Florida

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.

Florida: Elderly white woman followed home from store, robbed in driveway by black male thug

An 86-year-old woman had just gotten home from grocery shopping at Walmart when an armed man ran up behind her and demanded her purse. Investigators later told her she had been followed home from the store by the suspects. It happened Sunday around 12:30 p.m. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is now on the hunt for the suspect and his getaway driver. The victim wasn’t hurt. But she’s too shaken up to talk about what happened, after having a gun pointed right at her. Fortunately for investigators, a camera caught the whole thing. Surveillance images show the woman in her driveway unloading groceries, unaware of the threat behind her. Walking up from the street is a man raising a semi-automatic handgun, completely aware of who and what he’s after. “Nothing more despicable than robbing our elderly and victimizing our children,” said Larry McKinnon, Public Information Officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The woman had been shopping at the Walmart on Causeway Boulevard. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the woman had just bought groceries. She loaded them into her vehicle and drove home. But she wasn’t alone. “They clearly knew it was an elderly woman. They did surveillance on her from the store,” McKinnon said. Investigators say at least two suspects followed her home and parked nearby. Once she started unloading her groceries, a black man – wearing a red hat, red bandana, and a black shirt, pants, and shoes – got out of the passenger seat of a 2014-2017 dark gray Toyota Corolla and ran toward her. The man was armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun and forcefully removed her purse before running back to the car and taking off. “They followed her home and not only took her purse, but I guess felt the need that somehow they had to produce a gun to make her give up her purse as if she was some type of threat,” McKinnon said. The victim’s purse was found in a trash can at the Git-N-Go on Rideout Road in Tampa a short time later. “Obviously, they were for quick cash, credit cards,” McKinnon said. Frequent Walmart shoppers like Nichole Davenport are concerned to hear of a crime like this originating at a store they find relatively safe. “The guy has got to be pretty desperate,” Davenport said. “To know that somebody followed someone home from this store, it’s pretty creepy. It attributes to the fact that we are living in a day and age where we need to be aware of our surroundings.” Though the victim got away unharmed, investigators are anxious to get these thieves off the street before someone else is. “It really just goes to display how despicable these suspects are to do that to anyone, not to mention an elderly woman like this,” McKinnon said. Anyone with any information about the suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200. Anyone who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS(8477) or report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com

Just awful!!  What a piece of garbage!!  We’re just glad the poor woman is ok, and that they found her purse, minus her credit cards (which can be replaced) and some cash.  It could have been far worse.  That said, if you are in Hillsborough County, FL and know something, please call that number above.  This oxygen thief and his accomplice(s) need to be found and arrested.  Unreal..

‘This is war’: Florida sheriff urges citizens to arm themselves in case of attack

A Florida sheriff’s office posted a controversial message on social media, urging citizens to arm themselves in self-defense. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted the video on Facebook Wednesday, two days after a deadly workplace shooting in nearby Orlando claimed the lives of five people. “Folks, now more than ever is the time for our citizens to be prepared to serve as the first line of defense, not only for them, but for their families,” Sheriff Ivey said. As images of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and Pulse nightclub massacre flashed on-screen, Ivey warned residents that attacks have happened locally as well as abroad. “What’s next is to fully understand that this is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect you, your family, and those around you if attacked,” he said. Ivey stressed that attackers rely on people running, hiding, and waiting for help, rather than fighting back. “What they don’t count on is being attacked themselves, having to become defensive to save their own lives,” Ivey argued. The sheriff said that calling 911 means officers are on their way, but said, “Until they arrive, it’s up to you and those with you to neutralize or eliminate the threat.” Ivey encouraged people to take self-defense classes, and urged those with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns with them at all times. “No matter who you are or what your position is on guns, there’s no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or a knife is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer,” Ivey said. The sheriff’s message received a mixed response.

I’m sure..  But, Sheriff Ivey is exactly right!!  As a concealed carry person myself, I’m always armed.  And, it doesn’t hurt that I have many years of experience as a “field grade” Army officer, including time in Afghanistan, etc.  If you don’t have a concealed carry permit, consider getting one…as well as a concealed carry firearm.  Then, spend time on your local firing range.  Its a great hobby, and is something you do with your family and loved ones.  Kudos to Sheriff Ivey for having the courage in this day and age to put such a message out there.  Excellent!!    🙂

