Governor Calls For Sweeping Changes For School Safety

Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a sweeping plan today in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Broward County that includes:  Increased law enforcement at every public school at a rate of one officer per 1000 studentsn  Increased Safe Schools funding to provide metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors and mental health solutions in every county.  But the plan falls short of banning or limiting access to assault weapons.

Students from all over Marion County along with concerned adults are gathering on the downtown square at this hour for a protest against assault weapons in the state.   The protest is part of the Never again movement by students and titled what if it were us.  The protest is to draw attention to the dangers of assault weapons.  Students are calling on the gun friendly GOP controlled legislature to ban such weapons in Florida.

The State of Florida executed 47 year old Eric Branch last night for the rape and beating death of a University of West Florida student in 1993.  Branch was put to death at the Florida State Prison near Starke.  Branch abducted 21 year old Susan Morris as she left a night class at the university so he could steal her car and head back to Indiana.  She was later found buried in a shallow grave.  Branch was arrested on his way back to Indiana.

Florida State Regulators have denied Munroe Regional Medical Center’s request to build a new hospital at its Timberridge location on State Road 200.  The application was opposed by other hospitals in the area and the state agreed.  Now Munore officials say they are already preparing another application.

The 29 year old man arrested Wednesday night, charged with mowing down two innocent women in January while speeding along Silver Springs Blvd downtown faced a judge for the first time Thursday.  Joshua Zuniga made his appearance by video from the jail.  A judge told the 29 year old that he could be facing 30 years in prison if convicted and that’s if the state doesn’t pile on more charges.  Zuniga told the court that he’s trying to obtain a private lawyer.  He’s now being held without bond.   39 year old Ali Andino and 28 year old Jessie Caldero were killed when a speeding truck ran them down on Silver Springs Blvd at NE 1st avenue January 13th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s some more on Mr. Zuniga:

He’s a convicted felon with multiple theft and grand theft convictions.  His drivers license was suspended years ago. In addition he has several violation of probation charges.  He has multiple burglary charges on his record and resisting arrest charges.  This is in addition to the new charges he faces.  The state attorney could tack on vehicular homicide charges in addition to the hit and run charges he now faces.

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The Marion County SWAT team was called to a home in the Southeast part of the county Thursday where a woman told police that a man had beaten her and she wanted him out of the house.   When police arrived the man told police not to come any closer and for a split second showed a rifle.  That was shortly before noon.  Five hours later the standoff ended and the man was not arrested.  Police said the man never threatened law enforcement and the woman decided not to press charges.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said Thursday that he supports arming school teachers, endorsing a controversial proposal a day after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio rejected it.  The support comes just one day after Negron and other legislative leaders gave little more than lip service to students who marched on Tallahassee demanding that assault weapons be banned in Florida   The model is likely to be based on a program created by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who allows teachers who want to be armed to go through specialized training, becoming partially deputized by sheriff’s office.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday the school resource officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was suspended without pay after he learned the deputy never went into the building when the shooting began.  Deputy Scott Peterson never went in to confront the killer.  The sheriff said the lack of action made him sick to his stomach.   Peterson resigned and retired yesterday.

Florida State Regulators have denied Munroe Regional Medical Center’s request to build a new hospital at its Timberridge location on State Road 200.  The application was opposed by other hospitals in the area and the state agreed.  Now Munore officials say they are already preparing another application.

Some changes in store at Airbnb.  The company is dispatching inspectors to rate thousands of the properties listed on its home rental service.  It’s to reassure travelers they’re booking nice places.  Airbnb calls it the Plus program and targets travelers who just aren’t too sure about the rating system from past guests.  Guests will pay more for inspector certified properties.