ICYMI: Early voting starts, more Mad Cow troubles, the Senate race gets nasty and other things you may have missed this week


Early voting starts this week and ends Nov. 6:

Avoid the hassle of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and vote early in the general election. Bring photo identification to one of 17 locations in Orange County to vote between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, visit ocfelections.com.

Senate race between Rubio and Murphy heats up at first debate:

What has been a pretty boring U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Marco Rubio and his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy got a little tense last week during a debate in Orlando. Murphy jabbed Rubio on his continued support of Donald Trump in the wake of the nominee's bragging about groping women without consent, while Rubio pounced on Murphy for creatively embellishing his résumé and his lackluster record as a congressman. The high point of the debate was watching Rubio evade the question of whether he could commit to serving a full term by saying he would serve in the Senate for the next six years, "god willing."

Orange County board defers grant to Mad Cow Theatre until review:

Orange County commissioners deferred a $75,000 arts grant to Mad Cow Theatre last week after allegations surfaced regarding delinquent payments to artists working for the professional theater group. The decision comes after Orlando Weekly published an article on a number of artists who started a petition calling for a boycott of the theater until it pays what it still owes to artists. Alvin Wang, a member of Mad Cow's board of directors, has said there is no question the theater was late in its payments and it is working on a plan to fix the issue.

Two mural memorials go up near Pulse:

Not just one, but two memorial murals went up last week near the LGBT nightclub Pulse that honor the 49 victims of the mass shooting. The first one, by Baltimore artist Michael Owen, was painted on the wall of Einstein Bros. Bagels, while the second one is a canvas mural on an actual wall of the nightclub created by Los Angeles artists Mr. Brainwash and Nats Getty.