Orlando Agrees To Ambassador Program (Orlando, FL) -- A new program in Orlando will try to stop aggressive panhandling. The Community Redevelopment Agency yesterday agreed to hire ambassadors to help tourists and the homeless.
The CRA and a company called Block by Block agreed to a two-year pilot program. The program is expected to launch in the fall, and the "Orlando Sentinel" reports similar programs are already in place in Miami, Washington, DC and New York City.
Trial Date Set For Movie Theater Shooting Suspect (Dade City, FL) -- A former Tampa police officer accused in a deadly shooting won't go on trial for almost another year. A judge yesterday set Curtis Reeves' trial date for late February of 2019.
That will be more than five years after prosecutors say the 75-year-old shot and killed a man during an argument over the man's cell phone use at a Wesley Chapel movie theater.
Levine Grows Lead In Democratic Primary For Governor (Tallahassee, FL) -- Two Northwest Florida candidates for governor appear to have some big ground to make up in the race for the Democratic nomination. A poll released yesterday shows former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine [[ luh-VEEN ]] leads former Second District Congresswoman Gwen Graham by ten points and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by 18 points.
The Public Policy Polling survey finds Levine, who is white, even leads Gillum, who is black, by eight points among black voters. The poll was paid for by Levine's campaign.
Company Pulls Controversial Video Game (Parkland, FL) -- A video game that led to outrage from those connected to the MSD shooting will not be sold after all. The company called Valve that was going to distribute the game, 'Active Shooter,' online announced last night it's canceling the release that was set for next week.
The game was designed to allow users to play the role of a school shooter, and parents and students in Parkland pressured the company not to release it. The company says it made the decision when it found out the man behind the game was someone they banned once before, who they call a troll.
Police Officer Suspended For Online Comment About Publix Protesters (Coconut Creek, FL) -- A police officer is suspended for online comments about protesters who staged a die-in at a Publix in Coral Springs. Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal (ARE-E-NAL) recently announced he has suspended Officer Brian Valenti without pay for five days, and he also ordered Valenti to undergo sensitivity training.
The suspension came after Valenti wrote on Facebook that he hoped someone would run over the people protesting Publix' financial contributions to the campaign of Adam Putnam, a NRA supporter. One of the organizers of the protest was Parkland activist David Hogg. CBS4 News reports Hogg plans to meet with the chief and maybe the officer.
USGS Responds To Ludicrous Twitter Question (Puna, HI) -- A Twitter user is getting flack after inquiring if one could roast marshmallows over a volcanic lava vent. The U.S. Geological Survey responded to Jay Furr of Vermont, who asked if roasting marshmallows over Kilauea's lava would result in a poisonous treat.
The agency says "that's not safe, please don't try." Another Twitter user admonished Furr in a tweet that said, "stop trolling the USGS. They've got important volcano things to do."
TODAY IN HISTORY:
1985, ABC Television announced all World Series baseball games would be played at night in order to attract the biggest audience possible.
1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1896, the first-ever automobile accident occurred in New York City when Henry Wells struck cyclist Ebeling Thomas who suffered a fractured leg.
1868, Memorial Day was observed for the first time in the United States. It was originally called Decoration Day because General John A Logan had seen women decorating graves of Civil War heroes.
1783, "The Pennsylvania Evening Post" became the first daily newspaper in the United States.