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Orlando shooting

Orlando shooter came in knowing who he wanted to kill, not kill

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The man authorities say killed five former co-workers and then himself early Monday morning in an Orlando business came in knowing who he wanted to kill and let at least one woman not on that list get away. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said John Robert Neumann Jr., 45, whose hometown has not yet been disclosed, slipped in through a rear door of Fiamma and encountered a new employee, a temporary employee, who was not working there when Neumann was…

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Don Gaetz: We don’t need special session for gun control

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Sen. Don Gaetz is telling constituents not to take the special-session-on-gun-control bait. Gaetz, a Niceville Republican who was Senate president in 2012-14, sent out an email Monday. It reprinted and linked to an op-ed he wrote for the Northwest Florida Daily News, Okaloosa County’s newspaper. It appeared Sunday. He wrote on the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The shooter, later killed by police, called 911 to claim allegiance to the Islamic State…

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Rick Scott to feds: Release the Orlando 911 tapes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Update: Later Monday, the Justice Department released a full text of one of the shooter’s calls, saying it wanted to “provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.” Click here for the statement and transcript. Gov. Rick Scott Monday called on federal authorities to release more from the 911 calls made by the Orlando shooter. But an open government expert said Scott should save the bully pulpit talk for local law enforcement, who could release the same information. Scott, who has…

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Barack Obama offering sympathy but no easy answers in Orlando

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Offering sympathy but no easy answers, President Barack Obama came Thursday to Orlando to try to console those mourning the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Air Force One touched down at midday in this grief-stricken community, where Obama planned to spend a few hours meeting in private with families of the 49 victims, with survivors and with local law enforcement officials who responded to the shooting. He planned to emphasize his solidarity with Orlando’s gays and lesbians but…

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Christian Ulvert: Pam Bondi’s criticism of Anderson Cooper is “truly unbelievable”

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

One of the plaintiffs in the fight to overturn Florida’s gay-marriage ban has penned an open letter to Attorney General Pam Bondi, the same week of her feud with CNN newsman Anderson Cooper. Christian Ulvert, a Miami-based communications consultant, wrote Bondi that he “dismayed by the response you offered to Mr. Cooper regarding your efforts in your relentless fight against the LGBT community.” Bondi and Cooper have been sniping at each other over a live interview they did Tuesday. The…

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Mary Jo Melone: Not a column; a plea for Orlando

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Driving I-4 through Orlando, you see them. The billboard proclaim what is now ho-hum in this country. #OrlandoStrong #LoveOrlando #PrayforOrlando Add this to the list, please. #AmericaSickandTired Have you noticed that the phrase “take him out” is now part of our everyday language?  We are accustomed to terms like “SWAT team,” “active shooter,” “on lockdown,” “armored vehicle.” It is the language of an armed camp. The news coverage is predictable. TV stations repeat and repeat cellphone videos punctuated by gunfire…

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Rick Scott says money set aside for Orlando efforts

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday state agencies were setting aside millions of dollars for the Orlando area in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub there. Also Wednesday, his office revealed Scott and President Obama finally had a one-on-one phone conversation in advance of the president’s scheduled Thursday visit to the area. In a press release, Scott’s office said the Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) “set aside more than $520,000 in residual Justice Assistance Grant funds for…

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