Judge says Florida migrant flights lawsuit needs changes
A Leon County circuit judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a South Florida senator challenging the use of state funds to transport migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, but advised how to revamp the legal complaint so the case can move forward.
Florida judge rules Gov. DeSantis must hand over records on migrant flights
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Leon County circuit judge ruled Tuesday that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration did not comply with the public records law in the fallout of that migrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard. Administrators are trying to expel himAn open-government group sued the DeSantis administration, saying the office didn’t turn over public records. Read: Deputies: Central Florida man caught on video pouring bleach into coworker’s drinkA judge agreed and ordered the governor’s office to hand them over in the next 20 days. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
Florida man fatally stabs victim after he ‘disrespected him’, deputies say
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A man died Thursday after being stabbed multiple times in a parking lot in Tallahassee. Leon County sheriff’s deputies found a man who had been stabbed “two or three times,” according to WTXL. Sheriff’s deputies later found 67-year-old Orlando Estrada-Cabrera nearby covered in blood. He admitted to the deputies that he stabbed the victim, according to WCTV. A witness told WTXL that the victim had made a “disrespectful statement” about Estrada-Cabrera, which escalated into an argument.wftv.com
Florida girl, 16, not ‘mature’ enough for abortion, court rules
An appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that a parentless 16-year-old girl in the Florida Panhandle is not “sufficiently mature” to end her pregnancy while seeking a waiver from a state law requiring minors to get parental consent for an abortion.
Judge rules Florida’s 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional
Judge rules Florida’s 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional (WFTV)ORLANDO, Fla. — A Leon County judge has ruled that Florida’s 15-week abortion law is unconstitutional under the state constitution. Even though the judge issued a temporary statewide injunction Thursday, the ruling still needs to be written out before it can take effect. Read: With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, some worry women of color will be affected mostUntil that happens, the 15-week ban will become effective midnight Friday. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live. ©2022 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
Happening Thursday: Judge expected to make decision in 15-week abortion law
Judge’s decision may impact people traveling to Florida for abortionsORLANDO, Fla. — The fate of Florida’s abortion law lies in the hands of a judge. The overturning of Roe v. Wade is impacting the nation in more ways than one as the pro-life/pro-choice battle continues. READ: Central Florida reacts to the overturning of Roe v. WadeOn Thursday, we should find out if Florida’s 24-week abortion law will be shortened to 15 weeks. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stores selling Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, took a hit. READ: Central Florida reacts: Credit card companies raising holds at gas stationsRite Aid has limited purchases to three per customer.wftv.com
Judge’s decision may impact people traveling to Florida for abortions
Video: Judge’s decision may impact people traveling to Florida for abortions A Leon County judge will hear arguments Monday on whether to block Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. READ: Florida’s privacy measure protects abortion, providers argueThe change to Florida’s abortion law will go into effect on Friday, but the judge could issue a temporary injunction. Some people in Central Florida are worried about the impact this could have on people traveling to the state to get abortions now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. WATCH: Roe v. Wade overturned: Which states will ban abortion; where will they remain legal? Shirvell has been lobbying to abolish abortion and looks forward to the possibilities of further restrictions now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.wftv.com
Escaped Killer With Links to Mexican Mafia Is Killed After Texas Cops Find Five Bodies
U.S. Marshals via KHOU11An escaped convict with alleged links to the Mexican mafia was killed in a dramatic shootout with authorities Thursday night, hours after he killed five members of the same family in a Texas holiday cabin, authorities said.Gonzalo Lopez, a convicted killer, was being transported via prison bus on May 12 when he managed to break out of his shackles, stab a corrections officer, and flee on foot into a cow pasture. The 46-year-old fugitive was added to Texas’ Most Wanted lisnews.yahoo.com
Search for Texas inmate expands as land, air operations end
The search by ground and air in the Texas county where a convicted murderer escaped from a prison transport bus and stabbed the driver last week has concluded as the hunt for him expands, authorities said Friday. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was being transported to a medical appointment on May 12 in a caged area of the bus when he escaped in Leon County, a rural area between Dallas and Houston, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has said.news.yahoo.com
Texas inmate who escaped bus got out of restraints, cage
A convicted murderer who escaped from a transport bus last week got out of his restraints and a caged area before stabbing the driver, and he is still on the run Wednesday, authorities said. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, who was serving a life sentence, was being transported to a medical appointment on May 12 in a caged area of the bus designated for high-risk inmates, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in statement offering new details on the escape. As Lopez was being transported, he somehow freed himself from his hand and leg restraints, cut through the expanded metal of the cage and crawled out the bottom, the department said.news.yahoo.com
Florida House passes bill to limit race-related instruction in schools, workplaces
Overriding objections from Democrats who called the measure “wrong on all levels,” the Republican-controlled Florida House on Thursday passed a bill that would limit how race-related concepts are taught in schools and in workplace training sessions.
