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1
Jersey City shooter was Army veteran with a lengthy criminal history

David Anderson, was arrested at least five times since 2003, the year he was discharged from the Army, records show.

       

Source: Jersey City shooter was Army veteran with a lengthy criminal history

2
Six more bodies recovered in risky mission near New Zealand volcano; death toll at 14

The volcano's continued venting previously delayed plans by authorities to recover the bodies. Scientists believe another eruption is possible.
       

Source: Six more bodies recovered in risky mission near New Zealand volcano; death toll at 14

3
Senator Lauren Book’s Statement on the Second Interim Report of the 20th Statement Grand Jury, focused on safety in Florida’s schools















"The findings and recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which have been validated by the Grand Jury report, have kept me up nights for the past two years. The fact that many of the same critical safety issues that allowed one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings to occur still persist today should scare us all – and I do not believe that we are much safer today than we were February 14, 2018. Not because of inaction on the part of the Public Safety Commission or the Florida legislature, but because of some school districts’ continued effort to subvert the law out of convenience or self-interest. We cannot tolerate this. The lives lost at MSD must not be in vain, and the path forward is clear. Florida’s schools can and must be safe places."



About State Senator Lauren Book:

Lauren Book represents Broward County, District 32 in the Florida State Senate. Following the Parkland massacre, she has been instrumental in school safety response as a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission.




Source: Senator Lauren Book’s Statement on the Second Interim Report of the 20th Statement Grand Jury, focused on safety in Florida’s schools

4
University of Phoenix to cancel $141 million in student loan debt to settle FTC dispute

The settlement includes $50 million in cash and $141 million to cancel debt. The FTC called it the largest ever obtained against a for-profit school.

       

Source: University of Phoenix to cancel $141 million in student loan debt to settle FTC dispute

5
The Clean Waterways Act Advances in Florida Senate

The Clean Waterways Act, sponsored by Senator Debbie Mayfield (Indialantic – R), has passed the Senate Committee on Community Affairs. This comprehensive legislation incorporates recommendations from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to expedite improvements and restoration of Florida’s water bodies that have been adversely affected by blue-green algae blooms.



The Blue-Green Algae Task Force, created by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this year, received input from a variety of stakeholders and identified significant sources of nutrient pollution that are contributing to algal blooms. These sources include runoff from agricultural lands, onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), sanitary sewer overflows, and stormwater runoff. In October 2019, the Task Force released recommendations to improve the state’s policies and programs to achieve targeted nutrient reductions and protect public health.



Any lasting solutions must address aging sewage treatment infrastructure, eliminating wastewater spills, septic to sewer conversions and biosolids,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield. “I look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and my colleagues to implement these reforms to make cleaner waterways a reality.”



This bill focuses on long-term solutions for Florida’s water quality and represents the most comprehensive environmental reform the state has seen in more than a decade,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I am grateful for Governor DeSantis’ and Senator Mayfield’s dedicated commitment to protecting our environment.”



###


Source: The Clean Waterways Act Advances in Florida Senate

6
US, Saudi officials reexamine background of all Saudi military trainees in wake of shooting

In the wake of the fatal Pensacola shooting, U.S. and Saudi officials are doing a new round of vetting on hundreds of Saudi military students
       

Source: US, Saudi officials reexamine background of all Saudi military trainees in wake of shooting

7
President Galvano Appoints Graci McGillicuddy to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization Board of Directors

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) today announced the appointment of Mrs. Graci McGillicuddy of Sarasota to represent the Senate on the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization Board of Directors.



“Graci has been a champion for victims of child abuse for over thirty years,” said President Galvano. “Having served as an advocate for helping abused and exploited children at both the state and local level for decades, her passion and knowledge will be a great asset for the Board of Directors. I am grateful for her willingness to represent the Senate in this capacity.”



Mrs. McGillicuddy is a founding member & chairperson of the All Star Children’s Foundation, established in 2005.  The foundation created and supports the All Star Children’s “Campus of Hope & Healing,” which was developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to provide trauma-focused clinical services for children victimized by abuse. Mrs. McGillicuddy has served as both a Board Chair and Board Member of the Child Protection Center of Sarasota since 1987. In 2004, she was appointed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. In 2008, she was appointed by former Florida Governor Charlie Crist to the Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Advisory Council and was reappointed in 2009.



Graci has been the recipient of many awards including former Senate President Jeff Atwater’s Florida Senate “Spirit of Service” Award in 2009. Former President Atwater created the award to recognize Florida’s “unsung heroes” those who, through their acts of service, preserve America’s long-standing tradition and commitment to volunteerism and make Florida a better place. 



The Senate President appoints four members of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization Board of Directors. President Galvano previously announced the appointments of Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation), former Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, and Mrs. Toni Azinger of Bradenton.



House Bill 851, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Book during the 2019 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature, requires the Department of Legal Affairs to establish the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization to provide assistance, funding, and support to the Council and to assist in the fulfillment of the Council's purposes.



A direct-support organization is a non-profit organization authorized by statute to carry out specific tasks in support of a public entity or public cause. 


Source: President Galvano Appoints Graci McGillicuddy to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization Board of Directors

8
Time names teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg 2019 Person of the Year

This is the first time the magazine has named a teenager, making 16-year-old Greta Thunberg the youngest person to ever be named Person of the Year.

       

Source: Time names teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg 2019 Person of the Year

9
Federal judge issues injunction against diverting military funds for border wall

The injunction blocks the administration from using up to $3.6 billion it planned to reallocate from military construction projects.

