Final Suspect In Sex Trafficking Ring Surrenders (St. Petersburg, FL) -- A Marion County boy is believed to be the victim of sex trafficking. St. Petersburg police announced this week that the teenager was found in a trailer where, for about a year, he was repeatedly raped by four men. Six suspects were arrested, and yesterday, the seventh suspect turned himself in. The 16-year-old is now getting treatment.
AdventHealth Employee Facing Child Porn Charges (Orlando, FL) -- An Orlando medical professional who works with children is facing child porn charges. A respiratory therapist at AdventHealth Hospital was arrested yesterday for allegedly sending child porn images to an undercover FBI agent over the last three months. The man told investigators he has worked at the hospital for 15 years, and while he works primarily with children, he says he has never inappropriately touched a child. The hospital has placed him on unpaid leave.
Daytona Beach To Discuss New Panhandling Laws (Daytona Beach, FL) -- Panhandling will be the subject of a special meeting in Volusia County today. The Daytona Beach City Commission will discuss new laws meant to crack down on panhandling. There's a proposal to be voted on next week that would limit where panhandling can take place. Today's meeting starts at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.
Protesters Call For Runcie's Resignation (Fort Lauderdale, FL) -- Broward's schools superintendent says the district needs the stability he provides. Robert Runcie issued a statement yesterday after protesters at a school board meeting called for his resignation. Runcie says his leadership is needed to move the district forward. Runcie has been criticized ever since last year's deadly shooting in Parkland, and protesters say more than seven thousand people have signed a petition calling for his removal.
Parents Call For Change In School's Transgender Policy (New Port Richey, FL) -- Transgender rights are the subject of a debate in Pasco County. Parents yesterday told school board members they want the school to stop a transgender student, who was born female, from using the boy's locker room in PE class at Chasco Middle School. The school district relies on state law when it comes to transgender issues, but that makes a PE teacher and some parents uncomfortable. The teacher told the board it's not appropriate for a 14-year-old girl to undress in front of an adult male and 30 boys.
OIR Discusses Insurance Reform (Tallahassee, FL) -- Artificial intelligence could do something lawmakers have been unable to do - drastically reduce car insurance rates. The Office of Insurance Regulation held a conference in Tallahassee yesterday. Lawmakers and experts discussed how AI is changing driving and how it will change how we buy car insurance. Tampa Bay State Senator Jeff Brandes [[ BRAN-diss ]] also says AI will reduce accidents, which could bring more competition into the car insurance market and drive down prices.
Eagles Fan Accused Of Assaulting Girlfriend, Putting Dog In Microwave After Playoff Loss (Philadelphia, PA) -- A Philadelphia Eagles fan's weekend went from bad to worse following the team's playoff loss on Sunday. Reports say Kirsten Gaskins was allegedly intoxicated and upset over the loss when she got into an argument with her girlfriend at their hotel. Gaskins shoved the woman to the ground and started hitting her in the face, telling the victim if she left the room she would put the dog in the microwave and kill it. Police responded to the scene shortly after and arrested Gaskins. While searching the room, police found a Pomeranian inside the microwave unharmed. Gaskins is now facing multiple charges.
Man Tries To Evade Authorities By Pinning Crime On Twin Brother (Baton Rouge, LA) -- Law enforcement in Baton Rouge, Louisiana say an alleged alcohol thief tried to evade jail time by blaming his twin brother. Deputies say they responded to a call at a local Walmart where Terry Nicholas and a second suspect had tried to steal more than five-hundred-dollars worth of alcohol. When Nicholas was being processed, he gave deputies his twin brother's name instead of his own. When the innocent twin was summoned for court, he told the judge his brother used his name during the arrest. After comparing finger prints, charges against the innocent twin were dropped and police charged the other suspect with the crimes.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
1991, Operation Desert Storm began when United States and allied military forces launched air raids on Iraq. The attack was an effort to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
1973, "Bonanza" aired for the final time on NBC. The popular western drama had been on the air for more than 13 years.
1883, the United States Civil Service Commission was established.