Tag Archives: Florida

One killed and four injured in shooting at Florida ‘ZombiCon’

One person was killed and four others were wounded late Saturday in a shooting incident at a “ZombiCon” festival in Fort Myers, Florida. The suspect is still at large, according to media reports.

The incident reportedly took place at 11:45 p.m. Saturday. The four surviving victims have been taken to a hospital and are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, Lt. Victor Medico of the Fort Myers Police Department reportedly said.

“There was a lot of witnesses down here, there were a lot of people taking pictures, videos with their cellphone,” Medico said. “Anything that could help with this investigation would be greatly appreciated.”

The annual event, during which participants dress as zombies to raise money for charity, was expected to have drawn more than 20,000 people. In a statement, the organizers of the gathering said they were “deeply saddened” by the shooting incident that occurred “within the footprint” of the event.

“We take the safety of our patrons very seriously and take precautions in hiring security and police officers for our annual event,” the organizers, Pushing DaiZies, Inc., said, in astatement posted on Facebook.

Watch video shot at the incident below:

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Obama will be the first president to visit a prison. Here’s why.

Next Thursday, President Barack Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. While that may seem surprising, there’s actually a really simple, if cynical, explanation:

Not only are prisoners generally reviled by society, but a great majority of them can’t vote, reducing the incentive for a politician to care about them.

Only two states — Maine and Vermont — allow everyone to vote regardless of criminal record. Most states don’t let people in prison, on parole, or on probation vote, and 10 limit at least some felons from voting after they’ve completed their sentences, according to the American Civil Liberties Union:

So it’s not in politicians’ self-interest to care about what prisoners think — unless the general public cares, which now appears to be the case as advocacy groups push for big cuts in the incarceration rate.

In fact, Obama is visiting El Reno, the federal medium-security prison near Oklahoma City, to push for criminal justice reforms that would decrease incarceration, according to the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Sari Horwitz.

But the disenfranchisement of prisoners and many with a criminal record also has a more sinister effect: It tends to hit black Americans harder, since they’re incarcerated at disproportionate rates. As a result, more than one-fifth of the black electorate has been blocked from voting in some states.

In Florida, nearly a quarter of the black electorate is disenfranchised

In 2012, more than 5.8 million Americans weren’t legally allowed to vote due to prisoner and felony disenfranchisement, according to data analyzed by the advocacy group Sentencing Project.

Several states prohibited 6 to 11 percent of their electorate from voting. And since black Americans are likelier to go to prison, this had a disproportionate impact on the African-American electorate:

While the overall disenfranchisement rate didn’t break 11 percent, the black disenfranchisement rate topped 20 percent in Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia.

This is only one of the various collateral effects of prison. Other examples include restrictions on employment and bans on receiving welfare benefits, accessing public housing, or qualifying for student loans for higher education.

So not only does prison deprive people of their freedoms while they’re incarcerated, but the punishment can follow people after they’re out.

This extended punishment can sometimes make it much more difficult for ex-inmates to get benefits that would allow them to get a job or education, which might leave them with few options but crime to make ends meet.

And since black people are more likely to be affected, these collateral effects can help perpetuate crime in African-American communities.

But there hasn’t been much incentive for politicians to care about these struggles — because, in many cases, the former and current inmates just couldn’t vote.

Top 10 nude beaches in the world

World’s 10 best nude beaches
Florida’s Haulover Beach is known as “America’s Riviera.” Picture: Osseous/Flickr

ARE you a fan of getting an all-over tan? Then you need to put these best nude beaches from around the world on your bucket list.

According to Fiona Hunt, managing director of Adventure World, getting buff in the buff is a hot travel trend, with many of the beaches below offering opportunities to work out via activities such as beach volleyball or fitness classes.

Don’t giggle. The Greek word “gymnos”, which coined the term gymnasium, means “naked.” In Ancient Greece athletes competed nude because it encouraged aesthetic appreciation of the human body. So there!

Here are the world’s top sandy spots to indulge in the latest exercise craze …

1. Playa las Suecas — Contadora Island, Panama

Playa de las Suecas, Costa Rica. Picture: ThinkStock

Playa las Suecas, Costa Rica. Picture: ThinkStock

Located on Contadora Island, Playa de las Suecas is the only place in Panama you are officially allowed to be completely nude. Perfect for buff beach walks.

