News & Features » News

ICYMI: A local state attorney takes a stand, Disney owes Florida workers a lot of moolah, another cobra is on the loose and more



Aramis Ayala removed from Markeith Loyd case after saying she won't seek death penalty:

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala made national news this week after announcing she wouldn't seek the death penalty in cases under her administration, including the case against Markeith Loyd. Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton. The move outraged many state officials, including Gov. Rick Scott, who removed Ayala from the case, saying it was clear she would "not fight for justice." Various civil rights and religious leaders, anti-death penalty proponents and murder victims' mothers spoke at the downtown Orlando court in support of Ayala, including Stephanie Dixon-Daniels, the mother of Loyd's alleged victim. "With the death penalty, he's not going to be executed for another 30 to 40 years anyway, but he's going to continue to have the opinions to drag us back in court and relive this violent, hideous act," she says. "This monster will die in prison."

Disney agrees to pay Florida workers millions in back wages:

The U.S. Labor Dept. of Labor got the Mouse to agree to pay more than 16,000 workers about $3.8 million in back wages. The Labor Department found violations involving minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping, including a "costume" expense that caused some employees to earn less than the federal minimum wage.

Scholarship fund for LGBTQ students honors Pulse victims:

To honor the 49 victims who were killed at the gay nightclub Pulse last year, the 49 Fund will provide 10 annual scholarships for tuition at a higher education institution, each worth $4,900, to LGBTQ students in Central Florida who identify as "out." The fund was created by Barry L. Miller, president of the Orlando-based firm the Closing Agent, in collaboration with the GLBT Center of Central Florida.

Authorities search for an Ocala monocled cobra on the run:

Florida wildlife officials are searching for a cold-blooded reptile that escaped from its cage. The Ocala Star-Banner reports the deadly snake went on the lam after an apprentice accidentally let it out. The cobra jumped to attack but then slithered away.

Stand Your Ground shift is approved by Florida Senate:

The National Rifle Association-backed measure would shift the burden from defenders to prosecutors in "stand your ground" pre-trial immunity hearings. Currently, Florida law allows people to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they're in danger, but they must prove their case. The new proposal would make the state prove why the Stand Your Ground law doesn't apply to defendants.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.