Your Florida Daily: Man to be executed, US Rep. Matt Gaetz’s father Don seeks return to Florida Senate chamber

Plus, an animal graveyard inside a legendary Key West restaurant

Michael Duane Zack III (Florida Department of Corrections)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A man is scheduled to die by lethal injection over 25 years after he killed women het met in north Florida bars during a nine-day string of crimes.

Michael Zack III is set to die at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the murder of Ravonne Smith.

Smith was a bar employee Zack befriended in Pensacola Beach. He later beat, raped and stabbed her with an oyster knife in June 1996.

Zack was 27 at the time.

He was also convicted and separately sentenced to life in prison for strangling Laura Rosillo, who he met at a bar in a nearby county the day before Smith’s murder.

Zack’s lawyers tried to stop the execution, arguing he is a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and posttraumatic stress disorder but the U.S. Supreme Court denied Zack’s appeal.

Zack’s execution would be the eighth under Gov. Ron DeSantis.

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2012, file photo State Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, left, is sworn in as Senate president by his son, state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, as his daughter, Erin, holds the family bible on Tuesday, Nov. 20, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Bill Cotterell, File)

Don Gaetz, the father of Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, said he plans to run again for the Florida Senate.

He led the chamber as president from 2012 to 2014, serving in the state Senate from 2006 to 2016.

Now 75, the elder Gaetz said his decision to seek a return to Tallahassee has no bearing on what his son might do.

Meantime, Congressman Gaetz is following through with his threat to try and remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

Kevin McCarthy likes to pretend that he makes coalition with conservatives, but all he really does is break his word with conservatives

Gaetz announced his resolution Monday night.

“Kevin McCarthy likes to pretend that he makes coalition with conservatives, but all he really does is break his word with conservatives,” Gaetz said.

He and other conservative lawmakers say McCarthy broke promises when he worked with democrats to come up with a stop gap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

FILE - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, Friday, July 28, 2023. A top European Union official said Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, that the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, is the biggest source of fake news and urged owner Elon Musk to comply with the bloc's laws aimed at combating disinformation. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A Florida company has filed a federal lawsuit against Elon Musk’s X Crop. over its renaming of Twitter, according to a report from Reuters.

X Social Media LLC, an legal marketing agency cased in Windermere and claims X Corp., formerly Twitter, infringes its trademark incorporating the letter “X.”

The lawsuit claims X Social Media has already suffered loss in revenue from the rebranding and that X violates the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

They’re asking the court to force Musk’s company to stop using the “X” name and requested an unspecified amount of money damages.

Random Florida Fact

A Key West restaurant, beloved by locals and visitors alike, is also a hot spot for feral chickens.

Blue Heaven has been many things over the years, including an ice cream shop and pool hall frequented by Ernest Hemingway.

In fact, Blue Heaven has a small graveyard for some of Hemingway’s polydactyl felines as well as the roosters and fighting cocks... the descendants of which now roam the Keys freely.

About the Author:

Katrina Scales is a producer for the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m. She also writes and voices the podcast Your Florida Daily. Katrina was born and raised in Brevard County and started her journalism career in radio before joining News 6 in June 2021.