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Parkland Shooting

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The year that was, 2018, was an action-packed - and error-filled - year of news, according to the people working over at PolitiFact.

There was a lot of competition for their annual Lie of the Year honon. President Trump was at the top of many reader's lists: Comments about the migrant caravan from Central America. Claims and counterclaims about Russian interference in American elections.

But there was a bigger story that particularly affected Floridians.

Members of The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted unanimously Wednesday morning to send their first report to the state authorities in Tallahassee, in hopes that it increases the pace of reforms recommended to prevent another school shooting in Florida. 

Camp Shine — a free arts therapy program that began over the summer for survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting — was back in session in Parkland last week.

Minimum-wage workers will get a pay raise, businesses will get a break on insurance bills and a few new laws will take effect Tuesday as 2019 begins in Florida.

Minimum-wage workers will start earning $8.46 an hour Tuesday, up from $8.25 an hour in 2018 --- and more than a dollar above the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

The year 2018 is almost over, and Florida Matters is looking back at the stories that made headlines in our region this year.


The police response to the Florida high school massacre was delayed because school officials rewound a school surveillance video, making officers think the gunman was still in the building, a new report shows.

More than 800 high schoolers filled a ballroom in the Broward County Convention Center Wednesday morning to hear from Holocaust survivors.

The survivors gave advice to students about how to overcome forms of intolerance and anti-semitism that are on the rise in the U.S., such as bullying, bigotry and shootings. They spoke about the October shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

It’s been almost 10 months since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In addition to the wave of student activism, there’s been an effort to understand the events that led to Feb. 14 massacre.

According to The Sun Sentinel, the Broward County school district knew more than it let on. It found the district hired lawyers and public relations consultants to keep information from the public. 

Another Florida deputy who responded to February's Parkland high school massacre has been suspended.

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The sheriff leading the state commission investigating Florida's high school massacre says he now believes trained, volunteer teachers should have access to guns so they can stop shooters who get past other safeguards.

Captain Retires, Sergeant Suspended Over Parkland Massacre

Nov 21, 2018

The Florida sheriff's captain who oversaw the initial response to February's Parkland high school massacre resigned Tuesday and the first sergeant to arrive at the scene has been suspended over what other law enforcement officials saw as their inaction during the initial minutes after the first shots were fired.

Students Say They Reported Threats Before School Massacre

Nov 14, 2018

Two students told investigators they reported the Florida high school shooting suspect to an administrator for making threats but felt they were not taken seriously, a commission investigating the massacre was told Tuesday.

Massachusetts Takes Shot At Florida Gun Laws

Oct 29, 2018

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders are among the public officials who plan to unveil a billboard next week in Boston that will contrast Massachusetts gun laws with those in Florida. 

It's been a little over eight months since the shooting that took 17 people’s lives in Parkland. 

At a roundtable in Coral Springs City Hall on Wednesday, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and South Florida Congressman Ted Deutch met with grieving alumni, parents and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Lawmakers Buy Industry Fix To Protect Schools From Guns

Oct 3, 2018

Security companies spent years pushing schools to buy more products — from "ballistic attack-resistant" doors to smoke cannons that spew haze from ceilings to confuse a shooter. But sales were slow, and industry's campaign to free up taxpayer money for upgrades had stalled.

Cruz Defense Seeks More Witnesses In Parkland Shooting

Sep 27, 2018

Lawyers for Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz told a judge Wednesday they want to interview potentially hundreds of witnesses that prosecutors have placed off limits in the massacre that killed 17 people.

Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz is headed back to a Florida courtroom for a status hearing on his death penalty case.

There's a new person in charge of emergency management in Broward County.

Tracy Jackson started as the director of regional public safety and emergency services at the end of May, days before this year's hurricane season began. In addition to hurricane preparation, he now oversees Broward's regional 911 system. 

Jackson began his career as a firefighter in the  Miami Fire Rescue Department in 1982. He was the division chief of support services during and after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, heading up logistics.

The state commission investigating the Parkland school shooting has conducted 300 witness interviews so far. But there's at least one more high profile witness to go: former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer Scot Peterson. 

Before Lori Alhadeff ran for a seat on her local school board, she had no experience in politics. She didn't even consider herself a "political person," she says.

That changed when her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, died in the Parkland school shooting. In February, a former student killed 14-year-old Alyssa and 16 other people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Florida currently has more than 13 million active registered voters eligible to cast ballots in next week’s primaries. With close Senate and gubernatorial races, this is one of the most important states for both major political parties in the 2018 midterm elections.

Florida's top incoming legislative leaders are rejecting Gov. Rick Scott's push to redirect $58 million so school districts can hire more campus police officers. The lawmakers say the state should stay with a program they crafted that puts armed security guards and staff members in its public schools.

The organization Parkland Cares, founded in the wake of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, awarded its first three grants to local mental health service providers Mondy, totaling $75,000. 

The Children's Bereavement Center, Behavioral Health Associates of Broward and Henderson Behavioral Health each received checks for $25,000, which will go directly to creating services, subsidizing services, or making counseling more accessible for residents. 

As students across Florida start the new school year, incoming Senate President Bill Galvano wants lawmakers to think about expanding the school-safety efforts approved during the 2018 legislative session after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Democrat Jeff Greene’s campaign bus pulled up to Jacksonville’s Northwestern Middle School a few weeks ahead of the start of school. The Palm Beach billionaire came to the low-income area to give backpacks to kids.

By law, all schools in Florida are required to employ a sworn officer or trained guard by the first day. With not enough guards hired, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is assigning officers to fill the gap.

The gun legislation passed after the Parkland mass shooting was historic for many reasons, not the least of which was that it represented the first gun restrictions passed in Florida in more than 20 years. 

Prosecutors on Wednesday released hours of video interrogation of Florida's school shooting suspect, footage showing the young man slouching in a chair, being repeatedly urged by a detective to speak louder and punching himself in the face when he is alone.

After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, English teacher Sarah Lerner was displaced from her classroom. Now she’s going back.

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz told a detective that a demon in his head — "the evil side" — told him to burn, kill and destroy, and that he thought about going to a park to kill people about a week before 17 people were gunned down at the school, according to a recently released transcript of his interrogation.

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