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Small Districts Wary Of Parkland Legal Fight

Jul 3, 2019

By Jim Saunders / News Service of Florida

Rural Liberty County is about 500 miles away from Broward County. 

But school officials in Liberty County and other small Northwest Florida counties are watching as the state Supreme Court considers a case that will determine how much the Broward County School Board could be forced to pay to parents and victims in the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Ex-Deputy In Parkland Shooting Out Of Jail On Reduced Bail

Jun 6, 2019
Mug shot of former deputy Scot Peterson
Broward County Sheriff's Office

A former Florida deputy charged with 11 criminal counts after failing to confront the gunman in the Parkland school massacre was released from jail Thursday after a judge reduced his bail and lifted some restrictions.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

The FBI says an "armed and dangerous" 18-year-old white woman obsessed with Columbine is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Because of warnings about the Florida woman named Sol Pais, more than a dozen school districts in Colorado were closed Wednesday.

The 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings is Saturday.

It's been exactly a year today since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and anniversaries can be particularly hard on survivors of trauma.

After nearly a year of scrutiny, the embattled Florida sheriff whose deputies were the first to respond to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was suspended on Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has been replaced by former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, who has an extensive background in active shooter training.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially removed and suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

DeSantis, sworn in as governor Tuesday, visited the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale  Friday afternoon to put weeks of rumors about Israel's fate to rest.

 

Scott Israel, the Florida sheriff who was removed by the governor from his elected office after a school shooting that left 17 people dead is running for his old job in 2020.
WLRN

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is appointing to the state's education board the father of a teenager killed during a school shooting in Parkland.

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. 

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.

The state commission investigating the Florida school massacre will discuss improving campus safety and hear about education and health privacy laws.

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.

Prosecutors have released three cellphone videos recorded by Nikolas Cruz, in which he described his plans for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Some of the videos appear to have been recorded the day of the shooting.

Publix Super Markets

Publix announced on its corporate website Friday that they are going to “suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we re-evaluate our giving processes.”

Polk County Sheriff's Office / Facebook Live video

Many Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies are acting in what officials call an abundance of caution by increasing their presence in and around schools in the final days of the school year. 

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a small-town Texas high school, in what Gov. Greg Abbott called "probably the worst disaster ever to strike this community."

Ten others were wounded in the morning attack at Santa Fe High School.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

St. Petersburg will not take 29 police officers off the street and place them in elementary schools. The city – following suit with Hillsborough and Pinellas counties - will instead hire armed security guards.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people, Florida lawmakers passed a law in March requiring all schools in the state to have at least one armed and trained law enforcement officer or "school guardian."

JESSICA BAKEMAN / WLRN

On the afternoon of Feb. 14, Fawn Patterson got a call from her daughter telling her to come to the hospital.


Amanda Ray Carrillo was pregnant with her fifth child, and she was bleeding. She’d been admitted to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale the day before but hadn’t gotten answers yet about what was wrong. She wanted her mom to be there when the doctor came to explain.

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Panic and fear gripped an Ocala school Friday when a gunman opened fire, wounding one student before being taken into custody on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said.

Armed security officers are becoming more prevalent at America's schools, according to a federal study released Thursday amid a heated debate over whether teachers and other school officials should carry guns.

Nikolas Cruz was back in a Broward County courtroom Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer. 

With his head down, Cruz sat silent throughout his appearance.

He was indicted by a grand jury last week on 17 charges of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted first-degree murder. Cruz's legal team told the judge that he didn't need to hear his charges read aloud because he already understood them. 

Only 15-year-old victim Luke Hoyer's name was read out loud in the courtroom. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The deadly high school shooting in Parkland has people across the nation talking about how to make schools safer. Dozens of Tampa Bay residents and community leaders shared their thoughts on the issue at a recent town hall hosted by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll hear highlights from the event.


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This week's Florida Matters features highlights from a recent town hall meeting in Tampa about school safety. The discussion took place in the wake of the school shootings at a high school in Parkland, and focused mainly on violence and gun control. 

The political and legal fallout from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to sign a sweeping gun bill into law following a school massacre was nearly immediate as the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit to stop it and political candidates in both parties criticized it.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Community leaders talked about putting an end to school violence at a town hall in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood Thursday night. The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists hosted the event in response to the Parkland shooting last month that left 17 people dead.


Three weeks after the Parkland high school shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a gun-control bill on his desk that challenges the National Rifle Association but falls short of what the Republican and survivors of the massacre demanded.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

A 14-year-old girl has been arrested on a felony charge after allegedly writing a threatening message on a bathroom wall at her middle school. Nearly half the students stayed home on Friday after the message appeared and a picture of a boy with a gun circulated on social media.

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