Florida city commissioner proposes cure for coronavirus: "hold a blow dryer in front of your face, and inhale"

Welcome to Okeechobee, Florida. In a meeting of the city fathers and mothers, commissioner Bryant Culpepper suggested you can prevent and cure coronavirus by blasting your sinuses with hot air: "you hold a blow dryer in front of your face, and inhale," he says solemly. Culpepper was soon informed he is mistaken and has apologized. ABC News:

During the meeting on Friday, the commissioner said he watched a news show on One America News, which he described as the "new Fox News," where a "certified doctor" was on the show providing suggestions about how to kill the coronavirus. Commissioner Culpepper said the doctor on the show said that to kill the virus, it needs to be exposed to a high concentration of heat, about 163 degrees.

43 seconds in, watch the man in the black shirt, center back, do a double facepalm with sinus massage after Culpepper says those wondrous words, "you hold a blow dryer in front of your face, and inhale." He's not following the coronavirus guidelines either.

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Florida city commission meeting goes awry

In this footage, city commissioners in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, bicker over ad-hoc rules and hurdles that, as if by magic, make it virtually impossible to take emergency measures such as closing the beaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Omari Hardy appears to be the hero of the piece, complaining about the city continuing to work on shutting off utilities for delinquent bills while doing nothing about coronavirus. But his futile explosion of anger at Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein's procedural games is not a great sign of hope for Florida's containment efforts.

City Manager Michael Bornstein said he appreciates Hardy’s “youthful exuberance” but added the 30-year-old commissioner “just needs to calm down.”

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Florida cow arrested by police after months on the lam

On March 11, 2020, the hooflickers of the Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida posted an ominous message to their Twitter page, warning residents about a rogue heffer who had been let loose upon their quiet community. This female brown cow with a white head was renowned for her speed and fence-jumping skills, and also apparently liked pools.

The specifics of the cow's alleged crimes of "MOOving violations" and "UDDERing false checks" are not currently known to the public at this time. The law-breaking bovine has since been apprehended, and is currently awaiting trial.

This fugitive cow has avoided police capture for months in South Florida [Wells Dusenbury / South Florida Sun Sentinel]

Image: Public Domain via Pexels

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Dense crowds of beachgoers soak up the disease in Florida

Clearwater beach was packed to the waterline Tuesday, crowded by visitors hoping to make the most of the coronavirus pandemic by contracting it and spreading it to as many other people as possible.

Despite pleas from health and government officials asking people to practice social distancing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many are ignoring those requests.

On Monday, the beaches were still packed in Clearwater, Florida, with spring breakers electing to ignore the public health crisis. Spotlighted in pictures that have quickly gone viral, hundreds of people can be seen partying on the beach like it’s just another day. According to Tampa’s WFTS, Clearwater officials may not vote on whether to close down beaches until Thursday.

After all these years, Project Normandy finally has a beach head.

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'Wanted: Unknown Cow.' Florida cow on the loose sought by authorities

The Pembroke Pines Police Department tweeted:

“Wanted: Unknown Cow.”

“Description: Female cow. Brown with a white head. Faster than it looks. Talented fence jumper. Enjoys pools.” Read the rest

Move over, Florida Man, and make room for feral Florida monkeys with herpes

Back in 1938, a local Florida cruise operator called Colonel Tooey — "Colonel" was in fact his first name, according to the New York Times — let loose about a dozen rhesus macaque monkeys onto a man-made island inside Silver Springs State Park. According to National Geographic, Colonel had big plans to build a Tarzan-themed attraction there.

But naturally, the monkeys escaped, and over the years, multiplied. The International Primate Protection League tried to keep their eye on them, and they (apparently) became a bit of a tourist attraction. Eventually, wildlife officials tried to tame the population, approving the removal of more than 1,000 of these feral macaques. As of 2018, a study in the Journal of Wildlife Management estimated that there were still around 300 of them now roving around the strip malls of suburban Florida. And some of them have migrated more than 100 miles away, as far as Jacksonville.

