Thousands attend an intersectional reckoning at the Orlando Women's March: On the one-year anniversary of the largest political protest in U.S. history, thousands of people flooded Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando to show their solidarity with women and other marginalized communities the Trump administration has targeted. Sheena Meade, a former candidate for the Florida House, called out the local movement for not including black women. "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair," Meade said, quoting Shirley Chisholm (the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress), as a group of black women came on stage with folding chairs. Speakers also urged women to run for office. "We need to bust those doors wide open," State Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando, told the crowd. "Forget glass ceilings – rush the doors."
Orlando loses bid for Amazon's HQ2 but declares intent to bid on 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon trials: The City of Orlando lost its bid to become the home of Amazon's second headquarters last week after the shipping giant released a list of 20 cities that made the final cut, including Miami. The company says it expects to invest over $5 billion in the construction of HQ2 and create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. Undeterred, though, Orlando city officials declared their intent last week to bid to host the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon along with other cities like Atlanta, Austin and Chattanooga.
Trump official says offshore oil drilling in Florida still being considered: Surprise! Despite the entire show Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put on declaring Florida wouldn't be considered as part of a White House offshore oil-drilling proposal, Trump officials said last week that the option is still on the table. Walter Cruickshank, the acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, told the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee that there has been "no formal decision yet on what's in, or out, of the five-year program."
UCF extends in-state tuition rates for hurricane evacuee students: The University of Central Florida is extending in-state tuition to evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for at least another year. The UCF Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend the tuition reduction for students displaced by Hurricane Maria until the spring 2019 semester. Before the vote, hurricane evacuees who enrolled at UCF were only provided in-state tuition rates through the spring 2018 semester.
Cortes wants governor to remove Ayala from a botched murder-for-hire case: State Rep. Bob Cortes is asking Gov. Rick Scott to remove Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala from a botched murder-for-hire case. The Altamonte Springs Republican said he wants the governor to reassign the case of Janice Zengotita-Torres to a state attorney "willing to pursue the death penalty." Investigators say Zengotita-Torres was kidnapped by mistake but her two captors allegedly decided to kill her anyway. After Ayala refused to seek the death penalty last year, Scott reassigned more than two-dozen first-degree murder cases away from her office. Ayala argued before the Florida Supreme Court that Scott didn't have the authority to remove her, but lost her case. To comply with the court's decision, Ayala created a seven-member panel of prosecutors who determine which cases deserve the death penalty.