Illegal Alien Allegedly Broke into Florida Home, Nearly Choked Woman to Death

A Florida man whom deputies say entered the U.S. illegally allegedly broke into a woman’s home and almost choked her to death Sunday. Deputies say Juan Arteaga-Orozco, 36, faces felony charges including attempted murder and burglary in connection with the incident, WFLA reported. Polk County deputies responded to a call at a home in Davenport at around 4:06 a.m. about a suspected burglary. One of the victims told deputies that Orozco got into bed with her while she was asleep and followed her down a hallway as she yelled for help. Orozco allegedly grabbed her neck with both hands and said, “Shut up, shut up or I’m going to kill you.” The first victim said Orozco squeezed her neck so tight that she could not breathe and felt like she would faint. She added that she was afraid he would kill her. WOFL reports that the victim told authorities that there was no sexual contact between her and the suspect. Another victim heard screaming upon entering the house, according to deputies. The second victim noticed Orozco attempting to flee and tried to capture him, but the suspect pushed the victim away and fled the home through the front door. WFTS reported that deputies found Orozco’s vehicle parked in front of the home. Deputies allege that Orozco entered the residence without permission, choked one victim with the intent to kill her, and intentionally shoved the other victim. “This is an example of an immigrant in our country illegally committing serious and violent crimes,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “He also has a criminal history, and should have been deported after committing his earlier crimes.” Orozco has a criminal history that includes five felony charges and two misdemeanors dating back to 2004. Orozco is being held at Polk County Jail without bond, and an ICE hold will be placed on him.

Good!  That’s how it’s supposed to happen!  NO bail, and deport him…after securing some biometric data (i.e. fingerprints, etc.) to track him, should he re-enter the United States again.

Bomb-sniffing dog who has protected Trump struck by bullet meant for deputy

A South Florida bomb-sniffing dog who has helped protect President Trump was shot and wounded in the line of duty Friday when he took a bullet meant for his two-legged partner. K9 Kasper is recovering after being shot in the side when deputies with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office exchanged gunfire with a wanted stick-up man who was killed, Fox 13 Tampa reports. None of the deputies were injured. “During the gunfire, PBSO K9 Kasper was shot while protecting his handler,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that included a photo of the wounded dog on a veterinarian’s operating table. The sheriff’s office posted video on Twitter Saturday of Kasper leaving the hospital to go home. Kasper has protected Trump at times in Palm Beach, WPBF-TV reported. Deputies say Phillip O’Shea, 46, was wanted in connection with an early morning hold-up at a West Palm Beach bar. They say O’Shea got away after firing shots at deputies and car-jacking a woman’s car. About 13 hours later, three deputies spotted O’Shea in Jupiter, the Palm Beach Post reported. They confronted him in a parking lot. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said O’Shea lived in West Palm Beach and had an extensive criminal history. Bradshaw said O’Shea was wanted in Raleigh, North Carolina, in connection with a May 2 motel robbery.

What a hero Kasper is!!  Man’s best friend, indeed!  To see the video of him leaving the hospital, click on the text above.  Good job Kasper!!    🙂

Python hunters nab 15-foot snake in Florida Everglades

Two python hunters captured a massive python in the Florida Everglades over the weekend. The state has licensed python hunters as part of the the South Florida python pilot program, called the Everglades’ Python Challenge. On Saturday, hunters Nicholas Banos and Leonardo Sanchez wrangled a 15-foot python, which is the largest one caught this season, so far. Burmese pythons have been destroying public land and are top of the food chain in the ecosystem, so the South Florida Water Management District approved the program funding, designed to incentivize private parties who help eliminate the snakes. Snake wranglers have 60 days to catch the snakes. Participants are being paid minimum wage hourly rate, up to eight hours daily, with an additional $50 payment for pythons measuring up to four feet. Wranglers capturing a bigger snake will earn an extra $25 for each foot measured above four feet.

Wow..  To see a couple photos of this beast, click on the text above.

Blue Lives Matter flag deemed ‘racist’ by Florida HOA, ordered to come down

A Florida woman is being told to take down her Blue Lives Matter flag that’s been flying for several years now by her homeowners association. Jeff Gaddie told Action News Jacksonville that his daughter in St. Johns County has been flying the flag to honor him and many other family members who are law enforcement. “She called to ask why,” Gaddie said. “They told her they had received a complaint that it was considered racist, offensive and anti-Black Lives Matter,” he said. The association asked the woman, who did not want to be identified for fear of backlash, to submit a request for permission to fly the flag, which has since been denied. Action News Jacksonville reached out to the First Coast Association Management, which said only American and military-themed flags are allowed to fly in the neighborhood, even though there are other types of flags flying. Gaddie says the flag is only a show of support and the family is planning to appeal the decision at the next homeowner’s association meeting.

Hopefully they’ll win that appeal.  IF the HOA only allows the American flag, and perhaps the flags of the U.S. military services, to fly, then that is all that should be allowed.  And, that would be perfectly reasonable and common in HOAs.  However, if other types of flags are allowed, then this family absolutely should have the right to show their support of law enforcement (LE), and fly this flag….regardless of who it “offends.”  And, if the HOA still denies the request, and yet allows other various flags, then that would be grounds for a lawsuit.  It is curious that the article doesn’t name the HOA in question…