And about 30 percent of the remaining feral rhesus macaques also have Herpes-B, also known as "monkey herpes."

Monkey herpes is rare in humans, with only about 50 known cases (none of which were actually contracted from monkeys). But it can kill a person in just six weeks.

More and more of these rhesus macaques have been found roaming around residential neighbors in Florida. While they tend to be pretty skittish, they can also get aggressive around humans; they've even been known to organize mass raids of deer feeders in Florida. So local authorities are raising red flags, in hopes of preventing the inevitable Florida-Man-Gets-Bitten-By-Feral-Herpes-Monkey headlines. Read the rest

Florida man impersonated state prosecutors in order to drop charges against himself

Yesterday, Christian Mosco of Volusia County, Florida was sentenced to ten years in prison after impersonating two assistant state prosecutors and attempting to use a fake court document to drop charges against himself. Mosco had previously been busted for extortion. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the new charges include "two counts of falsely impersonating an officer, practicing law without authority, two counts of fraudulent use of personal identification and criminal process under color of law and uttering a forgery." From ClickOrlando:

The Volusia County Clerk of Court’s office thought the document seemed suspicious and contacted the state attorney. After an investigation, the two offices determined the document was fraudulent.

“The defendant employed threats, scams and theft in an attempt to further his criminal plans," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in a news release. "Had he used his talents for positive and law-abiding activities, he would not be on his way to the State Prison System.”

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Florida men play Uno in the road during a red light

In a prank commenting on bad traffic in Cape Coral, Florida, Paxten Sester and his buddies passed time during a long red light by playing Uno in the middle of the road. Dylan Kjos caught the minute-long gag on video for TikTok and its since gone viral.

"(After a minute,) we rushed back into the truck, thinking that the light was about to change. And we still sat in the truck for about another minute," Kjos said.

According to UPI, "Kjos and his friends said they were aiming to poke fun at the local traffic, which they said is particularly slow during the winter.

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Neighbors sue over Florida man's wild multicolored, spray-painted home

Over one week, this $500,000, Naples, Florida home belonging to Jeffrey Leibman, 40, was transformed from boring beige to a wild, multicolored dream house. The grounds and trees have also been, er, brightened up. I think it has great curb appeal! From ABC7News (video below):

A Naples homeowners association said it's actually suing the man they believe trashed this house.

Right now, management said Leibman is no longer living in the home, and court records show he's due in court this weekend for drug charges.

(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!)

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Icy with a chance of falling iguanas, Florida's odd forecast reads

The iguanas are cold-blooded, you see.

Florida woman flings poo at landlord, covers herself in it, charged with battery

She has been charged with battery of a person over 65.

A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it's "not socialism"

68% of the 1600 residents of of Baldwin, Florida -- where the median income is $44k/year -- voted for Trump in 2016, and in the years since, they've lost their only grocery store, which has been a particular hardship for the large number of seniors who live there, many of whom are no longer able to drive. Read the rest

Trump's signature tax break for poor people went to subsidize a superyacht marina in Florida

Trump's 2017 #taxscam transferred more than a trillion dollars to the richest people in America, but when Trump talks about it, he likes to tout the bill's "opportunity zone" provisions that provided massive tax breaks to investors who put money into places that would supposedly create jobs and housing for poor Americans. Read the rest

Student body president at University of Florida is facing impeachment proceedings over payments to Donald Trump Jr

Because fiction, satire, and reality are all one big intertwined clusterfuck these days, the New York Times has reported the following:

Student representatives at the University of Florida introduced a bill on Tuesday to impeach Michael Murphy, the student body president, accusing him of improperly using student fees to pay one of President Trump’s sons to speak on campus.

It all began when Mr. Murphy, a senior, invited Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host and adviser to the president’s campaign, to speak on campus and paid them $50,000 with university funds. Some students say the payment was a violation of the Student Senate code — and possibly the law.