Texas family, including 3 children, killed in house fire
Fire kills 5: A Texas family of five died in an overnight fire. (Katifcam/iStock)LEON COUNTY, Texas — A Texas family of five, including three young children, died in a house fire late Saturday night, authorities said. “It is with a heavy heart that Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis reports that a house fire claimed the lives of a family of five in the Flynn area,” the Leon County Sheriff’s Office stated in a Facebook post. According to Wiese’s Facebook page, she and TJ Donahoe became engaged in October 2019 after dating for approximately 10 months. Ellis said the fire is being investigated by the sheriff’s office and the state fire marshal’s office, KXXV reported.wftv.com
Court refuses to hear case against Florida over ‘medically fragile’ children
Nearly a decade after concerns emerged about “medically fragile” children being placed in nursing homes, a federal appeals court will not reconsider a decision that allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue a lawsuit against Florida.
Florida special legislative session to address vaccine mandates this week
When Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature kicks off its special session Monday, lawmakers will consider several bills aimed at banning vaccine mandates and empowering parents to challenge vaccine and mask mandates in schools.
Florida fines key county $3.5 million for mandating vaccines
Florida has issued its first fine to a county it says violated a new state law banning coronavirus vaccine mandates and for firing 14 workers who failed to get the shots. The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday issued the $3.5 million fine for Leon County, home to the state capital, saying the municipality violated Florida's “vaccine passport" law, which prohibits businesses and governments from requiring people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. “These are people that, presumably, have been serving throughout this whole time and now all of a sudden they’re basically getting kicked to the curb,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference in St. Pete Beach.news.yahoo.com
Florida woman given 30 years in husband's homicide
A Leon County circuit judge handed down the sentence for Denise Williams, rejecting arguments from her attorney that she was only a minor participant in the plot to kill her husband, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Mike Williams, a 31-year-old real estate appraiser, disappeared in December 2000 during what was supposedly a solo duck hunting trip to a lake in Jackson County.news.yahoo.com
Judge Issues Written Ruling Barring DeSantis from Banning Mask Mandates or Enforcing Order, But Appeal Is Imminent
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper on Thursday released a written ruling that said Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his constitutional authority in a July 30 executive order that sought to prevent school districts from requiring students to wear masks. Cooper issued an injunction barring the state Department of Education, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and the State Board of Education from enforcing DeSantis’ order. DeSantis’ executive order triggered a state Department of Health rule that, in part, said parents must be able to opt out of student mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. DeSantis has maintained that he is confident that the 1st District Court of Appeal will overturn Cooper’s ruling.flaglerlive.com
Judge signs order giving Florida school boards power to issue mask mandates to combat COVID
Florida school districts can legally require their students to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper filed his decision he made during a ruling last week.
Schools to discuss potential mask policies after judge’s ruling
ORLANDO, FLa. — After a Leon County judge ruled last week that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates for students is unconstitutional, many school districts are now looking at requiring masks for classrooms. Orange County was one of several school districts that defied DeSantis’ executive order and voted to implement a mask mandate last week. 1/4 — ocpsnews (@OCPSnews) August 25, 2021Brevard and Lake counties have scheduled meetings on Monday to discuss whether to implement a mask mandate for their respective districts. Lake County Schools emailed an important COVID-19 update to parents this evening.wftv.com
‘It’s a great victory:’ Orange County School Board Chair, teacher’s union praises ruling on masks
Orange County Schools was the only school district in Central Florida to join 9 others, in enacting mask mandates despite the Governor's executive order banning school districts from doing so. However, after a Leon County judge ruled districts actually can enact masks mandates, Orange County School Board Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs felt relief.
Pressure is mounting for Orange County Public Schools as parents, teachers call for mask mandate
Outside of the Orange County Public School headquarters, pressure is mounting for the school board to enact mask mandates with no option of opting out as parents, teachers and educators call for a mask mandate.
DeSantis signs COVID-19 liability bill, promises action against vaccine passports
Ron DeSantis signed a new bill into law, protecting businesses, schools and other institutions from liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic during a somewhat unconventional news conference Monday in Tallahassee. Before the governor spoke, Highway 85, a band based in Tallahassee, performed a rendition of The Beatles’ “With a little help from my friends.”When The Governor’s calls and wants Highway 85, they get Highway 85! Tune in to The Florida Channel at 12:55 for the press conference 😎😎😎 Posted by Highway 85 on Monday, March 29, 2021Following the song, the governor spoke about SB 72. “What this bill does, it says if you’re doing the right things, you’re protected,” Sprowls said. Ad“I also think that this particular vaccine would be totally inappropriate to mandate for kids, given how low of a risk kids are to COVID-19,” DeSantis said.
