Tag Archives: Florida

Current Event Cat of the Day: Florida Legalizes Gay Marriage

Current Event Cat - Florida Gay

Florida was dragged into the 21st century by a court order on Monday that lifted the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The state’s gay-marriage ban has been officially ruled unconstitutional, making Florida the 36th most gay-tolerant state. Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage has now ended in all 67 counties, going into effect at the stroke of midnight Monday.

But some couples couldn’t even wait until then. Just a few hours after U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle lifted the stay overthrowing a same-sex marriage ban in Florida, couples began tying the knot in Miami-Dade County before the ruling was even effective. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel found no need to wait until the statewide ban expired and presided over Florida’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. The first two pairs to get married were part of the original six-couple lawsuit last January that ended in the ban’s dismissal.

Even former Florida governor Jeb Bush is coming around on the same-sex marriage issue – albeit slowly. Bush, a long time same-sex marriage opponent who is currently flirting with a 2016 presidential run, signaled an increasing openness to same-sex marriage saying that “regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law.”

“I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue—including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty,” Bush said in response to his state overturning a ban on same-sex marriage.

Huh. Well that’s not exactly a marriage equality endorsement, but it’s Jeb Bush so we’ll take what we can get.

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Florida DOESN’T Let Someone Get Away With Shooting an Unarmed Black Teen… And Other News

Florida Dunn Trial

Michael Dunn, the Florida man who shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music, has received a life sentence (plus 105 years) without possibility of parole. Hopefully there’s no loud music in prison…

Michael Dunn shot and killed Davis outside of a Jacksonville, Florida convenience store in what he claimed was self-defense but everyone else claimed was just plain crazy. According to Dunn’s version, Davis and his buds were listening to some super loud rap music in their SUV. When he asked them to turn it down, he claims that one of them pulled a shotgun on him. Instead of overreacting, Dunn got his loaded gun from his car and shot 10 rounds into the SUV. The only catch? Davis and his friends were unarmed. At his sentencing Dunn publicly apologized for the first time, saying, “If I could roll back time and do things differently, I would. I was in fear for my life and I did what I thought I had to do. Still, I am mortified I took a life, whether it was justified or not.” Spoiler alert: it wasn’t justified. USA Today

K PopAt least 16 South Korean pop music fans were killed and 11 seriously injured Friday after a ventilation grate buckled under the weight of concertgoers in Seongnam, South Korea. The victims fell about 20 meters into a parking structure after the gate they had been standing on to get a better view of the performance by the popular South Korean girl band 4Minute collapsed. There were 700 people at the concert and while witnesses said many of the spectators were female students, most of the dead were men in their 30s and 40s who stopped to watch the concert, which was part of a local festival, after leaving work. Although standing on a flimsy metal grate with a group of people looks no safer than licking a frayed electrical cord, at least they were smart enough not to attend a PSY concert. Imagine the last words they ever heard were “Oppa Gangnam Style”? AP

boko-kidnapAnd six months later, the Nigerian schoolgirls are coming back – but in what state? The Nigerian government says that it has come to an agreement with Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the almost 300 schoolgirls back in April. Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, Alex Badeh, announced the truce, telling his troops to stand down for a ceasefire. Boko Haram has not yet made a public statement but the negotiations are said to have the blessing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. The government would not reveal what concessions it made to Boko Haram in order to bring the girls back, but I bet it was something good. BBC News

EbolamaniaEbolamania is sweeping the nation! After a vomiting passenger died (from non-Ebola realted causes) on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight, tension in the sky is high. On Thursday, a middle-aged African-American woman was locked in the lavatory of an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Chicago after she began vomiting. According to another passenger on the flight, after the woman vomited in the aisle, the crew feared the spread of Ebola and forced her to reveal all her recent travel and remain in the bathroom for the last 45 minutes of the trip. But was it really fear of Ebola that prompted this overreaction… or was it fear of black people? The witness, a University of Texas professor, thinks the latter, chalking the incident up to racial profiling. “If I had puked on the plane, would they have they done that to me? I’m a 60-year-old white woman with gray hair. No, they would not have,” she said. Actually, they probably would have. Ebola seems to bring out the hysteria in people. I’m surprised they didn’t push this woman out the door at 35,000ft. Houston Chronicle 

