Parkland Commission Submits Report On Shooting (Sunrise, FL) -- Almost a year after the Parkland school shooting, there's a lack of urgency to enact basic safety principles. That's one of the conclusions reached by a committee formed to study the shooting and recommend changes. The report released yesterday says everyone needs to embrace the opportunity to change and make Florida schools the safest in the country. The report includes several suggestions, like arming teachers, and issuing bulletproof vests and rifles to all SROs.
Lakeland Employee Arrested On Child Sex Charges (Lakeland, FL) -- An arrest in Polk County could serve as a warning to parents. Deputies announced yesterday that Lakeland 36-year-old John Waldau was arrested for having sex with a girl he met online. Deputies say Waldau, who works in Lakeland's Public Works Department, met the 16-year-old through Facebook Messenger. Sheriff Grady Judd says he encourages parents to actively monitor their children's online activities.
Brevard County Ghost Ship Demolished (Melbourne Beach, FL) -- A remnant of Hurricane Irma and a temporary Brevard County landmark is no more. The ghost ship Cuki was torn apart yesterday in Melbourne Beach and hauled away to a landfill in Cocoa. The 45-foot sailboat was docked in Key West before Irma blew it more than 300 miles north last year to Spessard Holland South Beach Park. While the ship became a popular attraction for photographers, the FWC tells Florida Today it was a critical danger to the public.
Shark Tagged In Cape Cod Pinged In Brevard County (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- Snowbirds aren't the only ones who head south for the winter. Researchers at Ocearch say a great white shark tagged off Cape Cod pinged yesterday morning off Brevard County near the Kennedy Space Center. The 14-footer named Katharine has apparently been in Florida waters for over a month and also pinged off Martin County. Ocearch says she has swum almost 40-thousand miles in the last few months.
Customer Attacks Employee At St. Pete McDonald's (St. Petersburg, FL) -- A homeless man is facing charges after his desire for a straw turned violent at a St. Petersburg McDonald's. Police say 40-year-old Daniel Taylor wanted a straw on New Year's Eve, and when the clerk told him the law didn't allow them to place straws out, he attacked her. A Facebook video taken inside the restaurant shows Taylor reaching over the counter and grabbing the woman's shirt before she punches him. He's also accused of kicking another employee in the stomach, and police believe he was drunk.
Netflix Warns Against Bird Box Challenge (Los Angeles, CA) -- Netflix is warning people not to try the Bird Box Challenge. The Internet meme was spawned by the Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock as a woman who leads her children to safety while blindfolded. People have been posting videos showing themselves and others trying to do simple things without sight, often failing in their efforts. The streaming service says on its Twitter page that they don't want people going to the hospital because of the challenge.
Arizona Residents Attacking Google's Self-Driving Cars (Chandler, AZ) -- It appears not everyone is a fan of a self-driving car service and the potential they have to radically change how Americans commute. Some residents in Chandler, Arizona have been attacking Waymo's vehicles. The New York Times reports that tires have been slashed, rocks were thrown and at least one person tried to run a car off the road. The Arizona Republic reported there have been at least 21 attacks against Waymo vehicles in nearly two years of testing. Waymo's parent company is Alphabet, which is also the parent company of Google. One employee saw a shirtless man aiming a gun at a Waymo van. Although they are self-driving car, for now employees are riding in the cars as an added safety precaution.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
1997, Bryant Gumbel hosted NBC's "Today" show for the final time. He was replaced by Matt Lauer.
1973, CBS sold the New York Yankees baseball club to a 12-member group headed by George Steinbrenner. The team sold for ten-million dollars.
1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the Union.
1938, "The Mothers March" was organized to fight infantile paralysis. It later became "The March of Dimes."
1920, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold pitcher-outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for 125-thousand dollars and a 350-thousand dollar loan.