Florida fisherman reels in WWII hand grenade and brings it to Taco Bell

A man using a magnet to fish for salvageable items in Ocala, Florida was surprised to reel in a hand grenade. So he tossed it into his trunk and made a run for the border. As one does.

Upon arriving at the nearest Taco Bell, the fellow called the police who were quick to evacuate the restaurant. Fortunately, the bomb squad safely removed the explosive device. They later determined it to be an unexploded World War II grenade.

(CNN)

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Florida's Secretary of State resigns after discovery of blackface photos

Having served a whopping 16 days in office, Florida's Republican (shocker) Secretary of State Mike Ertel has resigned after the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper obtained photos of Ertel in blackface, dressed as a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Read the rest

Florida man pulls gun, racial slurs on kids in street argument

The video begins in medias res during the annual "Wheels Up, Guns Down" bicycle ride, with a group of teens and an older woman engaged in a heated dispute over the riders' blocking of traffic. As the woman and one boy face off, another teen rides up to them on his bicycle and she accuses him of running over her foot (apparently falsely, though perhaps it happened before the video begins). A man, who may well be the human incarnation of whatever ancient stupid god looks over Miami, barrels up waving a handgun and gets started with the racial slurs.

The woman complains about "thugs" and begins filming, but this is not her video. One of the boys tells them they're going to be "on the news". A taut self-awareness flashes over the woman's face as she finally looks into the camera. "That's fine," she says. Then she and the man quickly depart.

And now they are on the news.

A man was arrested Monday after he was caught on camera threatening a group of black teenagers with a gun in Miami's Brickell neighborhood.

Police did not identify the man late Monday. ... Keon Hardemon, a Miami commissioner, suggested the man should be charged with a hate crime.

"Assault with a deadly weapon and calling them n-----s sounds like a hate crime to me. ... He is not a hero. He will kill someone next time if he isn’t arrested," Hardemon said on Instagram.

UPDATE: Video shot by another driver shows the same pink-shirted man yelling racial slurs at the teenage bicycle protestors, apparently prior to the other confrontation. Read the rest

More Americans get the vote today than on any day since sufferage

The 2018 election included a Florida ballot initiative to restore felons' voting rights (with the exception of convicted murderers and sexual offenders): the 1.4 million Americans who will get their votes restored today as a consequence are the largest cohort of Americans to get access to the ballot since women's sufferage in 1920. Read the rest

Man attacks McDonald's worker, gets a battery charge and a beating

St. Petersburg, Florida.

Facebook user TJ Biandudi posted a video he says was filmed by his mother and sister when they patronized a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Monday. The footage shows a white man, whom the St. Petersburg Police Department identified as 40-year-old Daniel Willis Taylor, allegedly upset because he wanted a straw, grabbing a young black woman named Yasmine James, yanking her over the counter that separated the two, according to the police report obtained by The Root.

If you want an idea of how these men think, note that the attacker thinks that she is going to get arrested: “I couldn’t control you,” he says.

He was charged on two counts of battery, having also lashed out at another worker while leaving the restaurant. Read the rest

The prosecutor who helped a rich serial child rapist escape justice is now a Trump Cabinet member

In 2007, Florida multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution counts in a sweetheart deal that sent him to a private wing of a minimum security prison, with a work-release program that let him go to an off-site office for 12 hours a day, six days a week, for just over a year. Prosecutors knew of at least 36 underage survivors of sex crimes committed by Epstein, but none of them were notified of the deal (this silence is a breach of federal law), and they were subsequently smeared by Epstein's lawyers who accused them of being "gold diggers." Read the rest

Man arrested for rape after his Playstation mic allegedly broadcast audio from the crime to other players

Last June, 18-year-old Daniel Fabian of Pasco County, Florida was playing Grand Theft Auto Online, when he informed the other players in his team chat that he was going to take a break to "smash" (have sex with) a 15-year-old girl. Read the rest

Florida police chief gets 3 years in prison for framing 3 innocent Black men

For framing innocent black men, a police chief in Florida will go to prison for three years. Impunity is the norm in America for cases like this, so the conviction is a big deal. Read the rest

The Florida of ballot-design mistakes is...

