Officer avoids charges after K-9 left in hot police car for hours found dead
A Cocoa police officer is not facing charges in connection with the death of a K-9 named Zena almost a year after she was found dead in the back of her handler’s hot car, according to an update provided by the State Attorney’s Office in Brevard County.
Pittsburgh’s ambassadors to space are ready to return America to the moon
Several private companies launching moon landers later this year from Florida will kick off a grand campaign to better understand our nearest neighbor, with big implications for when NASA returns humans to the moon in a few short years.
School board fires Florida teacher for medical marijuana use
MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Florida teacher has been fired for using medical marijuana. Florida Today reports that the Brevard County School Board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to terminate Allison Enright from her position at Space Coast Junior/Senior High School. Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but federal regulations continue to categorize cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, like heroin, LSD and ecstasy. School Board General Counsel Paul Gibbs says the school district must be a drug-free workplace to receive certain federal grants. Enright disclosed her medical marijuana use when she took a drug test after an injury at work.
Manatees are dying at an unusually high rate across Florida in 2021
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Florida’s beloved manatees, affectionately known as the “cows of the sea,” are always a sight to behold as they grace our Florida waters. However, since the beginning of 2021, the sea cow population is decreasing at an alarmingly fast rate. In the first five weeks of 2021, manatee deaths in Florida reached more than half of what they were in all of 2020. As of February 24, more than 350 manatee deaths have been recorded in Florida in 2021, which is three times the usual average for the same time period, according to The Weather Channel. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at least 358 manatees have died in Florida since Jan. 1.
Report: Mother of Florida teen killed by deputy shot by 16-year-old at son’s burial service
COCOA, Fla. – A gunshot fired into the crowd gathered at the burial service of a teenager who was fatally shot by a Florida sheriff’s deputy hit the deceased boy’s mother, wounding her. Quasheda Pierce was hit as the pastor finished his prayers at Riverview Memorial Gardens Saturday afternoon, according to Florida Today, who originally reported the story. Pierce and 16-year-old Angelo Crooms were killed Nov. 13 by a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy, according to reports. Local 10 sister station WKMG reported that an initial investigation found that the shot at the service came from an accidental discharge from a gun carried by a 16-year-old attending the burial, citing information from Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies. The shot penetrated the teen’s leg and impacted Pierce’s leg, WKMG reported.
Florida mom made toddler smoke THC so he would eat and sleep better, deputies say
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A mother made her 2-year-old son smoke THC from a vape pen on more than one occasion because she believed the marijuana would help him eat and sleep more, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. The woman said Clarisse would let her housemates watch the boy even though they were known to drink excessively, records show. In a separate Snapchat video, Clarisse smokes the vape pen while lying next to the toddler, the report said. Deputies said from there, Clarisse would put the vape pen in the boy’s mouth so he would smoke it in order to help his sleep schedule and appetite. Clarisse was arrested Tuesday on a child neglect charge.
Suspected Pillowcase Rapist’s DNA matches 25 rape cases, prosecutors say
MIAMI – The suspected Pillowcase Rapist’s DNA matched DNA evidence linked to at least 25 rapes, Miami-Dade County prosecutors said on Thursday. Prosecutors said detectives found trinkets from his victims and a metal nail file similar to the weapon his victims’ had described. The charges included a felony, so his DNA was included in an FBI database that included DNA from a 1983 rape kit in Miami-Dade County. (Tim Shortt/Florida Today via AP)After a few days at Brevard County jail, Koehler was extradited to Miami-Dade County on Wednesday. Koehler, 29, is facing charges of domestic violence assault, attempted burglary and criminal mischief in Brevard County.
Edna Buchanan ‘elated’ DNA helped detectives find Pillowcase Rapist suspect
An arrest warrant later showed detectives believe he was the man who earned the moniker for using a pillowcase to cover the faces of dozens of his victims in South Florida. An FBI database helped detectives to catch their suspect. According to the arrest warrant, the rape kit of a 25-year-old woman who officers believe was his victim in 1983 was included in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. The first sample was from Koehler’s son Jan. 13, and detectives collected the second sample after following Koehler to a public area Jan. 16. Detectives sent the evidence to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s crime laboratory, where there was confirmation Jan. 17.
Trapper trying to catch shark in Florida pond
INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH, Fla. – A trapper is back at a Brevard County park Tuesday, trying to catch a shark that somehow ended up in the park's retention pond. Wildlife trapper James Dean came prepared Tuesday, setting up his rod and reel and chumming the Gleason Park pond in Indian Harbour Beach. Dean says somebody released the 3-to 4-foot bull shark in the pond. "All the water ways that lead out of this area go directly into the river, not into this pond," said Dean. It's unclear how long the city and Dean will go at this, but once the shark is finally caught it will be released into the Indian River Lagoon.