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ICYMI: Pulse and Parkland families endorse Bill Nelson Trump dabbles in disaster conspiracy, and more



Pulse, Parkland families endorse Bill Nelson in Senate race: The families of victims killed in two Florida mass shootings endorsed Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson last weekend in his re-election campaign. Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf cited inaction on gun reform from Nelson's Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, in the 612 days between the shooting at the gay nightclub and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "I am so sorry that we were too gay to be a priority for you," Wolf said at a press conference. "I'm so sorry that we were too brown for you to care. ... I am not sorry for calling you what you are, and that is a spineless shell of a human being capable of little else than supporting your bank account." Fred Guttenberg, father of 14-year-old Parkland victim Jaime Guttenberg, said he was thankful to Scott for passing some gun reforms after a shooter killed his daughter. "Unfortunately, under Gov. Scott, nothing was done on guns or school safety after the prior incidents, like Pulse or the Fort Lauderdale shooting," he said. "Perhaps if more had been done before, I would be only known as Jesse and Jaime's dad, and I wouldn't be involved in something like this."

Orange County appraiser appeals ruling in Disney tax dispute: Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh says his office is appealing a ruling from a judge who sided with Walt Disney World in a dispute over the market value of the Yacht and Beach Club Resort. The theme park sued the Orange County Property Appraiser's office in 2016 after OCPA assessed the Yacht and Beach Club Resort at a value of nearly $337 million in 2015. Disney officials argue that the 65-acre property is actually worth closer to $209 million. Judge Thomas Turner, though, agreed with Disney officials in July, saying the methodology used by OCPA was flawed, and ruled Disney should be refunded $1.2 million in property taxes collected by Orange County. Singh says the materials presented by Disney were "grossly and skillfully flawed and devoid of both proper and accepted appraisal methodologies."

Florida House to probe UCF's misuse of $38 million for building: Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state House will investigate the University of Central Florida's misuse of $38 million in state funds for a building project. The funds were used to erect an academic building, Trevor Colbourn Hall. That money, though, is restricted by state policy for instruction, research, libraries, student services or maintenance. UCF President Dale Whittaker said the school has replenished the funds and is investigating the problem.

Priest cleared of sexual abuse allegations after removal from Orlando Diocese: A Cocoa Beach priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in Berks County, Pennsylvania, has been cleared of those allegations by a district attorney. The Rev. David Gillis, 65, was removed from his duties by the Diocese of Orlando after the father of the alleged victim reported Gillis to the Berks County District Attorney's Office. Investigators determined that the allegations were false after interviewing the alleged victim, now an adult, who told them Gillis did not abuse her. "It is unfortunate that the accusation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Gillis was made public by the Diocese of Orlando before the outcome of this investigation could be determined," Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams said in a statement.

Donald Trump is now a hurricane truther: In the same vein of conspiracy theorists convinced the Pulse mass shooting was a hoax or that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job, President Donald Trump revealed himself to be a hurricane truther last week. Despite studies and evidence proving the contrary, Trump denied reality by tweeting that an estimated 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María and called his administration's response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico an "unsung success." It's one way to distract people from the doubts that remain about the federal government's aid to the U.S. territory after the disaster. A year after the catastrophic storm, Hurricane María survivors and advocates plan to stage a protest at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach Sept. 22 to mourn the victims of the disaster and demand justice for the island.


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