Gov. Rick Scott signs schools bill giving $419 million to charter schools:
Giving a figurative middle finger to all those public school teachers still buying their students' school supplies, Scott signed a controversial education bill that provides $419 million to encourage charter schools to locate near struggling traditional public schools. The bill also provides more services for students at struggling schools, teacher bonuses, education services funding for children with disabilities, daily recess for elementary students and a scaling-back on standardized testing. The effort to privatize Florida's public education system also includes a measure that allows charter schools access to school construction funding paid for by local property owners, though taxpayers won't own the buildings.
Orlando City striker Cyle Larin arrested for DUI:
The 22-year-old Orlando City Soccer Club forward was arrested Thursday after driving the wrong way down Orange Avenue. A Florida Highway Patrol report says Larin had almost crashed into another car head-on when troopers stopped him after leaving Club Ono around 2:30 a.m. The soccer player told law enforcement officials he had "two or three vodka Red Bulls" after blowing a .179 and a .182 during field sobriety tests. Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis said in a statement that while the team was "disappointed" in Larin's actions, they will be supportive as he goes through the league's substance abuse program. Larin will not be able to participate in games or team activities until he finishes the program.
Disney will build a sculpture in honor of toddler killed by gator:
Walt Disney World announced plans to build a lighthouse sculpture in an undisclosed location of its theme park in honor of Lane Thomas Graves, the 2-year-old boy killed by an alligator while staying at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa last year. The lighthouse is a symbol of the Lane Thomas Foundation, which was started by the toddler's parents in honor of their son.
75-year-old inmate at Orange County jail found to have died from use of force:
Last November, William Howard was being moved to a psychiatric observation cell when correctional officers did a "takedown" on the 75-year-old man that caused neck fractures, and ultimately, his death. One nurse was fired for not properly treating Howard after the incident. The jail is still under an internal investigation, though the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office did review the use of force and determined no criminal charges would be filed against the officers.