Florida

Cross targeted by atheists will remain standing on Florida public property

A 78-year-old cross on public property in Florida targeted by atheist groups will remain standing after a victory in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled Wednesday that the Bayview Cross in Pensacola, which was built ahead of World War II as a place for the community to gather, does not violate the Constitution. “The Supreme Court has now made clear that religious symbols are an important part of our nation’s history and culture,” Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, said in a statement. The federal appeals court ruled the cross is constitutional, noting it has become “embedded in the fabric of the Pensacola community” and that removing it could “strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.” Four individuals, represented by the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sued the city in 2016, demanding the cross be torn down. Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson celebrated the ruling. “Pensacola is a historic city with a rich and diverse history. The Bayview Cross is an important part of that history as a symbol of our community’s coming together during a national crisis,” Robinson said. “Today the citizens of Pensacola will celebrate our long-awaited victory and the preservation of the Bayview Cross.” The decision came after the June 2019 Supreme Court’s landmark religious liberty case, American Legion v. American Humanist Association, in which First Liberty Institute successfully defended the World War I memorial cross in Bladensburg, Md. “The Supreme Court made clear in The American Legion decision that the days of governments roaming the land to scrub all public symbols of faith are over,” Mike Berry, general counsel to First Liberty Institute, said. “We’re thrilled to see our victory in that case already making an impact and protecting religious freedom across the country.” Monica Miller, American Humanist Association legal director and senior counsel, said the group is exploring all their options, calling it a “devastating blow” to the Establishment Clause.

Oh WHAAAA Monica!  This is an OUTSTANDING decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and one we should ALL be celebrating.  It is a clear and decisive victory for our religious freedoms.  Despite what these whining atheists would have you believe, the 1st Amendment only says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”  Our founders who wrote that had fled religious persecution in Great Britain where there was an official national religion.  So, they wanted to make sure that there was no official religion of the United States.  BUT, our founders didn’t want religion (especially Christianity) banned from the public, or from our public schools…which is where that second part comes in.  In other words, we have freedom OF religion, but not freedom FROM religion.  Thank God.

Record-setting 17-foot Burmese python caught in South Florida, officials say

The largest Burmese python ever seen in South Florida wasn’t able to slither her way out of being captured earlier this week. A snake hunter captured the female snake while on South Florida Water Management District property in Miami-Dade County Monday night, the agency announced in a press release Wednesday. Homestead resident Kyle Penniston was credited for reeling in the elongated reptile, which was measured at 17 feet, 5 inches and weighed in at 120 pounds, according to the SFWMD. The python is the third to have been caught as part of the agency’s Python Elimination Program that measured more than 17 feet. Snake hunters for the SFWMD have captured 1,859 of the invasive species on district-owned land, according to the press release. “Eliminating invasive species such as Burmese pythons is critical to preserving the rare Everglades ecosystem,” the SFWMD said. “Florida taxpayers have invested billions of dollars to restore the water quality and hydrology of the Everglades. Reducing the populations of invasive plants and animals is necessary to ensure this investment results in meeting the shared goals of the overall restoration plan. The combined length of the snakes caught so far is more than two miles, while they have collectively weighed more than 11 tons. Penniston alone is credited with eliminating 235 snakes, the second-most in the program, while Miami resident Brian Hargrove comes in at first place with 257 snakes caught, the agency said. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages a similar program named the Python Removal Contractor Program,which enlists qualified individuals to survey areas of state-owned land for pythons. The snakes are then humanely euthanized according to guidelines set by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Prominent figures such as U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla) and celebrity chief Gordon Ramsey have taken part in the hunts, according to the SFWMD.

To see photos of this monster python, click on the text above.       🙂

How a 2-star Army general took charge of a broken city

Mark McQueen’s sand-colored combat boots have walked the ground during many disasters. Afghanistan. Iraq. Florida’s Panama City. The two-star general had no sooner retired from the Army and started his job as city manager for this Gulf Coast community when it was slammed by a category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Michael became the most devastating hurricane to hit Florida in decades. Almost all of Panama City’s water, sewer, electric and cell services were wiped out. Despite McQueen having no municipal experience and having been on the job only two weeks, city leaders say he’s exactly the man they need for the long recovery ahead. “I believe the Lord sent him,” said Panama City Commissioner Billy Rader. “God knew this was going to happen before we did.” The 58-year-old was a rare choice when commissioners picked him out of a candidate pool of 80 people, and not just because his experience was from the military. When McQueen accepted the job six months ago, he asked the commission for a grace period to wrap up his military service and end his a civilian job as a church’s business administrator. There was another pressing matter, too. “There was a gentleman who needed a kidney,” he says casually. That’s right. In the last four months, McQueen has retired from the military, started a new job, helped coordinate one of the largest hurricane responses since Katrina, and donated a kidney. To a stranger. In August, he donated his left kidney to a man at his church, and took a few weeks to recover (the recipient is doing well). McQueen came to Panama City in 1988 for a job at a local community college. He met his wife here, and they raised their two children here. Over the years, he rose in the ranks of the military, from officer to Special Operations Command, to his final assignment as commanding general of the 108th Training Command headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he commanded some 7,000 soldiers. One of their tasks was to repair Baghdad’s infrastructure. Another, more recent assignment was to help orchestrate the emergency response to Hurricane Florence on Sept. 14. He missed a recent city commission meeting because of that. On Sept. 24, he marked his first day on the job, and outlined to the local paper what he wanted to accomplish in his first 120 days. He spoke of looking “down and in” and “up and out” to set the framework for a long-term strategic plan. He mentioned five-year goals and a long-term vision that stretched toward 2050. All that lasted approximately two weeks. When Hurricane Michael bore down on Florida’s Panhandle, he ordered an evacuation for parts of the city and unrolled his Army bed mat and camouflage blanket in the corner of the police chief’s office. As the eyewall of the monster storm passed over the city, the police station’s roof threatened to lift. Water trickled into the building. When the storm passed, he surveyed the damage in this city of 40,000 people. Ninety percent of all the power poles were down. One of the two wastewater treatment plants was inoperable. Cellphones weren’t working. The city’s lush tree canopy was in splinters, covering roads and homes. “This is Baghdad with trees,” he said. “One hundred percent collapse of infrastructure.” His own home wasn’t damaged — “only a few roof tiles” — which allowed him to pour all of his focus into the city. Now, more than two weeks since the storm, he’s still sleeping in the chief’s office, but took a day to fly to Washington, D.C. His retirement ceremony from the military was Friday. It was his first day off since before the storm. After, he plans to return to Panama City and pull on his combat boots for the long haul. He knows he has his work cut out for him. Tens of thousands of homes are unlivable, and in a city where 75 percent of the schoolchildren get free or reduced price lunch, it will be a challenge to find affordable housing — or any housing at all — for the needy. Said McQueen: “I’m going to rebuild the economic engine of the city. We’re going to work the problem, and create a solution.”

