Florida State Wide

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about a new scam targeting seniors with offers of fake COVID-19 grants. The Florida Attorney General’s Office is receiving reports from seniors offered thousands of dollars in federal grant money to stay isolated at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Scammers are contacting seniors via Facebook Messenger, email and text message to offer these sham grants and request upfront payment as insurance for the expedited delivery of grant money.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This scam appears to involve an international criminal organization utilizing a multifaceted communications plan to deceive seniors. These criminals are hacking Facebook accounts to send messages to targets from a friend’s profile—creating the illusion that the grant program is being promoted by an acquaintance. Once contact is made, the criminals request personal information, bank account numbers and insurance payments purportedly to help ensure the safe delivery of thousands of dollars in federal grant money, and of course, the money is never sent.

“Sadly, we have uncovered evidence that some are falling for this scam. Please know that the federal government is not contacting seniors and offering them grant money to stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate and stop this scam. You can help us by reporting suspicious messages to our office.” Continue reading

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today issued a Consumer Alert warning students at Florida colleges and universities of an emerging work-from-home employment scam. Scammers are targeting students via emails that appear to be sent from a college or university advertising fictitious work-from-home employment opportunities. The scammers obtain personal information from the student while posing as a university representative. Savvy scammers convince students to cash counterfeit checks and send them the money.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “During the COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic downturn, Floridians are looking for work, and it is unconscionable that scammers are exploiting these times of uncertainty to prey on our college students. Students who fall victim to this scam could face serious repercussions to their financial stability and credit record. I am urging all students currently enrolled at Florida colleges and universities to take extra precaution when receiving online job offers.” Continue reading

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is working with Florida sheriffs, police chiefs and university police to stop child porn Zoombombing. Zoombombing occurs when hackers hijack internet video conferences, like those offered by the fast-growing platform Zoom. These hackers often present inappropriate, offensive material or otherwise disrupt video conferences. Recent reports indicate that hackers are crashing online meetings with child pornography. After learning of this criminal activity, Attorney General Moody began working with local law enforcement to thwart the offensive conduct and ensure local, state and federal law enforcement are coordinated in their efforts.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It’s heartbreaking that anyone would exploit children in this manner, but child pornography is pervasive online. It’s disgusting and illegal. When hackers hijack meetings and force participants to view these disturbing images, we must ensure we have an immediate, aggressive and coordinated law enforcement response. That is why I am working with our great law enforcement agencies to track down Zoombombers and hold them accountable for the victimization of our children.” Continue reading

Tallahassee, Fla. — Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, mental health awareness has been a central part of the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Florida’s state agencies have coordinated with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health during the public health emergency to ensure Floridians have access to free mental health resources and necessary support.

First Lady Casey DeSantis said, “Mental health must always be an important point of emphasis in disaster response and recovery – especially for individuals already suffering from mental health issues, individuals affected by the disaster directly and health care workers and first responders. In Florida, I am proud of the steps being taken by several state agencies during the COVID-19 public health emergency to offer mental health services and support.”

Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez said, “As our state continues to wage its battle against this new illness, we must recognize the toll taken on those individuals who fight every day to keep our communities safe. With these important tools and strategies, we are arming these selfless professionals with the resources they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones as they continue their commitment to keeping Florida healthy.” Continue reading

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointments of Heather Beato to the Tenth Circuit Court, Brett Waronicki to the Nineteenth Circuit Court, London Kite to the Duval County Court, and Andrew Bain and Elizabeth Gibson to the Orange County Court.

Heather Beato

Beato, of Sebring, has been an Assistant State Attorney for the Tenth Circuit since 2002. She received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law. Beato fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Bruce Smith.