MEXICO SPRING BREAKThe French want to bid adieu to binge drinking. A draft health bill presented to French ministers on Wednesday aims to target binge drinking by hitting people who incite it with €15,000 fines and sentences of up to a year in jail. “It will be made illegal to sell products that make alcohol appear pleasant,” French health minister Marisol Touraine reportedly told RTL radio, such as “telephone cases or T-shirts that show amusing scenes based on drunkenness.” While France is among the world’s most liberal countries in terms of alcohol consumption, some feel the Irish-style binge-drinking has gotten out of control. “We see more and more seriously drunk young people in the emergency room, who will stay for 24 hours, sometimes two days, to sober up,” a French doctor told TV channel France24 last year. The proposed law presented to the Assemblée Nationale early next year, but hopefully legislators will be too drunk to pass it. Washington Post

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Texter Killer Also Texting

Texter Texting Texts

Oh the irony… It turns out that the crazed ex-cop who shot and killed a fellow movie-goer for texting in a Florida movie theater was also texting during the incident.

New documents reveal that Curtis Reeves, who is charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bail, texted his son, Matthew, just moments before his heated argument with the victim, Chad Oulson. Matthew told detectives he had texted his father to say he’d be late for the 1:20 p.m. showing of “Lone Survivor”, and received a text back from Reeves telling him that he and his wife were seated in the theater.

Just minutes after 71-year-old Curtis Reeves sent the text to his son, he confronted Chad Oulson, who was texting his daughter’s babysitter during the previews. One thing led to another… and before you know it popcorn was thrown and shots were fired. According to the arrest report, witnesses told police that Reeves “confronted the victim about texting during the movie previews and went to advise management. When the defendant returned additional words were exchanged between the victim and the defendant and the victim turned and threw a bag of popcorn at the defendant. Witnesses advised they did not observe any punches being thrown. The defendant removed a handgun and shot [Oulson] in the chest.”

When Matthew Reeves finally got to the theater about 15 minutes later to meet his parents, his father had already gone full crazy and shot Oulson. Reeves walked in just as the shots were fired and says he rushed to the victim and his wife’s aid.

The elder Reeves, a retired Tampa Police captain, told police that Chad Oulson attacked him and that he was reacting in self-defense when he pulled out his gun and shot him in the chest. Considering none of the witnesses recall that happening, I don’t think a jury’s going to buy his defense… although stranger things have happened in Florida murder cases.

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Don’t Be a Tommy Texter… Or You Might Get Shot By An Insane Ex-Cop

Tommy Texter Gets Shot

Florida is at it again! This time a retired police officer shot and killed a man for texting during a movie in Tampa Bay. And I thought I hated movie texters…

During a matinee of Lone Survivor, ex-officer Curtis Reeves, 71, open fired on a fellow cinemagoer after asking the man, who was sitting directly in front of him, to stop texting several times. Yes, texting is annoying, but this seems a little extreme. Especially considering the movie hadn’t even begun yet and Chad Oulson was texting his three-year-old daughter.

The two men, along with their wives, were watching the previews at the Cobb Grove 16 cinema in Wesley Chapel when the altercation broke out. After arguing over the texting situation, Reeves apparently stormed out of the auditorium to get a manager, but then returned with a better idea…

The argument continued and Reeves pulled out his gun as 25 horrified moviegoers looked on.

“Their voices start going up; there seems to be almost a confrontation. Somebody throws popcorn, I’m not sure who threw the popcorn, and, bang, he was shot,” said one witness.

Oulson’s wife, Nicole, got caught in the crossfire after she put her hand in front of her husband in an effort to protect him. Luckily, she had non-life-threatening injuries – because someone needs to raise that three-year-old daughter.

The theater was quickly evacuated and Reeves was arrested and is being charged with second-degree murder.

So to sum up, in Florida it is totally acceptable to bring a gun to the movies, but please leave your cellphone at home.

Via: Fox News

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Florida Sheriff: This Isn’t Toronto!

