Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer appoints new police chief: Orlando Rolón will replace Chief John Mina as the new head of Orlando Police as Mina retires to run for Orange County Sheriff. Rolón, who was appointed by Mayor Buddy Dyer last week, is a 25-year veteran of the department and will be Orlando's first Hispanic police chief. Previously, he's served as the head of OPD's patrol services bureau, a department spokesperson and Dyer's liaison from 2005 to 2008 advising on issues relating to the local Hispanic community. "Orlando Rolón has served our city for 25 years and I'm confident that under his leadership, [Orlando Police] will continue to work tirelessly to keep our community safe," Dyer said on Twitter. Mina, who is retiring after 28 years with the department, will wrap up his time with OPD on Oct. 26.
Orlando leaders create children's book to explain Pulse tragedy: Orlando community leaders have come together to create My Tío's Pulse, an illustrated children's book to help kids understand the 2016 mass shooting. All profits from the sale of the book will go to the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC), where Pulse survivors, victims' families and others affected by the tragedy can find resources and support. Local author and publisher Keith Newhouse came up with the concept and wrote the story of Angel, a young boy who learned to take his pulse in gym class but doesn't understand why the word "pulse" makes his Uncle Luis feel sad. The money will help OUAC, which was established after the Pulse tragedy by the City of Orlando, Orange County Government and Heart of Florida United Way, sustain its ongoing operations.
Val Demings: 'I would not endorse Darryl Sheppard for dog catcher': U.S. Rep. Val Demings is royally upset after Democratic Orange County Sheriff candidate Darryl Sheppard has refused to remove a photo of the two of them from his campaign materials. "I would not endorse Darryl Sheppard for 'Dog Catcher' of Orange County for fear the canines would lodge complaints," Demings wrote in a Facebook post. "He is TOTALLY unfit for the position he seeks, without even mentioning his criminal record. Perhaps he should learn how to OBEY the law [before] he TRIES to enforce the law." Sheppard hasn't been convicted of a crime, but he has been arrested in Florida at least 13 times on charges ranging from battery to vehicle theft.
Ron DeSantis refers to reporters as Andrew Gillum's 'Fake News allies': Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis took a page from his idol President Trump's book last week when he referred to reporters doing their jobs as his opponent's "Fake News allies." In a fundraising email sent to supporters, DeSantis says Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and his "Fake News allies" are "[poring] over our end-of-quarter report for the last 12 days looking for any weakness they can exploit in the final days of the election." The jig is up, people – examining a political candidate's publicly available financial contribution records to find out who is giving them money is tantamount to colluding with an opposing campaign. You got us, Ron.
Hurricane Michael slams into Florida Panhandle: The Category 4 storm decimated parts of the Panhandle last Wednesday, especially Mexico Beach. As of press time on Monday, more than 150,000 people remained without power, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The hurricane killed 18 people across four states, though search crews in Florida are still sifting through the rubble trying to find missing people. Florida's tradition of putting aside politics during hurricanes was broken when both sides continued to run negative ads in storm-ravaged areas. The Florida GOP and Ron DeSantis received major flak for deciding to run negative attack ads against Andrew Gillum as Michael battered the state.