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Russians may have hacked a campaign, two new swans debut at Lake Eola, and other Orlando news you may have missed last week



Democratic Florida House candidate Ryan Morales claims Russians hacked their way into his campaign website: Ryan Morales, a Democratic House candidate in Lake County, claimed last week that his campaign website had been accessed by Russian hackers. Morales said he woke up to an email that said his website had an intruder. He learned soon after that the hacker had registered as an administrator on the site and changed some coding in the website's back end, which blocked Morales. No personal information was accessed. Morales said the hacker's email address – – and IP address were traced back to Russia by him and his host platform, WP Engine. Yandex is a Russia-based company.

Nearly 70,000 Florida kids lost Medicaid, KidCare coverage in 2018: Nationwide, more than 828,000 fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program combined in 2018. A new report says about 70 percent of those losses took place in seven states, including Florida. Usually, a drop in enrollment for government programs means the economy is improving and people are getting services elsewhere, and the Trump administration is backing that claim. But the report suggests children are falling through the cracks. Anne Swerlick, policy analyst and attorney with the Florida Policy Institute, said that includes just over 69,000 children in the state.

Trump plans to hold a campaign rally in downtown Orlando on June 18: President Donald Trump is planning a June 18 rally in downtown Orlando as part of his 2020 re-election campaign, with more than 30,000 people expected to attend. In response, activist and Pulse nightclub survivor Brandon Wolf created a Facebook event page titled "Resist Hate Rally Orlando." The counterprotest's location has yet to be confirmed, but Trump's official campaign website has his rally location listed as the Amway Center.

Two new male swans unveiled at Orlando's Lake Eola Park: The city of Orlando introduced two new male black-necked swans to Lake Eola last week, with hopes that one will mate with the lake's lone current black-necked swan, a female named Queenie. Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan introduced the new, unnamed swans to the public. The idea to find Queenie a new mate came from District 4 resident Shawn Pennington, who said his idea of getting involved in local government was inspired by the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation.

Florida Republican Dennis Baxley uses white supremacist talking points to defend his anti-choice stance: The South Florida Sun Sentinel asked state Sen. Dennis Baxley to clarify a comment he made last week on a public radio show in which he used white supremacist talking points to argue that abortion bans are essentially good because the country needs more white people. "The pro-life movement is multicultural, multiracial," Baxley responded to the newspaper. "All I am saying is civilizations do die if they have a low birthrate and don't replace themselves. A new society replaces them."

Orange-Osceola state attorney Aramis Ayala won't seek re-election, cites opposition to death penalty: In a video posted to her office's Facebook page last week, Aramis Ayala announced she won't seek re-election as state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties next year. Ayala, Florida's first African American state attorney, is the chief prosecutor for Florida's Ninth Judicial Circuit. In the video, she cited her opposition to Florida's death penalty and an August 2017 state Supreme Court decision that found that the state's elected prosecutors can't impose anti-death penalty policies.


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