Appeals Court Tosses GOP Challenge to Mask Mandate
An appeals court has tossed out a challenge by the Leon County Republican Party chairman to a county requirement that people wear face masks to try to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by Leon County GOP Chairman Evan Power after a circuit judge rejected the challenge in July. Sabatini, who has been an outspoken critic of face-mask requirements, filed a notice of appeal at the Tallahassee-based appeals court on July 30. But attorneys for Leon County filed a court document Oct. 22 saying an initial brief had not been served within a 70-day timeframe. The Leon County case was one of several challenges to mask requirements in various parts of the state.flaglerlive.com
Florida state Rep. Sabatini misses filing deadline in COVID case challenging Leon County's mask requirement
click to enlarge Photo via News Service of FloridaState Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, is attorney in a case challenging the mask ordinance. An attorney for Leon County Republican Chairman Evan Power faces a new deadline to file a brief in a challenge to a county ordinance requiring people to wear face masks — or the case could be dismissed.The 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday gave Power’s attorney, state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, 20 days to file an initial brief. The move came after attorneys for Leon County said Sabatini had missed an Oct. 8 deadline.Power and Sabatini went to the appeals court this summer after a Leon County circuit judge upheld the constitutionality of an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Circuit Judge John Cooper issued a 27-page final judgment rejecting arguments that the ordinance violates a series of constitutional rights, including rights to privacy and due process. At least three of the cases are pending at the 1st District Court of Appeal.orlandoweekly.com
Florida activists released from jail after rally over police shootings
Leon County jail records showed most were taken into custody for resisting officers and assembling unlawfully. They were met by a phalanx of law officers from the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, as well officers from the nearby Capitol and Florida State University. For months, activists have staged rallies in Tallahassee to bring attention to police killings they say were unjustified. The incident led Leon County to put in place a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. While the grand jury declined to hand down indictments against the police officers, it found areas of concern.
‘Parental choice works:’ Florida governor, White House task force doctor tout reopening schools
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida education leaders joined the governor and medical professionals Monday to reinforce the state’s stance on reopening schools and allowing in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Do the virtual, and really not fall far behind,” DeSantis said about the enhanced virtual opportunities available to students. Atlas was making at least three stops with DeSantis around the state Monday, including in Tampa and The Villages. “If you have a cough you’re three times as likely to spread than if you don’t have a cough,” he said. “We have the data, there’s extraordinarily low risk in children, there’s extraordinarily very low risk in everybody else in the school.
Judge sides with Florida teachers, rejects putting schools ruling on hold
Siding with teachers unions, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday lifted a stay of his earlier ruling that a state order requiring schools to reopen in August is unconstitutional. Under law, that notice of appeal automatically placed a stay on Dodson’s ruling --- effectively putting it on hold until the Tallahassee-based appeals court can resolve the case. Late Tuesday, attorneys for the Florida Education Association and the Orange County teachers union asked Dodson to lift the stay. In Thursday’s order, Dodson scolded the state for misrepresenting his temporary injunction. What the order did, for the reasons stated, is require that local school districts be given authority under their individual circumstances to open or close the local schools, based on local conditions,” the judge wrote.
Judge weighs future of Florida unemployment lawsuit
After four hours of arguments Monday, a Leon County circuit judge will decide whether to move forward with a potential class-action lawsuit stemming from massive problems in Florida’s unemployment-compensation system. Attorneys for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting, a contractor that helped put the online system in place in 2013, argued that Judge John Cooper should dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed after a crush of coronavirus-caused unemployment claims overwhelmed the system this spring. Cooper last month rejected a preliminary injunction that plaintiffs sought to force the Department of Economic Opportunity to “fix” the system. Department of Economic Opportunity attorney Daniel Nordby argued Monday, in part, that the lawsuit should be dismissed because of the constitutional separation of powers between judges and the executive branch. The plaintiffs’ attorneys filed the lawsuit in April after major problems with Florida’s CONNECT online unemployment system, which even Gov.