We know you will, Sir.  Gongrats on your retirement, General….and for all your hard work in Panama City.    🙂

Donald Trump Taunts Florida Democrats for Nominating Socialist Andrew Gillum

President Donald Trump celebrated Wednesday that the Republican nominee for Florida governor was facing a radical socialist in the election. “Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream,” Trump marveled on Twitter. “A failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city.” Gillum surprised the Democrat establishment in Flordia with a primary victory. He was endorsed by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and ran on a platform of universal health care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, abolishing ICE, and repealing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” gun defense law. “This is not what Florida wants or needs!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Gillum was endorsed by liberal billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros and published a video calling for Trump’s impeachment.

Armed 70-Year-Old Turns Tables, Kills 18-Year-Old Robbery Suspect

An armed 70-year-old Orange County, Florida, homeowner opened fire on two 18-year-old armed robbery suspects Wednesday, killing one. The homeowner was also shot and wounded during the confrontation. According to WFTV, Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeff Williamson said, “We believe their intent was to commit an armed burglary of the residence. Unbeknownst to them, the resident of the home was inside.” Moreover, the resident, 70-year-old Juan Jose Carraballo, was armed. Carraballo exchanged gun with Gerald Anderson, killing him on the scene and causing the second suspect, Luismil Hernandez, to flee through the rear of the home. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Carraballo’s wife came home from work shortly thereafter to find him “crawling on the ground.” He was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds but told his wife, “[I] shot one of them.” Carraballo was rushed to the hospital for surgery and emerged in stable condition. Hernandez was arrested Friday and charged with “armed burglary and first-degree felony murder.” He is being held without bond.

Good for Mr. Carraballo for standing his ground against these maggots!  We wish him a speedy recovery!

 

Florida cop taunts would-be killer with lube on way to prison: ‘You are going to need a lot of this’

A police officer taunted the Jacksonville man who shot him multiple times last year by taking out a tube of K-Y Jelly personal lubricant in court Wednesday and saying, “You are going to need a lot of this,” local reports said. Kevin Rojas, then 19, shot the undercover police officer three times during a 2016 traffic stop, including once in the face, the Florida Times-Union reported. The critically-wounded officer, who was taking his son to school during the incident, returned fire but did not hit Rojas. His son was not injured. Local reports did not identify the undercover officer. In October, Rojas was found guilty of numerous felonies, including attempted first-degree murder, grand theft auto, attempted manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday. The wounded officer, who formerly served in the Army, began by calling Rojas a coward at the sentencing hearing, the Florida Times-Union reported. “I will take those bullets instead of a fellow officer and an innocent bystander,” the officer said, according to the Times-Union. “When I brought the fight back to you, you ran like a coward.” The officer then produced a tube of K-Y Jelly and told Rojas he would “need a lot” of it in prison, according to local reports. When questioned by a judge in a 30-minute hearing about the stunt, the officer refused to comment, the Times-Union reported. The officer’s supervisors were aware of the incident and will address it, according to local reports.

Let’s hope those sups give the good officer a medal!  The man took 3 bullets, including one in the face!!  His little “stunt” was funny and the judge should have laughed or shook his head and let it go; NOT berate the poor officer for such a little thing.  Glad this piece of garbage Kevin Rojas was given life in prison.

Your Orange Juice is definitely going to cost more

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release its first citrus production forecast for Florida’s 2017-2018 Thursday after Hurricane Irma swept the Sunshine State more than a month ago, wiping away a majority of its treasured crop. Initial reports indicated that 50-70% of citrus crops have been washed away due to the storm. Florida’s Department of Citrus told FOX Business that farmers across the state are reporting anywhere from 30-70% crop loss over the last few weeks. Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said that the Florida Citrus industry as a whole has taken a “heavy hit” this hurricane season. “Before the hurricane, we were expecting more than 75 million boxes of oranges on the trees this season. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. This may, temporarily, mean less Florida Orange Juice on grocery store shelves and a corresponding price increase,” she said, without elaborating on how much the price hike will be. Yet, Florida’s Department of Citrus says despite the massive setback and soon-to-be price jumps, it is confident that no shortages will happen.