2. Haulover Beach — Florida, United States

Haulover Beach, Florida. Picture: Osseous/Flickr

Haulover Beach, Florida. Picture: Osseous/Flickr

Beautiful Haulover Beach is famous known as “America’s Riviera”. So it’s only fitting that this small stretch of bay in Miami has adopted the Mediterranean’s much more liberal approach to beachwear — that is, clothes are absolutely optional.

3. Le Grottes Plage — Costa Azul, France

Les Grottes Plage, France.

Les Grottes Plage, France.

Nestled among a number of nude resorts in the surrounding area on Il du Levant is Le Grottes Plage. While clothing is optional, there aren’t many visitors to the beach that choose to keep clothed. In fact, there are even a number of local restaurants on board where you can grab a bite to eat in the buff without anyone batting an eyelid.

4. Abrico Beach — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abrico Beach, Brazil.

Abrico Beach, Brazil.

Rio is world renowned for its body beautiful locals, however Abrico is the only beach where you are officially allowed to bare all. It has been operating as a naturalist hot spot since the country’s ban on nude beaches was lifted in 2003. Fitness classes are held there every Sunday, weather permitting.

5. Arambol Beach — Goa, India

Arambol Beach, Goa. Picture: ThinkStock

Arambol Beach, Goa. Picture: ThinkStock

Many travellers believe Arambol to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, and perhaps even all of India. Shy travellers may want to cover their modesty with mud from the lake at the end of the rocky lagoon. Locals and tourists alike swear by its restorative properties.

6. Lokrum Island — Dubrovnik, Croatia

Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik. Picture: ThinkStock

Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik. Picture: ThinkStock

Only a short boat ride from Dubrovnik’s old city jetty is Croatia’s naturist haven, Lokrum Island. The far eastern tip is frequented by nude bathers, who stretch out sans clothes on the beach’s large rocks. There are sponge mats available for purchase at one of the kiosks to keep nudists comfortable as they sunbathe.

7. El Torn Beach — Tarragona, Spain

El Torn Beach, Spain. Picture: Albert/Flickr

El Torn Beach, Spain. Picture: Albert/Flickr

While it’s not unusual to see sun-lovers in various states of undress on any of Spain’s beaches, there are a number that are dedicated specifically to nudists and naturists. El Torn, which is adjacent to a nudist campsite, is one of the biggest and most popular nude beaches. It is situated an hour or so south of Barcelona.

8. Black’s Beach — San Diego, United States

Blacks Beach, San Diego. Picture: ThinkStock

Blacks Beach, San Diego. Picture: ThinkStock

Black’s is the largest and most famous nude beach in all of the United States. The swell makes it popular with surfers, while the dress-code or lack thereof, draws naturists from states far and wide.

9. Plakias Beach — Crete, Greece

Plakias Beach, Crete. Picture: ThinkStock

Plakias Beach, Crete. Picture: ThinkStock

Nestled at the bottom of breathtaking cliffs on Crete’s southern edge is Plakias, one of the island’s biggest beaches. Sunbaking and swimming in the nude isn’t the only activity on the agenda here, waterspouts such as scuba diving and windsurfing are also popular with its unabashed visitors.

10. Wreck Beach — Vancouver, Canada

Wreck Beach, Vancouver. Picture: Outdoor PDK/Flickr

Wreck Beach, Vancouver. Picture: Outdoor PDK/Flickr

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver is Wreck Beach. Stretching over 7.8km, it’s North America’s largest nudist beach, and Canada’s first clothing-optional variety. It was even recently nominated as one of the “Seven Wonders of Canada”.

For more information about travelling to these extraordinary destinations, visitwww.adventureworld.com.au, call 1300 363 055 or see your travel agent.

Florida banned state workers from using term ‘climate change’ – report

Florida weather
Florida is threatened by climate change, according to the 2014 US national climate assessment. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex/Sipa Press/Rex

‘Global warming’ and ‘sustainability’ among phrases allegedly barred at state’s Department of Environmental Protection, investigative report finds

Officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency in charge of setting conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws in the state, issued directives in 2011 barring thousands of employees from using the phrases “climate change” and “global warming”, according to a bombshell report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR).

The report ties the alleged policy, which is described as “unwritten”, to the election of Republican governor Rick Scott and his appointment of a new department director that year. Scott, who was re-elected last November, has declined to say whether he believes in climate change caused by human activity.

