Scott reassigns murder cases away from State Attorney Aramis Ayala:
Gov. Rick Scott reassigned 21 first-degree murder cases away from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala for her refusal to seek the death penalty during her administration. Scott is giving the cases to Ocala-based State Attorney Brad King, who was already reassigned the Markeith Loyd case. Scott says Ayala's refusal to consider capital punishment sends an "unacceptable message that she is not interested in considering every available option in the fight for justice." In a statement, Ayala says the governor is "abusing his authority and has compromised the independence and integrity of the criminal justice system." King also indicated this week that he plans to seek the death penalty for Loyd, who is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.
Brush fires hit Central Florida for a fiery weekend:
High winds and a steady drought in Central Florida helped spread brush fires across hundreds of acres in Orlando and other cities. Last week, fire crews battled a 475-acre fire near International Drive and Daryl Carter Parkway. No one was injured, but the Orange County Sheriff's Office did evacuate two buildings at the Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort as a precaution.
Orlando's Bumby Avenue reopens:
After two years of gazing fruitlessly at orange traffic cones, North Bumby Avenue between Colonial and Corrine Drive is finally open, with an improved look. The street was closed for a project in 2015 that would reconstruct the road, install a new stormwater collection system, add trees, create a multi-use path, and add new sidewalks and crosswalks.
UCF's female faculty members paid less than their male colleagues:
In news shocking to probably no one, a study shows female faculty members at the University of Central Florida make less money than their male colleagues. The study found that the median salary in 2016 for male faculty was about $90,096, while the median salary for female faculty was about $70,000. When the study accounted for variables that might lead to pay discrepancies, such as numbers of years of experience and teaching in higher-paying fields that are traditionally dominated by men, female faculty members earned 5 percent less than their male counterparts and "underrepresented minorities" earned 3.5 percent less than white faculty members.