Suspected Sebring Shooter Appears In Court (Sebring, FL) -- The mass killing in Highlands County appears to be a random act of violence. Deputies said yesterday there's still no known motive in Wednesday's shooting in Sebring at a SunTrust Bank branch. A female customer and four female employees were killed. Twenty-one-year-old suspect Zephen Xaver [[ ZEF-en ZAY-ver ]] was in court yesterday and was denied bond.
Former Seminole County Official Resigns Over Blackface Photo (Tallahassee, FL) -- The past of a former Seminole County official is coming back to haunt him. Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel resigned yesterday after a Tallahassee newspaper obtained a photo of him in blackface. The picture was taken in 2005 at a Halloween party when Ertel was Seminole County's elections supervisor. Governor Ron DeSantis named the 49-year-old as secretary of state less than a month ago. DeSantis said he accepted the resignation because he didn't want to get mired into any side controversies. He also said he wants to hire people who can lead without these things swirling around them.
UCF's Whittaker Stripped Of Bonuses (Orlando, FL) -- Two UCF officials will pay the price for illegal spending. The school's board of trustees yesterday voted to strip President Dale Whittaker and former CFO Bill Merck of performance bonuses this year and last year. State officials discovered last year that the school broke state law when it used operations money for building construction. Whittaker will lose more than a hundred thousand dollars, while Merck will lose more than 90-thousand dollars.
SpaceX Conducts Test Of Crew Dragon Craft (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- A space flight expected to draw big crowds could be a step closer to launch. SpaceX yesterday test fired a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center. If the test results look OK, a launch could be set for next month of an unmanned crew to the International Space Station. If that flight goes OK, then a manned crew could blast off as soon as this summer.
Florida Based Publix One Of Most Admired Companies In World (Polk County, FL) -- Florida based Publix is getting more positive national and international attention. Fortune magazine is ranking the supermarket chain among the most admired companies in the world. On its newest list, Publix has the 45th best reputation among American companies. In the past Publix has also been called America's favorite grocery chain, and one of the Best Companies to Work For.
Hawaii Is Worst And Oregon Is Best For Drivers (Undated) -- Oregon is the best and Hawaii is the worst for owning and operating a motor vehicle. That's according to Wallethub's new 50 state rankings, based on total cost of ownership, traffic and infrastructure, safety factors and access to vehicles and maintenance. Behind Oregon, the top five states for drivers are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Texas. Just beating out Hawaii at the bottom of the list are Alaska, Washington, California and New Hampshire.
Puppy Lives After Being Shot In The Head With Arrow (Columbia, SC) -- Veterinarians in South Carolina say a five month old puppy will survive after it was shot in the head with an arrow. The owners of the puppy said they found their recently-adopted family member Loca on their back porch with an arrow through her head. When they took her to the vet, they said the arrow somehow missed her esophagus, brain and spine and were able to surgically remove it. Loca has gone home with her family and is recovering.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
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.
1945, First Lieutenant Audie Murphy earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was given the heroism award for ordering his troops to retreat, then using a blazing tank destroyer to singlehandedly hold off German forces. He then ordered an artillery strike on his own position.
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.