When Trump asked for a 'number' to support his claims of record approval ratings, Hope Hicks gave him a Tennessee GOP poll: 'I mean, I had to give him something, right?'
Trump "didn't seem to process" that the approval rating he was citing was lower than his ratings among Republicans nationwide, per Mark Leibovich.news.yahoo.com
Democrat wins congressional seat in Florida special election
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick has won the race for Florida's 20th congressional district. She was heavily favored to win the election, since the district leans blue. She is filling a seat that was left vacant by Congressman Alcee Hastings, who died in April 2021. CBS News political associate producer Aaron Navarro joined CBSN's Lilia Luciano to discuss.news.yahoo.com
Business tax cut makes Florida online sales tax OK, activist Grover Norquist says
Florida lawmakers are poised to add a large business tax cut to a bill that would require online retailers to collect more sales taxes from purchases, avoiding violating a pledge made by three dozen Republicans not to raise taxes, according to the anti-tax group that organized the pledge.sun-sentinel.com
VIDEO: AirOne Tracks Down Wanted Criminal Who Led Cops Into Dangerous Nightly Pursuit
OCALA, Fla. — A wanted suspect, who was on the radar of police officials for a long time, was apprehended after he led officers into a dangerous nightly vehicle pursuit with his lights of. To his bad luck, he did not realize there was an eye in the sky, watching his every move. The video footage shows the chase between the suspect and the police officials, recorded by the aircrew in Ocala, Florida, on March 18. “The suspect was spotted over speeding. The incident started when the suspect, identified as Alexander Stetz, 26-year-old, was spotted speeding past a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and Deputy Josh Beccue from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.thewestsidegazette.com
Florida Man Charged with Federal Hate Crime
A Florida man was charged with federal hate crime in Ocala for setting fire to a church. According to the indictment, Shields intentionally set fire to the Queen of Peace Catholic Church on July 11, 2020. Shields is charged with one count of intentional damage to religious property, a hate crime charge that falls under the Church Arson Prevention Act, and one count of using fire to commit a felony. If convicted, Shields faces a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment for intentionally damaging religious property. Shields faces an additional mandatory minimum of 10 years for using fire to commit a felony.justice.gov
Man and bear killed in Florida motorcycle crash
OCALA, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol says a motorcyclist hit a bear that was standing in the westbound lane of State Road 40 near Ocala. Troopers say the crash late Thursday night killed the man and the bear. A news release says the 42-year-old man was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center where he later died of his injuries. The bear was dead at the scene. The agency did not release the name of the man.
Ernst wins Drive On Championship for 3rd LPGA Tour title
Albane Valenzuela misses a putt during the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala in Ocala, Florida on Sunday, March 7, 2020. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Star-Banner]OCALA, Fla. – Austin Ernst won the Drive On Championship on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour title, pulling away to beat fellow former NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho by five strokes at Golden Ocala. She won the NCAA title in 2011. It’s just unfortunate that’s when mine came for the week.”Winless on the tour, the former 23-year-old former Wake Forest star from Colorado won the NCAA title in 2018 and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. Nelly Korda, tied with Ernst and Kupcho for the first-round lead, had weekend rounds of 76 and 75 to tie for 28th at even par.
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine has arrived in Florida
During the Friday news briefing, the governor said Florida has started by giving doses of the newest vaccine to law enforcement members who are 50 and older at a pop-up site in Polk County. The state will expand its efforts to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to law enforcement over 50 years old at pop-up sites in other Florida counties, including Broward and Palm Beach, DeSantis said.sun-sentinel.com
Florida prison failed to protect women inmates from staff, report shows
OCALA, Fla. – Federal investigators say a Florida women’s prison has likely violated inmates’ constitutional rights by failing to protect them from sexual abuse by staff. According to a report released Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that the conditions at Lowell Correctional Institution in north Florida violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. The Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment. The Justice Department provided the prison with written notice and suggested minimum remedial measures that include installing additional video surveillance and adopting new policies to protect inmates.
Justice Department Alleges Conditions at Lowell Correctional Institution Violate the Constitution
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida today concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that the conditions at Lowell Correctional Institution (Lowell) in Ocala, Florida, violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Specifically, the department concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that Lowell fails to protect prisoners from sexual abuse by the facility’s staff. Our investigation found that staff sexually abused women incarcerated at Lowell and that these women remain at substantial risk of sexual abuse by staff. In addition, prisoners are discouraged from reporting sexual abuse and investigations of sexual abuse allegations are inadequate. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt.justice.gov
Fugitive of 35 years was living in Florida under fake ID
OCALA, Fla. – Authorities say a man who fled a drug conspiracy charge in Nebraska 35 years ago has been arrested in Florida, where he was living under a false identity. Court records show 72-year-old Howard Farley Jr. was arrested Wednesday at his north Florida home. He faces a passport charge in Ocala federal court and up to 10 years in prison. According to a criminal complaint, Farley applied for a passport in February using the false identity. Records show that Farley was the only defendant not apprehended in the case.