Florida Mayor Toronto Mayor

A Florida sheriff has taken Toronto’s embarrassment over their crack-smoking mayor to a new level. After arresting Barry Layne Moore, the mayor of Hampton, Florida, for allegedly procuring and selling prescription drugs, the sheriff declared, “This isn’t Toronto!” When Florida is making fun of you, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

A warrant for Barry Layne Moore was issued on Monday and he was promptly arrested. The local politician faces charges of selling a Schedule I or II drug, as well as possession of a Schedule I or II drug. His drug of choice? OxyCodone. Kind of reminds you of the time Rob Ford offered to “try” and help a constituent score OxyContin

The official Sheriff’s statement read:

This isn’t Toronto. We will not tolerate illegal drug activity, in my jurisdiction, by anyone to include [sic] our elected officials.”

As for the sheriff’s opinion of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, he told CP24:

“He just keeps making a mockery of the good people of Toronto.”

“It’s an embarrassment…this guy is full of excuses and stupidity.”

“You just don’t smoke crack one time.” Sheriff Smith continued. “I wanna give a shout-out to your police chief, I think he’s  a stand-up guy, and if he had any way to put [Mayor Ford] in jail I believe he would….this guy is not going to quit.”

Correction: when even the sheriff of a northern Florida town with a population of 500 who gives “shout-outs” to police chiefs and can’t produce grammatically correct official statements would make a better mayor of your city, then you’ve hit rock bottom.

Via: National Post

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Chinese Couple Trades Baby for iPhone… And Other News

iPhone Baby

A Chinese couple is in trouble for selling their baby for $8,000 to go on an online shopping spree.

The unemployed couple began posting online ads for their unborn child in earlier this year. After giving birth at home, the couple handed over the baby girl in exchange for a large cash payment. While the couple claims they did it for the baby’s own good, their credit card statements say they did it for luxury goods. One bill shows that immediately after “trading” the baby girl, they made a large number of online purchases, including an iPhone and a pair of “high-end” running shoes. What morons – if they had just waited 5 years they could have had their own iPhone/shoe making machine! What a waste of free child labour. The Telegraph

Goblin ROcksLooks like the Chinese aren’t the only ones to destroy ancient artifacts. A group of Boy Scout leaders may face felony charges for destroying a rock formation millions of years old in Utah. While out in Goblin Valley State Park, the trio of men decided to film themelves knocking over one of the ancient rock formations and high fiving each other when the job was complete. Utah State Park officials were not impressed. It took millions of years for the rocks to form like that… and only 20 seconds for some fat rednecks to destroy it. What’s worse if that they went against one of the most sacred of Boy Scout traditions: leave no trace. I mean, they should have at least destroyed the video that traced them to the crime scene. The Salt Lake Tribune

Oops Prison MistakeHow to escape from jail if you’re too lazy to dig your way out: fake release papers! Two convicted murderers walked out of Florida prisons in late September and early October after they forged their own release papers. Police are now on the hunt for the two men, convicted for separate murders in 1998 and 1999. The state Department of Corrections isn’t about to take the blame for it though. They insist they were merely following a court order and that no one in the department is at fault for the men’s release. Maybe they were just following orders, but if both men were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, wouldn’t it seem weird that they were both being released so early? CNN

Roma ProtestFrance is continuing its war on the Roma by deporting two teenage girls. A 15-year-old Kosovar girl was forcibly taken from a bus during a school field trip and was deported back to Kosovo with her family. Another 19-year-old Armenian student was also sent packing after authorities deemed her an illegal immigrant. French students took to the streets of Paris on Friday to protest the government deportations but France’s the interior minister is sticking to his “France is not here to welcome the Roma” message. Al Jazeera

Daisy ColemanAfter two year, Daisy Coleman, an alleged rape victim, is having her case reopened. The county prosecutor who initially dropped the felony charges against the two 17-year-old boys—accused of sexually assaulting then-14-year-old Coleman and a 13-year-old friend – said that he’s reopening the case. Coleman is happy the case is being reopened and recently wrote a blog post describing the ridicule and depression she’s endured. But Fox News guest and criminal defense attorney Joseph DiBenedetto thinks she may have had it coming: “What did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out?” he asked. “I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it’s going nowhere quick.” When you start out saying, “I’m not saying she deserved to be raped…”, you probably deserve to be raped. Raw Story

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Current Event Cat of the Day

Sinkhole Current Event Cat

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