“I’m not a scientist,” he said in one appearance last May.

Scott’s office did not comment on Sunday, when contacted by the Guardian. A spokesperson for the governor told the FCIR team: “There’s no policy on this.”

The FCIR report was based on statements by multiple named former employees who worked in different DEP offices around Florida. The instruction not to refer to “climate change” came from agency supervisors as well as lawyers, according to the report.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability’,” the report quotes Christopher Byrd, who was an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013, as saying. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

“We were instructed by our regional administrator that we were no longer allowed to use the terms ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ or even ‘sea-level rise’,” said a second former DEP employee, Kristina Trotta. “Sea-level rise was to be referred to as ‘nuisance flooding’.”

According to the employees’ accounts, the ban left damaging holes in everything from educational material published by the agency to training programs to annual reports on the environment that could be used to set energy and business policy.

The 2014 national climate assessment for the US found an “imminent threat of increased inland flooding” in Florida due to climate change and called the state “uniquely vulnerable to sea level rise”.

Florida mall shooting leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

Police-tape-flickr

One person is dead and two others injured, after a shooter opened fire inside the food court of the Melbourne Square mall in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday morning.

The shooting took place before the mall opened at 10 a.m., local time, with NBC News reporting that the first police calls occurred around 9:30 a.m..

Melbourne Square posted a message on its Facebook page, saying that it was closed until further notice, as police investigate.

Cmdr. Vince Pryce of the Melbourne Police Department said two injured people were taken to the hospital. He added that it wasn’t clear if the suspect was dead or one of the injured people.

By 10:40 a.m., Melbourne police tweeted that the “shooter is contained,” and that officers were clearing the mall store by store.

Starbucks employee Cathy Wright told NBC that she heard “about three or four gunshots” in “rapid succession.” Meanwhile, Rodizio Grill employee Jeff Gross told NBC that he heard five or six shots.

Gross also tweeted a photo of police officers outside the mall:

View image on Twitter

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

Three People Shot At Florida State University

Florida State Shooting

Three people were shot at the Tallahassee campus of Florida State University early Thursday morning, local police confirmed.

The patients were transported to the hospital, although it’s not clear what condition they are in or if they are university students.

View image on Twitter

The Tallahassee police department responded to a call from campus police around 12:30 a.m. ET about a shooting at Strozier library at the corner of Dewey and Call streets, The Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The gunman was killed by university officers after the suspect fired shots at them, FSU News said. The shooter ignored police request to drop his weapon when confronted on the library steps.

View image on Twitter

Earlier, FSU News reported that four shots were heard on the library’s first floor followed by sirens on campus, according to FSU News.

Students were first urged to seek shelter by a university telephone alert warning of a “dangerous situation” at the main campus.

“We know there are definitely people who saw the shooter,” freshman Anthony Coons told the Democrat.

View image on Twitter

Cell phone camera footage uploaded to YouTube captures the scene inside the library at the time of the shooting. “There has been a shooting in the library. Stay where you are,” a person over the loudspeaker says.

Blair Stokes, a student at the university, was in the library at the time of the emergency and has been tweeting updates of the situation.

View image on Twitter

TPD will hold a press conference at 6 a.m. ET.

Florida Woman Stabs Boyfriend to Protect Pet Turtle

Florida Woman Stabs Boyfriend to Protect Pet Turtle

According to The Palm Beach Post, a 53-year-old Florida woman is facing criminal charges after, authorities allege, she stabbed her boyfriend for threatening her turtle.

From the Post:

Marie Seymour faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She was released from the Palm Beach County Jail under supervised conditions.

On Tuesday morning, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 500 block of West Kalmia Drive, just east of Old Dixie Highway between Northlake Boulevard and Park Avenue in Lake Park.

PBSO: Woman stabs boyfriend after he threatens to harm her turtle photo

Seymour and her boyfriend were drinking when he said he would harm her turtle and allegedly came after her, according to her recount of the events. The turtle’s name was not released.

Seymour said that in defense, she took out her knife and stabbed him, according to the report. It’s not clear where Seymour stabbed her boyfriend.

When deputies arrived, the boyfriend told authorities he did not want Seymour to go to jail.

While he was treated for his injuries at a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Seymour was taken to jail for booking.

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