Florida police chief killed in plane crash
DUNNELLON, Fla. – Authorities say a Florida police chief died when the plane he was piloting crashed into an open field. Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn confirmed the death of Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham on Sunday. Marion County Fire Rescue says the plane crashed around 11:30 a.m. into an open field, not far from the Marion County Airport. Guinn says Ocala Deputy Chief Mike Balken will be named interim police chief. “He loved Ocala and Ocala loved him,” Sheriff Billy Woods told WKMG-6 in Orlando.
Here's why swing-state North Carolina is 'smack in the middle' of the 2020 election
U.S. President Donald Trump points to a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, August 24, 2020. Former Vice President Biden, whose campaign until recently had been largely virtual due to the pandemic, has visited North Carolina three times since February. "Most paths to the White House go through North Carolina," said Chris Cooper, professor of political science at Western Carolina University. Five of them included winning North Carolina. "If the Republicans don't win North Carolina, it suggests the GOP stranglehold of the South is lessening and may be gone."cnbc.com
Trump makes campaign stops in Georgia and Florida, and holds White House event for seniors in Florida
President Trump made campaign stops on Friday in Florida and Georgia, and held an official White House event that might as well have been a rally. At his 90-minute rally in Macon, Georgia, Mr. Trump criticized NBC News after his contentious town hall with journalist Savannah Guthrie. "Can you imagine if Joe Biden was treated like Guthrie treated us, not me, it's us," Mr. Trump said. At a White House event in Fort Myers, Florida, for seniors earlier Friday, Mr. Trump said was "well aware" that "America's 54 million seniors have borne the heaviest burden of the China virus." The light at the end of the tunnel is near," Mr. Trump said.cbsnews.com
With town hall and rallies, Trump campaign has a busy day in South Florida on Thursday
Trump will continue courting Florida voters on Friday. He is scheduled to hold a rally at 4 p.m. Friday in Ocala. Trump is also expected to visit Fort Myers on Friday, but the campaign has not announced the details of any public events planned there.sun-sentinel.com
Wall Street-owned loans tricky for hoteliers in virus era
FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2019 file photo, developer Danny Gaekwad talks about the roof top bar on his Hilton Garden Inn hotel that is presently under construction in Ocala, Fla. Since the coronavirus crisis started, hotel owners say they are struggling to get relief on a type of loan that Wall Street investors buy. [Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP)
Federal Court Bars Florida Tax Return Preparer and His Business From Preparing Tax Returns
On Feb. 14, 2020, a federal court in Ocala, Florida, entered a permanent injunction against Philip Mott Harris II and his business, 24/7 Tax Services LLC, barring them from preparing federal tax returns for others and owning or operating a tax preparation business, the Justice Department announced today. The court also ordered that Harris and 24/7 Tax Services LLC disgorge $544,874.56, representing the ill-gotten gains that they received for the preparation of tax returns. Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers. In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers.justice.gov
Boy, 9, charged with attempted murder of 5-year-old sister
OCALA, Fla. – A 9-year-old boy has been charged with trying to kill his 5-year-old sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife inside their Florida apartment last month, officials said. The boy was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder and appeared in court on Wednesday in the central Florida city of Ocala, prosecutors said. When she returned, she said she found the boy stabbing his sister with a kitchen knife in a bedroom. The child told investigators he thought of killing his sister two days before the Jan. 28 stabbing, Ocala police said. The public defender's office is awaiting results of a competency examination that will determine whether the boy understands the charges, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.
Shame on you. Florida LGBTQ advocates rally against bills that would ban medical treatments for transgender youths
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the Hills, and Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, are behind the legislation. Supporters argue that the treatments are being given to children when they are too young to understand the consequences.sun-sentinel.com
Florida mother, her 4 kids found dead
Casei Jones, 32, and her children, who range in age from 1 to 10, were last seen about six weeks ago in the Ocala, Florida, area, the sheriff's office said. On Sunday, Michael Jones crashed his van near Brantley County in southeast Georgia, about 150 miles north of Jones' last known Florida address. Deputies "smelled a foul odor" coming from Michael Jones' van, according to a Brantley County Sheriff's Office press release. Marion County officials said a warrant for second-degree murder charges has been issued for Jones' arrest. "True evil poked its head up here in Marion County," Sheriff Billy Woods said.