Plenty of big news on this Sunday, from Tallahassee to Miami there is plenty to know on what is going on in the Sunshine State.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott delays trip to Argentina due to wildfires
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is delaying his planned trade mission to Argentina due to wildfires that are burning in several parts of the state.
Scott was scheduled to leave late Saturday for a five-day trip to Buenos Aires. A final decision has not yet been made on whether to cancel the trip completely.
The governor has been monitoring the wildfires and visited one site in southwest Florida.
The Argentina trip is supposed to be Scott’s 13th trip abroad since he became governor in January 2011.
Scott has defended the trips as a way to open doors for Florida-based companies seeking business abroad.
He has taken previous economic development trips to the South American countries of Brazil, Colombia and Chile, as well as Japan, Israel, England
Man, 71, faces attempted murder charge in stepson’s shooting
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A 71-year-old Florida man has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of his step-son.
The Orlando Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2pS9l1L ) reports that arrest records show Thomas Lathrop of Sanford shot 31-year-old Frank Fort on Saturday at the family home.
According to the records, Lathrop’s wife, Juanita, told police her son went to sit on the front porch about 9:30 a.m. when Thomas Lathrop said, “Don’t you see me sitting here.”
Fort replied he sat there every morning before work. Lathrop then got up and fired a single round at Fort’s legs.
While Fort was running away, Lathrop fired two more shots, shattering Fort’s pelvis. That bullet lodged in Fort’s stomach, causing life-threatening injuries.
Fort was in critical condition Saturday.
Lathrop was being held without bail at the Seminole County Jail.
Deputy shoots suspect during confrontation on interstate
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A southwest Florida sheriff’s deputy shot a man during a confrontation on Interstate 75.
The News-Press reports (http://newspr.es/2pQo9hu ) that that the shooting happened early Saturday. Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno told reporters that the deputy had responded to a 911 call for service on the interstate when the suspect confronted her with a gun. The deputy shot him. Marceno did not release the name of the deputy or the suspect.
The suspect was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The deputy was not hurt.
Interstate 75 southbound in Fort Myers for several hours after the shooting but has reopened.
Principal apologizes for racially insensitive email
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The new principal of a predominantly black elementary school is apologizing after emailing her staff that white students should be in the same class.
Christine Hoffman sent the email last Tuesday to the staff at Campbell Park Elementary School. According to the Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/2owLqRy), she was setting criteria for setting up classes for next year. Also included were instructions that classes should have a mix of reading levels, an equal number of boys and girls and no more than two children with disciplinary problems. Of the school’s 606 students, 49 are white.
Hoffman sent emails and letters to both her staff and parents apologizing, saying she will learn from her mistake. The Pinellas County School District says it is developing a corrective plan for Hoffman. The NAACP called the email baffling.
Florida senator who resigned over racial slur hired models
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A newspaper is reporting that a Florida state senator who resigned this week after using a racial slur hired a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model with no political experience to be consultants for his political action committee last year.
The Miami Herald reports Saturday (http://hrld.us/2oTLmhu ) that state records show that Frank Artiles’ PAC, Veterans for Conservative Principals, had paid former Hooters model Heather Thomas $2,000 and former Playboy model Brittney Singletary $1,500. They were listed as consultants.
Artiles’ political consultant David Custin refused to answer the paper’s questions. Singletary said she did fundraising for the PAC. Thomas declined to comment.
Artiles, a Republican, resigned Friday after he used vulgarities and a variation of the N-word in a barroom conversation with two black colleagues earlier in the week.