Rick Singh sues PACs for 'smear campaign' during election:
Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh is suing political action committees and their anonymous supporters for running a "smear campaign" against him during the 2016 election. The libel suit says two PACs and their anonymous financial backers acted maliciously when they falsely accused Singh in mailers and television ads of changing his first name to hide a federal lawsuit, financial debt and a felony arrest, among other things. Singh's lawyers estimate the PACs spent about $3.4 million in dark money to discredit the incumbent before he was re-elected. The property appraiser and his lawyers wouldn't name any names, but it's no secret that Singh has earned the ire of local theme parks. The parks have sued Singh because they say he's appraised them higher than the office has in the past. In just two years, Disney's tax bill jumped from $84.5 million to $102.6 million, while Universal's taxes went from $148.6 million to $297 million.
Pulse owner will unveil plans for permanent memorial this week:
Barbara Poma, the owner of the gay nightclub Pulse, will reveal plans for a permanent memorial at the site where a gunman killed 49 people during "Latin Night" last June. Poma's organization, the OnePULSE Foundation, says on its website that a fund will be established to "support the construction and maintenance of the memorial, community grants to care for the survivors and victims' families, endowed scholarships for each of the 49 angels and ultimately a museum showcasing the historic artifacts and stories from the event." Back in December, Poma was in talks with city leaders to sell the Orlando club, but ultimately backed out of the deal, saying she couldn't walk away from a space that means so much to her family and community.
SpaceX launches first classified mission for the U.S. military from Florida:
The company's Falcon 9 rocket launched a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office this week from Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center. The federal agency manages defense satellites in space, and the payload for Monday's launch is suspected to be a data relay satellite.
Florida wildlife officials search for loose monkey in Apopka:
A rhesus macaque monkey was spotted in an Apopka neighborhood last week and as of press time on Monday, has not been found. Florida Fish and Wildlife officers say the monkey could be a pet, but it's more likely to be a wild animal from the colony of rhesus macaques that live in Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. Wildlife officials say if you see the monkey, do no approach it – instead call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922.