       

Source: Federal judge issues injunction against diverting military funds for border wall

10
Unsolved homicide: Cocoa detectives looking for answers on third anniversary of shooting

The victim's mother says she forgives whoever shot her son but believes God won't let the person go unpunished.
       

Source: Unsolved homicide: Cocoa detectives looking for answers on third anniversary of shooting

11
321 Launch: Space news you may have missed over the past week

321 Launch: Space news you may have missed over the past week

       

Source: 321 Launch: Space news you may have missed over the past week

12
Sen. Lauren Book Files Bill to End Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Victims, Grant One-Year “Lookback Window” for Expired Cases

Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) has filed a bill to grant a one-year “lookback window” for victims of child sexual abuse, advocating for what could be a watershed moment for survivors of sexual assault by allowing cases with an expired statute of limitations to be brought forth for one year. In addition to the lookback provision, SB 1184 would also entirely eliminate the civil statute of limitations for sex crimes against children moving forward. Earlier this year, the Governor of New York signed a similar bill into law.

 

“Fear, guilt, confusion and shame often keep victims of child sexual abuse silent for years – and the scars last a lifetime,” says Senator Book, a survivor and accomplished sexual assault prevention advocate. “When these survivors find their voices, they deserve to be heard – whatever the timeline.”

 

Seventy-five percent of victims of child sexual abuse don’t tell anyone for a year, 45 percent have still not disclosed after 5 years, and many stay silent for a decade or more – as seen in the highly publicized cases of the Catholic Church, USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, and others. Sexual abuse is the most under-reported violent crime.



SB 1184 is the latest in a series of bills introduced by Senator Book to address sexual assault and women’s issues in the state of Florida, including measures to end the rape kit backlog, ensure the availability of emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault, and to prevent fertility fraud.

 

Senator Book has recently made headlines throughout the state over the last several months the midst of explosive reports surrounding serial sex predator Jeffrey Epstein and failures of Palm Beach County officials, successfully calling for Governor Ron DeSantis to launch a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into the miscarriage of justice.



Senator Book began advocating for survivors of sexual abuse in 2002 – long before becoming a member of the Florida Senate, following physical, emotional, and sexual abuse perpetrated by a trusted caretaker. Since that time, she has worked to prevent abuse through education and awareness and help survivors heal with guidance and support.


Source: Sen. Lauren Book Files Bill to End Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Victims, Grant One-Year “Lookback Window” for Expired Cases

13
Cold, snow to blast central, eastern U.S. this week; wind chill could drop to -25

Some of the coldest air of the season is poised to barrel into portions of the central and eastern U.S. over the next couple of days, forecasters say.

       

Source: Cold, snow to blast central, eastern U.S. this week; wind chill could drop to -25

14
Legislation to Create Permanent Staging Areas for Emergencies Passes First Senate Committee

Senate Proposed Bill (SPB) 7020, Emergency Staging Areas, today passed the Senate Committee on Infrastructure and Security, chaired by former Senate President Tom Lee (R-Brandon). The legislation provides for the plan, design, and construction of permanent Staging Areas for Emergencies (SAFE) as part of Florida’s Turnpike System.



“Recent hurricanes are an all too present reminder of the need to keep Floridians and their families as safe as possible before, during, and after a storm by proactively and strategically locating emergency supplies, including fuel reserve capacity, in key areas across the state,” said Senate President Galvano (R-Bradenton). “We want to ensure that nothing is standing in the way of critical supplies and assistance reaching communities struck by a natural disaster or an emergency situation.  This legislation creates a reliable and consistent approach to emergency staging along Florida’s Turnpike System, with myriad benefits to Floridians and visitors to our state.”



“The increased availability of permanent and secure staging areas will help improve the efficiency of emergency response, making it quicker and easier to disseminate emergency supplies, including food, water, and fuel,” said Senator Lee. “During non-emergency periods, these secure areas along Florida’s Turnpike System will increase safety on our roads by providing commercial vehicle parking for drivers complying with federal hours-of-service and off-duty requirements.”



SPB 7020 would allow for the creation of permanent areas for the staging of emergency supplies to facilitate the prompt provision of emergency assistance to the public in response to a declared state of emergency.



The bill directs the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in consultation with the Florida Department of Emergency Management (DEM), to consider several factors when selecting proposed sites for SAFE locations. SAFE locations must be created in geographic areas that best facilitate wide dissemination of emergency-related supplies and equipment; provide ease of access to major highways and other transportation facilities; be large enough to accommodate the staging of a significant amount of emergency-related supplies and equipment; provide space in support of emergency preparedness and evacuation activities, such as fuel reserve capacity; and, can be used during non-emergency periods for commercial motor vehicle parking. Additionally, the FDOT is required to give priority consideration to placement of such staging areas in counties with a population of 200,000 or less in which an M-CORES corridor is located.



The proposed bill presents no immediate fiscal impact to state or local revenues or expenditures. Once identified, SAFE location projects would be included in the FDOT’s work program.



 


Source: Legislation to Create Permanent Staging Areas for Emergencies Passes First Senate Committee

15
Twin girls, 4, free themselves from car crash that killed their father in 'heroic' act

The twins unbuckled their booster seats, extricated themselves from the wreckage and climbed 200 feet up an embankment back to the main road.
       

Source: Twin girls, 4, free themselves from car crash that killed their father in 'heroic' act

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