A Florida pig named 'Duck' is trying to become the next Cadbury Bunny: A Florida pig named Duck is pursuing an acting career, and her first audition is for the role of Cadbury bunny. June Tarallo, the pig's owner, says she entered Duck into a contest to find Cadbury's next spokesbunny after encouragement from Duck's fans. Now, Duck is a top 10 finalist in the contest. If she wins, she'll be wearing bunny ears in a Cadbury commercial and Tarallo will receive $5,000. Other than the Easter-themed fame and fortune, Tarallo is using Duck's platform to advocate for pigs sold as "mini" or "teacup pigs."
Andrew Gillum to go into rehab for alcohol abuse: Saying he "fell into a depression" after losing the 2018 race for governor, former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum announced he is going into a rehabilitation facility because of alcohol abuse. The announcement came after an incident last week in a South Beach hotel room, where a man reportedly overdosed. Gillum was in the room, and a police report said he was "unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state." Three small bags of suspected crystal meth were found in the room, police said, but Gillum later denied doing drugs. In the statement, Gillum said that after "conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time."
Seminole County releases rap video to explain their complicated fertilizer ordinance: Seminole County released a music video on March 9 called "NITROgen (Slow Release)," under the faux label "Seminole County Records." It outlines what fertilizers you should and shouldn't use on your lawn, and is also Peak Dad Joke embarrassing. The message is to avoid using phosphorus, and to use nitrogen-based fertilizers instead, or: "Fertilize, fertilize, there is a right way to fertilize / Start a revolution, it's an evolution, you're the one solution to nutrient pollution." Got that?
Florida lawmakers voted Thursday on a $93 billion budget: Florida lawmakers vote Thursday, March 19, on a record $93.2 billion budget that includes spending $500 million to increase teacher pay and bolstering reserves as the novel coronavirus threatens state revenues. The budget was distributed last weekend, starting a legally required 72-hour review period before lawmakers can vote on it. The House and Senate scheduled floor sessions at noon on March 19 amid coronavirus precautions. The House, in part, will close its public seating galleries to visitors and is "excusing any member from attendance who has symptoms associated with the virus or who meets the criteria for being part of the higher risk population," according to a memo from Speaker Jose Oliva.
Channel 2 meteorologist Amy Sweezey is leaving WESH, but not Central Florida: Amy Sweezey announced she will depart WESH after a final April 16 broadcast, but she doesn't intend to leave town. She says she's planning to keep living in Seminole County with her husband and three children, working as a freelance journalist and author. Sweezey has consistently placed on top of our annual Best of Orlando reader awards. She appears on WESH billboards across the city, and even published a children's book about the weather in 2017. She memorably helmed the weather desk during the record-setting 2004 Florida hurricane season – all while pregnant.
– This story appears in the March 18, 2020, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.