Leave ’emotional evidence’ out of suspended Sheriff Scott Israel’s trial to restore job, his attorney says

The attorney for suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel asked the state Tuesday to limit “emotional evidence” at the upcoming trial where he’ll seek to win back his job following last month’s suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis over the sheriff’s handling of the mass shooting in Parkland. At a 20-minute procedural hearing at the Florida Capitol, attorney Benedict (Ben) Kuehne said: “I’m hopeful that this proceeding will focus on the allegations and the facts as opposed to the... Read More

Bill aims to protect pre-existing conditions from ‘catastrophic’ Obamacare repeal

If Congress or the Supreme Court kills the Affordable Care Act, one of the act’s key provisions — that people with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance — could be preserved for Florida consumers under a bill advanced by a state Senate committee Tuesday. How beneficial that access would be without cost controls is not yet known. On the national level, Republicans have been trying to repeal or gut protections in the ACA, know as Obamacare, since it was enacted by... Read More

A Florida man wants to be entombed in his boat when he dies

Jim Tucker reckons the concrete-hulled boat in Santa Rosa Sound where he spends his days has about 1,000 years before it crumbles into dust, settling into a mushy pile at the bottom of wherever it might be moored. However long the boat lasts, when it does go down, Tucker will go down with it. He plans to be laid to his eternal rest in the bow of the now nearly century-old vessel, probably in a body bag encased in fiberglass inside a sealed concrete vault. “One of the questions you... Read More

DeSantis and the grand jury: Good politics may bring good policy | Randy Schultz

From a political standpoint, Gov. Ron DeSantis acted shrewdly last week in seeking a statewide grand jury to investigate school safety. By appearing with families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas victims one day before the one-year commemoration, DeSantis showed solidarity but kept the main focus off himself. If the Florida Supreme Court accepts his petition for the grand jury – which seems likely – DeSantis can keep the pressure where it belongs. A showboating governor might have tried to... Read More

Man once again to face rape charges from DNA breakthrough

He had a one-way ticket for a flight to Haiti on Monday, but a fugitive’s apparent plan to flee from rape allegations was foiled by federal agents from South Florida. Authorities say Pascal Estime, 56, was arrested by U.S. Marshals at Orlando International Airport, on charges that he sexually battered a mentally impaired woman in Boynton Beach 15 years ago. Informed Tuesday of Estime’s capture, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Joseph Marx ordered the Orlando man to be held without bond... Read More

Pat Riley on persevering with Heat: ‘I ain’t going out this way until we win another title’

Having twice stepped aside when the Miami Heat were at two of their lowest points, Pat Riley said in an interview with ESPN that he plans to continue on in his role as team president amid this latest uneven period. Interviewed by ESPN personality Dan Le Batard, Riley, in a clip of the interview posted Tuesday by the network, referenced Dwyane Wade leading the Heat back from the brink of disaster against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, when Wade turned to Riley, then the... Read More

SOBEWFF or Lake Worth Street Painting Festival? Your guide to this weekend’s huge events

If the return of culinary goliath South Beach Wine and Food Festival is any indication, we’ve hit peak tourism season, when an embarrassment of art and culinary riches fills the streets from Lake Worth to Miami Beach. What that also means: Parking woes everywhere, as cars converge on South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Village, the street parade in Fort Lauderdale’s growing Sistrunk neighborhood and the chalk-art bonanza in Lake Worth. Here’s everything you should know... Read More

Judge allows Parkland dad Andrew Pollack to attend grilling of school watchman Andrew Medina

The father of a slain Stoneman Douglas High School student will be allowed in the courtroom when his lawyers question the former school watchman who saw the shooter, but failed to stop him from entering the campus last year, a judge ruled Tuesday. Former security monitor Andrew Medina wanted Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning to block Andrew Pollack from a deposition scheduled for next week. Medina is one of the defendants in a lawsuit Pollack filed over the wrongful death of his... Read More

Man accused of fatal shooting outside Sunrise nightclub

It was early on a Sunday morning when Akeano Lewis left the Hibiscus nightclub and restaurant in Sunrise. Following Lewis out of the bar as he took his last steps were four men, including one armed with a gun, police say. On Jan. 27, as Lewis, 22, reached a parking lot outside the club, at 6289 W. Sunrise Blvd., he was shot twice in his back. Lewis tried to run away, but after he fell, the gunman stood over him, continued to fire a black handgun and a third bullet struck Lewis, according to... Read More

Florida teacher who implied child should go back to Africa needs lesson on First Amendment | Editorial

A sixth-grader in Lakeland now has a police record for having refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance on Feb. 4. To hear adults speak about it, it isn’t because he exercised his absolute constitutional right to shun the pledge at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy. Rather, it’s because of what they called his disruptive behavior after the teacher, substitute Ana Alvarez, provoked him. Their excuse is pathetic. By the teacher’s own handwritten account, she goaded the boy after he... Read More