TESS Launches From Cape Canaveral (Cape Canaveral, FL) -- A new search to find life in outer space is underway after a launch from Cape Canaveral. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 6:50 last night from Launch Complex 40. The rocket was carrying a satellite called TESS that will search space for the next two years looking for signs of more planets. A scientist working on the project tells "Florida Today" TESS is the first step toward finding habitable planets.
Parents Vent Anger At Broward School Leaders (Plantation, FL) -- With almost two decades to plan for the worst, Broward School leaders failed to protect its students in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. That's what one parent said last night at a school security forum at Plantation High School. That parent was speaking in reference to the 1999 Columbine shooting and asking why better security wasn't in place ahead of February's deadly shooting. The "South Florida Sun-Sentinel" reports hundreds showed up to vent their anger at district officials, and Superintendent Robert Runcie asked parents for their patience and collaboration as security changes are implemented.
Parkland School Shooting Victim Sues Shooter, Family (Broward County, FL) -- A Parkland school shooting survivor is now the first victim of the Valentine's Day rampage to file a lawsuit. Lawyers for 15-year-old Anthony Borges are suing shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, his late mother's estate, the family that took him in after his mother died, and three mental health facilities that treated him. Witnesses say Borges blocked a classroom doorway with his body and was shot five times while protecting classmates.
Investigation Finds Police Officer Stole From Dead Person (Winter Park, FL) -- A report released yesterday says a police officer is accused of stealing from a dead person. Former Winter Park Officer Frank Cowart has been charged with grand theft. The report obtained by the "Orlando Sentinel" says Cowart once stole over a hundred dollars from the subject of a death investigation and that he also kept sensitive evidence at his home. The 44-year-old resigned last month after more than 15 years with the department.
Police Officer Accused Of Having Rendezvous At Work (New Smyrna Beach, FL) -- Another police officer is accused of inappropriately mixing his work life and love life. New Smyrna Beach Officer Beau Estrada is accused in a new internal report of meeting women in parks, where he would kiss and, in one case, have sex with the women. Channel 9 reports Estrada admitted to meeting women on the job but denied having sex while on duty. He resigned three months ago after the investigation was launched.
Parents Accused Of Taking Child Along For Drive-By Shooting (Panama City, FL) -- In addition to planning a drive-by shooting, a Bay County couple is also facing charges for who they had in the car with them at the time. Terry and Candias Boyer were in court yesterday for having two minors with them during the incident more than two weeks ago in Panama City. Police say a 16-year-old told the couple he was attacked at Macedonia Garden Apartments on West 17th Street, and the couple then drove to the complex along with the boy and their 15-year-old son to find the attacker. They didn't find anyone, but police tell the "News Herald" Terry Boyer fired six shots from his van anyway and fled the scene.
Doctor Looking At 10 Years In Prison For Fraud (London, KY) -- A Kentucky doctor could spend a decade behind bars for placing pacemakers in patients that didn't need them. An eastern Kentucky jury recently convicted Dr. Anis Chalhoub of fraud for the un-needed procedures and billing the government as well as private insurance companies for the surgeries. Federal prosecutors say Chalhoub implanted dozens of the devices over a period of several years in many who did not need them and even put pressure on patients to approve the procedures. Chalhoub had been working in the Kentucky town of London and will be sentenced over the summer.
Teacher Disciplined For Classroom Breakfast (Lancaster, PA) -- A Pennsylvania teacher is being disciplined but not fired for making pancakes for students in class. Kyle Byler brought in a skillet and made each student in the class a pancake while standardized testing was taking place. His good deed caught the attention of the School District of Lancaster and he found himself in a bit of trouble. Officials were concerned that Byler's breakfast distracted the teacher from the required duties as a test proctor and free breakfasts were being offered anyway. The District calls the matter resolved and Byler is resuming his teaching duties.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
2013, after an intense manhunt authorities captured the second suspect linked to the Boston Marathon bombings earlier in the week. The first suspect was killed in a shootout with police hours earlier.
1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 500. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted of planning and committing the crime.
1993, a 51-day standoff came to an end when FBI agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Branch Davidian leader David Koresh and more than 80 other cult members died when the compound burned to the ground.
1987, "The Simpsons" premiered on the Fox network as a bumper comedy bit between sketches on "The Tracey Ullman Show."
1775, the Revolutionary War began with battles at Lexington and Concord when the British fired "The Shot Heard 'Round The World." THE BATTLE BETWEEN THOSE CITIES GOES ON AS TO WHICH WAS THE FIRST.