Florida. Read the rest

After killing disaster-recovery rules, Ajit Pai can't understand why carriers aren't helping hurricane-hit Florida

Ajit Pai is a member of the Ayn Rand/James Buchanan cult that says that any government regulation is an unfair attack on the "freedom" of business, which is why his ascendancy to the Chairmanship of the FCC under Donald Trump was attended by an orgy of deregulation -- most of us know about his senseless slaughter of Net Neutrality, but that was just for starters. Read the rest

This November, Florida may reverse more than a century of mass Black disenfranchisement

Florida is one of three states where felons who have completed their sentences are still barred from voting; it's also a notoriously inhospitable place for Black people, where the combination of racial profiling, understaffed public defenders' offices, and the threat of farcically long minimum sentences has led to 1.5 million black people with fully discharged felony convictions on their records who are nevertheless banned from voting. Read the rest

Papers sought for We Robot: Miami's eighth annual conference on robots and the law

Michael Froomkin writes, "We Robot, now heading into its 8th year, is lots of fun -- and it's also the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy. The 2019 edition will be held at the University of Miami on April 12-13, 2019, preceded by a day of special workshops on April 11. We just today opened the submissions portal for paper and demo proposals. Full details are in the Call for Papers. Read the rest

Florida sheriff makes reasonable stand-your-ground shooting sound like casual murder

Jason Boek swerved his truck in front of an Uber driver at 2 a.m., forced him to pull over, then approached his vehicle while claiming to have a pistol and threatening to shoot. Boek was stalking a woman and under the mistaken impression she was a passenger in the vehicle. The Uber driver, Robert Westlake, pulled his own gun and shot Boek once, killing him.

Given the violent threat and the dangerous circumstances, no-one's in trouble: Westlake even performed CPR and called 911, to no avail. But here's the local sheriff to put the unique stamp of Florida on it all:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Mr Boek was a "goofball".

"Here's a message for the hotheads of the community: don't do that stuff," the sheriff said.

"Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead."

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11-year-old hacks replica of Florida's state election website in less than ten minutes

Can we please have paper ballots nationwide?

Last week at DEFCON 26 in Las Vegas, eleven-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida's state election site and changed the voting results. That's scary enough. What's even scarier is that it took him less than ten minutes. An eleven-year-old girl was able to hack into the same site in about fifteen minutes. And more than THIRTY kids were able to hack into replicas of other states' sites in less than half an hour.

That is straight up alarming and you'd think the folks in charge of our state and federal elections would be concerned about this and want to take immediate action. That would be the normal reaction. But we're a long way from normal.

In a statement regarding the event, the National Association of Secretaries of State said it is “ready to work with civic-minded members of the DEFCON community wanting to become part of a proactive team effort to secure our elections.” But the organization expressed skepticism over the hackers’ abilities to access the actual state websites.

“It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,” it read. “While it is undeniable websites are vulnerable to hackers, election night reporting websites are only used to publish preliminary, unofficial results for the public and the media. The sites are not connected to vote counting equipment and could never change actual election results.”’

I'm sure we'll be fine, though. Read the rest

Florida's prisons change tech providers, wipe out $11.2m worth of music purchased by prisoners

For seven years, Florida state inmates could buy a $100 MP3 player from Access Corrections, the prisons' exclusive provider, and stock it with MP3s that cost $1.70 -- nearly double the going rate in the free world. Read the rest

Florida youth voter registration up 41% since Parkland shooting

The only thing worse than a horrific tragedy is a horrific tragedy from which nothing decent is salvaged. Florida's youth voter registration is up 41% since the Parkland shooting and the ensuing Republican Party indifference to mass-murder and open contempt for young gun-control advocates. Florida is the nation's largest swing state. 2018 is an election year. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Florida man goes ape over $4 bundt cake coupon, may lose $204,000 job

Richard Salamon, the city planner for Sunrise, Florida, apparently got so nasty after a bundt cake store wouldn't honor his expired coupon that his job is up for review with city commissioners. Read the rest

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