So the president (of the student body at a college) is facing impeachment because he took money from other people against their will to enrich the Trump family. What do you a call an SEO wet dream when it's actually a nightmare?

This is a pretty major upgrade in the ongoing right-wing crusade to de-legitimize higher education across the country. But I do have to admit: stealing $50,000 from your fellow students and using it to get yourself in good graces with the Trumps is exactly the kind of slimey move a Trump would pull. So in that case, good on you, Mr. Murphy, for really putting in the work to achieve your lifelong dreams of corrupt scumbaghood. I salute you with this one finger.

He Invited Donald Trump Jr. to Campus. Now He’s Facing Impeachment [Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Hannah Phillips / The New York times]

Image by Max Goldberg/Flickr

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Orlando cop fired after grabbing teen by hair and yanking her head

An Orlando county Sheriff's deputy was fired on the spot after video showed him grabbing a teen girl by her hair and yanking her head backwards.

The video shows the deputy, who the agency has not publicly identified, taking a girl into custody Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Summerset apartments off Oak Ridge Road in south Orange, about a block from the middle school. The girl screams as the deputy pulls her head backward.

Later in the video, which has been viewed more than 45,000 times on Facebook, the deputy brandishes his baton at a crowd that gathered. Near the end of the encounter, he yells at the crowd that they are all “stupid little children."

The Sheriff's office is, however, refusing to release the deputy's name.

Asked under what exemption to Florida’s Sunshine Law the deputy’s name was being withheld, the agency acknowledged the question but did not provide an exemption or further explanation Friday.

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Florida man tries to have sex with Olaf from "Frozen" and a stuffed unicorn in a Target

"Do you want to fuck snowman? It doesn't have to be a snowman…"

Apparently—if you're 20-year-old Cody Meadar of St. Petersburg, Florida—it could also be a stuffed toy unicorn.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

A St. Petersburg man was arrested Tuesday after police said he “dry humped" multiple stuffed animals at the Park Place Target, including Olaf, the snowman from the wildly successful Disney film Frozen.

The other victim was a large stuffed unicorn.

Police said Cody Meader, 20, of St. Petersburg, entered the store around 2 p.m. Tuesday. He walked up to a display of merchandise from Frozen, picked a large Olaf stuffed animal, placed it on the floor and proceeded to rub himself against it until he ejaculated.

Then he put it back on the display.

The fact that he put it back on display might be the most egregious detail here. At least show that stuffed animal a modicum of respect by bringing home after you non-consensually violate it.

There could have been a totally-tasteless joke in here about cooling down in the warm climate of Florida. Unfortunately, it was a whopping 53 degrees Fahrenheit in St. Petersburg on the day in question. So while there's generally no excusing for ejaculating on a stuffed snowman in the middle of big box store, this guy definitely has no excuse—except for the fact that he lives in Florida.

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Florida GOP finally admits that maybe they shouldn't have banned the phrase "climate change" after all

Climate change is real. The state of Florida is particularly susceptible to its effects, being a largely coastal landmass. Hurricanes and floods strike with increasing frequency, damaging or outright destroying homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. As a result, maintenance and repair costs are rising, too. And that doesn't even touch on the human impact—the elderly residents killed by extreme temperatures, and the food- and mosquito-borne diseases that mutate and spread through the swampy heat. The latest studies predict a two-foot rise in sea level over the next forty years.

But you wouldn't know any of that from a visit to the Florida Statehouse at any point during the reign of Republican Governor Rick Scott, however. That's because Scott had implemented an unofficial policy banning the use of "climate change" and "global warming" in all official government communications ("unofficial" only in that Scott was a conniving politician who understood that you can't legally ban words in the United States, but you can use your authority to bully people out of using them anyway). It's the same tactic that the Trump Administration has used to steamroll federal scientists. From the Miami Herald:

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee who worked in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting.

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