Brett Waronicki

Waronicki, of Stuart, has been a Partner and Shareholder for Wiederhold, Kummerlen, and Waronicki, P.A. since 2011. He previously served as an Assistant Public Defender for the Nineteenth Circuit. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. Waronicki fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara Bronis.  Continue reading

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointments of Cary Rada to the Fifth Circuit Court, George Wright to the Eighth Circuit Court, William Henry to the Fourteenth Circuit Court, Paige Gillman to the Fifteenth Circuit Court, Tabitha Blackmon to the Broward County Court, Jason Jones to the Leon County Court, Cristina Rivera Correa to the Miami-Dade County Court and Chiaka Ihekwaba to the Miami-Dade County Court.

A Judge from this area is…

Cary Rada

Rada, of Tavares, has been a Judge for the Lake County Court since 2018. He previously served as a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and his law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Rada fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark Hill.

 

Dear Friends,

It is great to be a Floridian! It is truly a blessing to live in in a state that has not been completely overrun by liberal socialists. It saddens me to see that the average working American in other parts of this country have to live and raise a family in states that do not value their labor and effort. Instead, in places like Seattle, Washington, weak leaders reward law-breakers, rioters, and looters. They allow them to take over public spaces, threaten law enforcement, and burn or destroy local businesses. This lawlessness is unacceptable, unjust and cannot be allowed to continue in our America. Their rebellion is not about injustice, or they would not acting this way. Their rebellion is against the principles that this country was founded on. Does our country have some ugly history? Yes! We know that there have been many instances in world history that mankind has not been kind to each other, but that does not mean that the guiding principles that our country was founded on are evil or unjust. Liberty and justice for all with law and order secured. This is what our country needs now, more than ever.

While those in other parts of the country continue to burn and destroy, Florida remains focused on the current mission. Get people back to work, quickly, safely and efficiently. There is nothing in the world that a little prosperity cannot cure. Floridians are not interested in destroying; they are interested in building a future. Governor DeSantis and your elected leaders in the House and Senate are doing a fantastic job, and Florida is in a good shape to bounce back quickly from the economic damage of COVID-19 and get us back on track. Continue reading

OCALA, Fla.-The Department of Health in Marion County is reporting 655 cumulative cases of COVID-19 as of this afternoon; 340 of those cases were added within the past two weeks. Because of this substantial increase in cases, residents need to take extra care with Fourth of July celebrations and activities in the coming days.

“Ultimately, we do not want to see a surge in cases linked to Fourth of July celebrations,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “So, however you celebrate, do so responsibly by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask if you can’t socially distance, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home if you are sick,”

Residents are also advised to avoid the three C’s: closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with many others nearby, and close-contact settings, such as close-range conversation. The risk of COVID-19 spreading among a group of people is highest when the three C’s overlap. Continue reading

Dear Friends,

We are finally beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. For the last three months, and three columns, COVID-19 issues have dominated our conversations. As this is being written, however, the State of Florida has begun it’s re-open plan and we are seeing good signs that we will be fully back on track soon.

Three months ago, No one could have accurately predicted where we would be at today with this virus. Some said it would last three weeks and once warmer weather came, it would be gone. Others said it would be years before we could safely leave our homes as we wait for a vaccine. Neither has turned out to be true. Three months ago, predictions for Florida were dire. Hundreds of thousands of cases, tens of thousands of death, hospitals failing, this was what we were being told would happen in a best-case scenario. None of that looks to be true. Statewide, hospital capacity never went above fifty percent and thousands of ventilators remained unused. Continue reading

Applebee’s 441 Villages

I dined inside. Pretty good size restaurant and maybe six tables were occupied. They brought my place setting on a plate: knife, fork, spoon and napkins. I was asked to take them off of the tray.  Interesting they took my drink order, it came on a tray. I had coffee. You take your own coffee off the tray. They take your order when they serve you. They never touch anything you are using to eat or your food.

I had fish. It was good and plentiful, fries, coleslaw which was tasty. The fish looked deep fried which is not my choice of how I like fish but it was good, a little cocktail sauce and I had a nice lunch.

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I have been informed that Sweet Tomato is closing for good. They will be missed. Their food was good, healthy and moderately priced. They always took part in community events. Again I say they will be missed! Continue reading

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