Florida NRA leader questions local coronavirus stats, suggests they're 'deliberately deceptive'
Marion P. Hammer, the NRA's longtime lobbyist in Florida and a former NRA president, wrote an email to county officials, which she forwarded to the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday. Publishing the cumulative number without publishing the current number of active cases is deliberately deceptive, said Hammer, also the executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, in the email. Shes scared to death to go out.Hammers latest message to county officials marks her second alarm involving the coronavirus. But Leon County is publicly disclosing the best available data on COVID-19 infections, County Administrator Vince Long said. This story originally published to tallahassee.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.dailycommercial.com
Florida NRA leader questions local coronavirus stats, suggests they're 'deliberately deceptive'
Marion P. Hammer, the NRA's longtime lobbyist in Florida and a former NRA president, wrote an email to county officials, which she forwarded to the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday. Publishing the cumulative number without publishing the current number of active cases is deliberately deceptive, said Hammer, also the executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, in the email. Shes scared to death to go out.Hammers latest message to county officials marks her second alarm involving the coronavirus. But Leon County is publicly disclosing the best available data on COVID-19 infections, County Administrator Vince Long said. This story originally published to tallahassee.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.news-journalonline.com
Florida NRA leader questions local coronavirus stats, suggests they're 'deliberately deceptive'
Marion P. Hammer, the NRA's longtime lobbyist in Florida and a former NRA president, wrote an email to county officials, which she forwarded to the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday. Publishing the cumulative number without publishing the current number of active cases is deliberately deceptive, said Hammer, also the executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, in the email. Shes scared to death to go out.Hammers latest message to county officials marks her second alarm involving the coronavirus. But Leon County is publicly disclosing the best available data on COVID-19 infections, County Administrator Vince Long said. This story originally published to tallahassee.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.ocala.com
LIST: Damaged COVID-19 tests came from these testing sites in Florida
Published: May 21, 2020, 5:56 pm Updated: May 22, 2020, 10:11 amORANGE COUNTY, Fla. The Florida Department of Health has released a list of coronavirus testing sites where tests were damaged. The Department of Health said 1,702 tests were damaged in transit. Anyone who used a damaged test will have to be retested. Someone who used a damaged test will be contacted as soon as possible, according to the Department of Health. More than 90,000 tests were administered at these sites above in May.
Coronavirus: Judge rejects Florida unemployment claims lawsuit
TALLAHASSEE A Leon County circuit judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force the state to process and pay unemployment claims that have been delayed amid a crush of people losing jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The potential class-action lawsuit was filed last month as the states CONNECT unemployment system faced massive problems. From March 15 to Tuesday, the state system received more than 1.8 million unemployment claims, of which more than 1.1 million were considered unique, with the difference due to duplicates or incomplete paperwork. Of the unique claims, nearly 770,000 had been processed as of Tuesday. During the hearing, attorneys for unemployed people pleaded with Dempsey to issue an order directing the state to get the claims resolved.news-journalonline.com
Mother, boyfriend at center of Apopka Amber Alert booked into Orange County Jail
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The couple at the center of an Amber Alert for a 3-year-old Apopka girl was transferred Thursday from Leon County to Orange County to face charges. Officers said Madeline Meija was taken Monday morning without force by her biological mother Tania Duarte, 19, and her mothers’ boyfriend Kevin Smith Olmedo-Velis, 19. Both 19-year-old suspects were booked into the Orange County Jail Thursday at 2:50 p.m.Police said Madeline’s father mislead officers at first, saying his daughter abducted by strangers from the front yard. Investigators said Lester Mejia was contacted by a relative while at work and informed him Duarte had taken the child. Officers said Mejia called 911 but authorities said Mejia was allegedly told by an unknown dispatcher there was no crime if the mother has the child.
Anaconda owners tangle with state of Florida
Owners and dealers of anacondas asked a Leon County circuit judge last week to issue a preliminary injunction against a new state rule that largely bans anacondas in Florida. Owners and dealers of anacondas asked a Leon County circuit judge last week to issue a preliminary injunction against a new state rule that largely bans anacondas in Florida. The state targeted anacondas, which are native to South America, as part of a move to control invasive species that can harm habitats in Florida. An attorney for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed an 11-page document Wednesday disputing the plaintiffs legal positions. The rule affects possession and sale of three types of anacondas: the yellow anaconda, the Beni anaconda and DeSchauensees anaconda, according to the commission.ocala.com
Siding With Local Governments, Judge Strikes Law Penalizing Officials Who Pass Gun Rules Stricter Than State's | FlaglerLive
Local governments challenged the 2011 law after last years mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. For example, under the 2011 law, local officials could face fines up to $5,000 and potential removal from office. Also, members of the public and organizations could receive damages up to $100,000 and attorney fees if they successfully sued local governments for violations. He also pointed to the constitutional separation of powers, as judges could be asked to rule on penalizing local officials. But the attorneys said local governments refrained from going ahead with the proposals because of the severe chilling effect of the preemption law and penalties.flaglerlive.com
Judge sides with local governments on gun law
Local governments challenged the 2011 law after last years mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. For example, under the 2011 law, local officials could face fines up to $5,000 and potential removal from office. Also, members of the public and organizations could receive damages up to $100,000 and attorney fees if they successfully sued local governments for violations. He also pointed to the constitutional separation of powers, as judges could be asked to rule on penalizing local officials. But the attorneys said local governments refrained from going ahead with the proposals because of the severe chilling effect of the preemption law and penalties.ocala.com