigators say Trooper Mithil Patel was talking with a motorist on I-95 yesterday when a car spun out of control and headed toward them. Patel pushed the other man out of harm's way, and the trooper was the one who got hit. The man who was pushed out of the way is thanking Patel for saving his life.
SeaWorld Announces Raises (Orlando, FL) -- There's good news for SeaWorld employees just in time for the holidays. The theme park announced yesterday that employees at all three parks will get raises next week. Hourly employees will get an extra dollar an hour starting on Monday. Disney and Universal had already announced pay raises, and SeaWorld says it needed to raise its pay to stay competitive.
Brightest Comet Of Year Coming This Month (Undated) -- The brightest comet of the year will shoot past Earth later this month. The website EarthSky says the comet will be closest to us on Sunday, December 16th. It will be one of the ten closest to Earth since 1950 and the 20th closest approach since the ninth century. The comet and fuzzy-looking area around it will be two to three times the diameter of the moon. The comet should be visible to the naked eye, but using binoculars or a small telescope will give the best views, particularly away from city lights.
PETA Encourages Using Less "Anti-Animal Language" (Los Angeles, CA) -- Some animal rights activists may be beating a dead horse as they try to encourage people to stop using idioms considered to be "anti-animal language." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, says phrases that involve animals should be made more animal friendly. Instead of saying "bring home the bacon," PETA suggests "bring home the bagels." Or use the phrase "be the test tube" instead of "being a guinea pig." Online trolls went to Twitter to make fun of the movement with comments saying "bringing HOME the bagels" is insensitive language to the homeless and those with "non-celiac gluten intolerance."
TODAY IN HISTORY:
1923, President Calvin Coolidge's address to a joint session of Congress became the first presidential address broadcast on radio.
1877, Thomas Edison demonstrated the first sound recording, reciting "Mary had a Little Lamb."
1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery.
1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland.
1768, the first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica was published in Scotland.