News & Features » News

ICYMI: The opening of a Confederate time capsule, a toddler dies after being left in a hot van, and more



Orlando holds vigil for those killed in Charlottesville's white supremacist rally:

The place that used to be the site of Orlando's Confederate monument became a gathering space Sunday night as more than 100 mourners held a vigil for Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal killed when a man rammed his car into a counterprotest of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Two Virginia state troopers were also killed during the rally in a helicopter accident, for reasons yet unknown. Robin Harris, an Orlando activist, told the crowd that Charlottesville is a mirror of what's brewing locally. "If you want to learn how to be in true solidarity, go and sit down somewhere and listen to those that have been through this," she told the crowd. "Come and look at the bruises on our heads. And then, and only then, can we really march in solidarity."

Orlando officials open time capsule left inside Confederate statue:

Cocktail napkin-sized Confederate battle flags. A yellowed book recording minutes of an Ocala convention for the Florida division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. And a 1911 edition of the local Daily Reporter-Star detailing how "bad health" prompted an Orlando man to drown himself in Lake Eola. Those are just some of the items documented by city staff last week after they opened a century-old time capsule that was located inside the base of the Confederate memorial that was removed from Lake Eola Park in June after local residents said it was a symbol of white supremacy and racism. The UDC had threatened to sue the city for the capsule, but Mayor Buddy Dyer said last week that the city had not been served with a lawsuit.

Day care driver arrested after 3-year-old boy found dead in hot van:

Orlando Police say Little Miracles Academy employee Deborah St. Charles, 51, is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter in the death of Myles Hill. Investigators say St. Charles assumed all the children were out of the van when she left Myles inside and went into the day care. The toddler died after being left for about 12 hours in temperatures of more than 144 degrees. The Florida Department of Children and Families has revoked the operating license for the two locations owned by Little Miracles Academy. 

Orlando commits to 100 percent renewable energy citywide by 2050:

By the year 2050, Orlando commissioners want all the electricity used in the city to come from renewable sources of energy like solar and wind power. The decision makes Orlando the largest city in Florida committed to this goal. Aside from combating climate change and pollution, the city argues the move toward renewable energy increases economic opportunities in Central Florida by creating local jobs in the industry. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer didn't directly call out the climate-change aversion of President Donald Trump or the Republican-led Florida Legislature, but did say city mayors had to lead the fight against rising seas and increasing temperatures.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.