Florida school principal unsure if Holocaust happened now certain to lose job

When asked how his school taught The Holocaust, Spanish River High School principal William Latson said that "I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event" and that “you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

After a year of anger in Boca Raton, Florida, Latson was finally removed from the job, reports CBS News.

The school district did not initially punish Latson for his comments. Instead, he received counseling and was encouraged to expand his school's Holocaust curriculum, according to CBS West Palm Beach affiliate WPEC-TV. The district said Latson also visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum to increase his "personal knowledge" of the genocide. But the district announced Monday that Latson would be immediately reassigned because "his leadership has become a major distraction for the school community." ... The district said Latson had "made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage" of his email to the parent.

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Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for trafficking dozens of young girls for sex

Days after an appeals court panel ordered the unsealing of thousands of pages of documents from one of the civil suits arising from billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's secret sweetheart plea bargain that allowed him to escape any serious penalties for years of alleged trafficking and raping of young teens, he has been arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force and now faces charges related to dozens of sex offenses against young girls. Read the rest

Appeals court orders unsealing of the Jeffrey Epstein files

More than a decade ago, a federal prosecutor named Alexander Acosta set up a secret sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy, Trump-connected admitted multiple rapist of underaged teen girls who was thought to be running a trafficking ring for wealthy, well-connected sexual predators, that saw Epstein serving only 13 months in a minimum security facility, on a work-release program that let him spend most of that time out of a cell. Read the rest

Learning from Baltimore's disaster, Florida city will pay criminals $600,000 to get free of ransomware attack

The city council of Riviera Beach, Florida has voted unanimously to pay $600,000 to criminals who seized control of the city's computers through a ransomware attack, after three weeks of being locked out of the city systems (the city has also voted to spend $1m replacing its computers). Read the rest

After double lot sold to separate owners, one of them erects fence through pool and garage

An Orlando homeowner owned a second lot next to the house. He added a pool that straddled the property lines. Then, following foreclosure, the two lots were sold to different owners, one of whom erected a fence. Over the pool. Through the garage.

When you're just dipping your toe in the real estate market

It's all so very "Florida"! Cities that don't enforce setback rules. Cities that tolerate structures spanning multiple residential lots. Sales that split combined lots into multiple lots without consideration of what is on the lots. Inspectors, appraisers and mortgage lenders saying "this is fine!". People building fences over pools and through garages. Read the rest

Florida Governor says the FBI told him how the Russians hacked Florida voting machines, but swore him to secrecy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says that after the Mueller Report was published, the FBI came to him to explain its conclusion that at least two Florida county's voting machines were hacked by Russians during the 2016 election, but that they swore him to secrecy so he can't reveal which counties and which machines were hacked. Read the rest

Manatee orgy causes traffic jam in Florida

A dozen mating manatees stopped traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa, Florida. Apparently some drivers reported a whale in distress but it turned out to be the manatees in a "mating ball" or "mating herd." And it happened before, a few years ago, in the same spot! Must be something in the water...

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:

Manatees mate in herds consisting of a focal female and multiple males, from a few to over a dozen, attempting to mate with her. Mating herds are most often observed during the warmer months, but can occur year-round. They can last anywhere from a few hours up to a week long. The manatees are often observed splashing or climbing on top of each other in the water.

(The Drive via Daily Grail)

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Police dashcam video of Florida driver cited for "I EAT ASS" window sticker

Mark reported earlier this week that a Florida man was charged with a crime over the "I EAT ASS" window sticker on his truck, and with resisting arrest for refusing to remove it; here's the dashcam video.

I EAT ASS window sticker [you bet your ass that's an Amazon link] Read the rest

Pools at Trump Florida resorts were shut 10x in one year by health & safety inspectors

'Drain the swamp,' said the man whose resort swimming pools are so filthy, Florida state health inspectors had to close 'em ten times in one year, reports QZ. Read the rest

Kickstarting "Florida Man," a card game from LA's wonderful Secret Headquarters

Florida Man is the inaugural kickstarter from Los Angeles's incomparable comics store Secret Headquarters (previously): it challenges players to fill in the blanks from hundreds of cards capturing actual headlines about actual Floridians, creating hilarious, Cards Against Humanity-style madlibs. $20 gets you a game (early bird, rising to $25), $50 gets you a game and expansion pack, and there are tiers with tons of swag and of course a retailer bulk-discount pack. Read the rest

Universal Studios is chipping their soda cups to limit refills

A room at a Universal Studios Florida hotel tonight will cost you $197-$536 (plus admission tickets to the park), but make sure that you do all your soda drinking in one compact session, because Universal has deployed the creepily named Validfill RFID system, which limits your self-service (that is, you do the labor) soda refills to two hours after purchase, and after the time window expires, "you are denied soda by a robot voice." Read the rest

Florida cops charged after one punched teen and another tried to destroy the evidence

After a raid in Miami, police Sgt. Manuel Regueiro approached and punched an 18-year-old cuffed suspect in the face. The victim warned the officers they were being filmed by the home security system. So officer Alex Gonzalez stole the evidence. But he had in fact taken the system's battery, and now both officers are being charged with crimes.

Regueiro for misdemeanor battery ... Gonzalez with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor petty theft.

“Shameful we have to take these actions,” the department’s director, Juan Perez, said in a Tuesday tweet. “However, any officer violating the law will face the consequences, including arrest and prosecution.”

Consider in silence how ignorant of modern technology you'd have to be to think that a modern surveillance camera's battery was a tape. Read the rest

Man stole a massive rare coin collection and dropped much of it into a Coinstar machine

A Palm Beach, Florida gentleman robbed his "friend" of a rare coin collection and dropped much of it into a Coinstar machine for just the face value in bills. According to the Palm Beach Post, Shane Anthony Mele, 40, confessed to robbing Michael Johnson's office of many items totaling $350,000 in value, including around 100,000 coins, "some worth just a little and some extremely valuable." From the Palm Beach Post:

(Mele) told investigators he took some coins to South Florida Coins & Jewelry in Lake Worth, where he said he got about $4,000. The store’s owner, George Hornberg, told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday the total actually was $2,330.

Mele told police he dumped the rest of the collectibles in “Coin Star” machines at area grocery stores. People often trade large stashes of loose coins for store credit, minus a fee of as much as 11.9 percent.

That means if he dropped in the 33 presidential coins, valued at $1,000 each, he got about $29.30.

image: "Presidential $1 Coin Program" by Bill Koslosky, MD Read the rest

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

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