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The recent Black Girls Day at the Capitol highlights minority women’s economic issues in Florida. Several organizations want improvements on education and better access to health care.

WLRN

Two students who survived the Florida school shooting and spoke publicly about it are not "crisis actors," despite the claims of several conspiracy-oriented sites and an aide to a Florida lawmaker.

Florida House: Schools Must Display 'In God We Trust'

Feb 22, 2018

Every Florida school and school administrative building will have to prominently display "In God we trust" under a bill passed by the Florida House.

A. Heneen (Wikimedia Commons)

Authorities say they closed Legoland Florida to new guests and prevented current guests from leaving for a short time after a concerning note was found in a family bathroom.

Port Tampa Bay

A shipment of Chiquita bananas arrived at Port Tampa Bay last week, making it the first perishable product received by the port in over two decades.

Florida could start sharing voter information to make sure people aren't registered in other states under a bill now headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

Billy Graham Library

In the late 1930s, 20-year-old Billy Graham dropped to his knees on the dewy fringe of the 18th green of what is now the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club.

Students who survived the Parkland school shooting prepared to flood the Capitol on Wednesday, pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people and vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends.

The U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall Collection is on the cusp of receiving its first statue of an African-American woman.

A  state representative has apparently fired an aide who emailed a reporter a claim that two survivors of a South Florida school shooting were actors.

Wikimedia Commons

Two Hillsborough County students and one from Manatee County have been arrested on felony charges of making verbal threats against their high schools.

After last week’s school shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people, a lot of focus has fallen on the home where the confessed shooter was living. WLRN spoke with the father of that family about the young man’s mental health issues – and about issues of gun ownership.

Shackled and wearing a red jump suit, school shooter Nikolas Cruz made his first live appearance in a Broward County circuit court five days after he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and fatally shot 17 people in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

Cruz, a slightly built teen, did not say anything and never looked up at the crowd from his seat at the defense table. It was a tense atmosphere — Cruz was surrounded by Broward Sheriff’s deputies as media members and other lawyers watched from the gallery.

Lawmakers, Scott Weigh Options After Mass Shooting

Feb 20, 2018

A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school, as legislative leaders craft a multi-pronged response to the massacre and Gov. Rick Scott plans a series of workshops about school safety and ways to keep guns away from people struggling with mental illnesses.

Gun Control Could Become Key Issue In November

Feb 20, 2018

An aversion to gun-rights restrictions has been a bedrock of Republican campaigns in Florida —  a testing ground for model NRA-backed legislation — for years.

After a gunman killed seventeen students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many politicians Tweeted out their thoughts and prayers. A couple of Southwest Florida congressmen Tweeted those sentiments, but many people, including constituents, commented that thoughts and prayers aren't enough this time. 

Following last week’s mass school shooting, about 100 Parkland students are expected to come to Tallahassee this week to speak to Florida lawmakers about gun control. It comes just as an NRA-backed bill was withdrawn from consideration. But, some may see the student’s gun control views as a bit “naive.”

Trio Of Bills Awaiting Governor Scott's Signature

Feb 20, 2018

A trio of bills are heading to Governor Rick Scott’s office this week - the final step before becoming law. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida Engineering Expo, a free two-day event that gives children a chance to see what it's like to be a scientist, is taking place this weekend. 

Full of hands-on exhibits and shows, the expo allows children to explore research labs, conduct hundreds of experiments, and even meet a robot named Baxter.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The FBI says that someone called its tip line to report concerns about Nikolas Cruz, who has told police he killed 17 people in a Florida high school this week — but that the bureau failed to follow protocols to assess the threat.

The bureau says a person close to Cruz contacted the FBI's Public Access Line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him. Those concerns included information about Cruz's gun ownership, a desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

Updated Feb. 16

The 19-year-old man who’s confessed to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people on Wednesday left a violent social media footprint. But the teens and adults who might have stopped him say they weren’t aware.

As students, staff and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland gathered to grieve and comfort one another Thursday, the former student accused of killing 17 people was charged with murder and had his first appearance in court.

No bail was allowed for Nikolas Cruz, 19.

A Broward County Sheriff's Office report says Cruz confessed to being the shooter at the school.

According to the report, Cruz told interrogating officers that he "began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds" Wednesday. 

There are ways people can help the victims and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting, besides grief counseling services: 

The teenager accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 people at a Florida high school confessed to carrying out one of the nation's deadliest school shootings and concealing extra ammunition in his backpack, according to a sheriff's department report released Thursday.

Nikolas Cruz told investigators that he shot students in the hallways and on the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, north of Miami, the report from the Broward County Sheriff's Office said.

When a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 at a large high school in south Florida, the 17 dead included students and school workers, young and old. Here is a look the 17 confirmed dead by authorities in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

COACH AND SECURITY MONITOR

Assistant football coach Aaron Feis was shot to death while selflessly shielding students from bullets. A tweet from the school football program ended: "He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories."

Shock was turning to anger and grief for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families on Thursday morning as they sought grief counselors’ help in processing the shooting that left 17 dead at the Parkland school the day before.

Read more: Resources Available For Grief Counseling For Those Affected By Shooting

Declaring the nation united and grieving with "one heavy heart," President Donald Trump is promising to tackle school safety and "the difficult issue of mental health" in response to the deadly shooting in Florida. He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that left 17 people dead, politicians on the state and national level are weighing in on what can be done legislatively.

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