Orlando Rep. Darren Soto and others push for legislation to revitalize Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands: Last week, Soto and a number of other Congressional Democrats began their push for what would finally give the U.S. territories the help they've longed for. Dubbed the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act, the companion bills seek to address the mounting humanitarian crises by "mobilizing all necessary resources and assets to restore power, provide clean drinking water and food, safe shelter and access to health care," and do so without forcing the territories to accumulate more debt, according to a press release. The legislation is intended to bridge a path toward not only rebuilding the U.S. territories back to pre-disaster conditions, but also working toward a sustainable future.
Conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Donald Trump now suggests Joe Scarborough killed his intern in Florida: Last Wednesday morning, in his predictable somewhere-around-that-first-cup-of-coffee fashion, our nation's leader suggested in a tweet that longtime critic Joe Scarborough, former Florida congressman and host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, may have killed his intern while still serving in Congress. On July 20, 2001, Lori Klausitis of Niceville was found dead in Scarborough's office, after having made comments to colleagues about not feeling well earlier that afternoon. According to medical examiner Dr. Michael Berkland, as reported by what's now the Tampa Bay Times, Klausitis "lost consciousness because of an abnormal heart rhythm and fell, hitting her head on the desk." The 28-year-old's death was ultimately ruled an accident.
Billy Manes' husband launches fundraiser to create tribute mural in Orlando: Tony Mauss, husband of the late Billy Manes, launched a fundraiser on Thursday to raise money for the creation of a downtown Orlando tribute mural in honor of the local icon. Manes was an activist and longtime columnist for Orlando Weekly and later became editor-in-chief at the local LGBTQ paper Watermark. He left a Billy-sized hole in the city's heart when he died suddenly this past July due to complications from severe pneumonia, at age 45. Mauss wants to raise $35,000 on a GoFundMe campaign to pay local artists to paint the mural, purchase supplies and meet permitting costs. So far, the fundraiser has raised more than $1,400. "When Orlando called, Billy was there," Mauss wrote on the fundraiser page. "And now it's Orlando's turn."
Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill will press charges against former firefighter Joshua Granada: The press conference on Friday morning, in which Hill announced her plan to press charges against Granada after he recorded a 30-second audio clip of Hill acting "belligerently" during an Aug. 27 medical emergency call, was the commissioner's first time to speak publicly on the matter. Though Granada claims he didn't recognize Hill, she remains convinced that the incident was politically motivated. Earlier this year, Granada was awarded the "2017 Florida Firefighter of the Year" for his bravery as a first responder during the Pulse massacre on June 12, 2016.