Florida News

Family That Took In Parkland Shooter Got Him Therapy, Defends Letting Him Keep AR-15

After last week’s school shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people, a lot of focus has fallen on the home where the confessed shooter was living. WLRN spoke with the father of that family about the young man’s mental health issues – and about issues of gun ownership. It’s still a mystery why Nikolas Cruz allegedly took his AR-15 assault rifle to MarjoryStoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last Wednesday and shot 32 people, killing 17 teens and adults. The 19-year-old was expelled from...

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National News

More Than Twice As Many Women Are Running For Congress In 2018 Compared To 2016

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager. "Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — " She cut herself off and turned to me. "That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing....

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They are angry. They are channeling their pain and stepping into the harsh spotlight of a heated and ongoing national debate. They are shielding their peers who feel too devastated to do the same.

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

Since the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, alumni from around the country are coming back home.

They say in this painful moment for their community they have to be present.

Chelsea Tyrell graduated from Stoneman Douglas High in 2016. When she heard about the shooting at her alma mater she drove from the University of North Florida with her golden retriever.

"I thought I'd bring along my 6-year-old golden retriever who's certified as a therapy dog to just come out here if anyone needs any comfort," she said.

When James and Kimberly Snead took in Nikolas Cruz late last year, he was a socially awkward teenager lost in the world, depressed by the death of his beloved mother.

But to the Sneads, Cruz appeared to be progressing.

The young man who had been friendly with their son regularly attended adult-education classes, bicycled to his job as a cashier and watched TV shows with the family. Cruz hoped to become an infantry soldier. With the Sneads’ help, the emotionally troubled 19-year-old planned to resume mental-health therapy begun years earlier.

The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

"When it comes to school violence, it's not a matter of if, but when."

That was the first line of an opinion column published in the Tallahassee Democrat two weeks before Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The writer was Bill Lee, president of the Florida Association of School Administrators.

His group wants more money for "Safe Schools," a state Department of Education program that handles student safety through a number of initiatives, particularly funding public school resource officers.

FGCU President Reacts to Parkland Shooting

Feb 16, 2018
FGCU University Marketing and Communications / Flickr

Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County has provoked students to question the security measures in their schools and college campuses.

On Thursday, Florida Gulf Coast University President Mike Martin addressed those concerns, assuring the university is prepared for any incidents that may occur.

Henry via Flickr Creative Commons

A Florida Senate committee, Wednesday, advanced a bill (SB 1402) which aims to place a longstanding federal program that protects wetlands through the Clean Water Act under state control. 

Payday loan providers are asking for more options and extended repayments. They argue it will give borrowers more flexibility but opponents say it’s a trap for low-income borrowers. 

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

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