Hard News

Explore a section of my hard news clips below.

Voters decide: Maitland will have a new library

Brushing aside some unexpected opposition, city voters approved a $14 million bond referendum that will pay for a state-of-the-art Maitland Public Library.

The bond referendum won with just under two-thirds of the vote, well over the required 50 percent-plus-one.

Maitland council member Lindsay Hall Harrison said she was “in great spirits” Tuesday evening as ballots came in.

“I am thrilled that the residents of Maitland came out in great numbers to reflect the will of the community, to show u

Dirty tricks in Maitland library campaign? Hit mailer flouts political laws

A mystery mailer that appears to flout Florida campaign laws has inflamed the campaign for a $14 million library bond in Maitland, making exaggerated claims about the true costs of the city’s library project.

There is no record that the group taking credit for the mailer — which dubs itself Maitland’s Folly but uses a seemingly bogus address in St. Petersburg — has registered as a campaign committee as required. That leaves the source of its funding unknown as well as any actual connection to the Orange County city of 19,000.

Music, arts and politics lure crowds to downtown Orlando for MadSoul festival

Music, arts and politics brought thousands of people from across Florida together Saturday afternoon and into the night in downtown Orlando.

Headliners at the MadSoul Music & Arts Festival included the band MUNA; songwriter, actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Other performers and speakers included state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando; singer Melanie Faye; and Democratic state Rep. Justin Jones of Tennessee. Jones was one of two Bla

After electrified debate, Winter Park postpones enforcing ban on gas-powered leaf blowers

Murmurs, declarations and angered shouts filled Winter Park’s city commission chamber Thursday as displeased residents and business people voiced their grievances about one of the biggest issues in town: a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers.

After enduring the onslaught, the board of commissioners voted 3-2 to delay enforcing the already-30-month-old ordinance 3230-22 — for another six months.

The split vote came after pleas from landscapers who said the cost of switching to quieter, electric blo

State Sen. Jason Pizzo on Florida's governor race: 'If Matt Gaetz is running, I’m running.'

As part of his Campus Conversations tour across Florida, State Sen. Jason Pizzo visited UCF on Thursday to listen to the political and legislative concerns and ideas of students.

Pizzo, who was chosen as the next Senate Democratic Leader, said in an interview that he would make a good candidate for Florida governor, although it depends on who runs for GOP candidate.

“If Matt Gaetz is running, I’m running,” Pizzo said. “I would rather somebody else do it. I just don’t think anybody else can bea

UCF Military and Veteran Student Success Center hosts first 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony

The sky was still golden from the sunrise, and the American flag waved high with the warm morning wind on Monday as students, faculty and staff gathered in front of the marble columns of the Veterans Commemorative Site for the university's first annual 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony.

UCF's Military and Veteran Student Success Center joined forces with the UCF Community Veterans History Project and the Ginsburg Center for a solemn presentation to honor the lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacks on the

Nonprofit seeks more transparency from Fort Myers on affordable housing fund

A Lee County nonprofit continues to push for more transparency from the city of Fort Myers.

Members of the Lee Interfaith for Empowerment Inc. spoke at the July 17 City Council meeting on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and asked for more information about funding.

“LIFE has been told by some officials that the fund is being used, but we feel a responsibility to LIFE members to hold the city accountable for the ongoing and appropriate use of the fund," Rusty May, a LIFE member and former pas

Hurricane helpers: Workers from 33 states, Canada rebuild Harlem Heights in Fort Myers

Hundreds of volunteers from across North America arrived in Southwest Florida last week to help rebuild and repair the homes of residents in Harlem Heights.

Harlem Heights, a low-income neighborhood in Fort Myers, was impacted dramatically by Hurricane Ian last year. More than 30% of the Harlem Heights community lives below the federal poverty level, and many of the neighborhood's residents were displaced from their homes due to extensive damage from the storm.

The Heights Foundation, which wa

College of Nursing celebrates nursing students at first-ever spring white coat ceremony

At the College of Nursing’s first-ever spring white coat ceremony, future Knight nurses donned bright new white coats that symbolized their induction into the profession of health care.

Dean Sole said this semester marks a unique stage in the history of the College of Nursing as students celebrated their entering into clinical practice at the white coat ceremony on Friday with friends and family. For the first time in over 40 years of nursing education, UCF has accepted 75 spring semester pre-l

First Spark STEM Fest ignites curiosity in younger generations

As nursing students demonstrated the process of taking blood pressure and listening to the heart on life-size mannequins, young children with an interest in science watched with wide eyes while learning about the importance of heart and lung health

This year, the UCF Office of Research presented the Spark STEM Fest for the first time from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 at the Orlando Science Center. Dr. Azizeh Sowan, chair of the Department of Nursing Practice at UCF, said the event took place from 10 a.m.

Out of the Darkness walk brings participants empathy and support after losing loved ones

As her eyes filled with tears, Mira Gabra remembered the loss of her best friend Kendall Mohr at this year’s Out of the Darkness suicide awareness walk.

“She was like the light of the room, the life of the party, so today we walk for her,” the senior criminal justice major at USC Columbia said.

On Saturday morning, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held the 16th annual Out of the Darkness walk at Baldwin Park in Orlando. Danyel Lieberman, the Central Florida Board chair for AFSP,

College of Nursing STIM Center hosts immersive simulation course

The College of Nursing’s Simulation, Technology, Innovation and Modeling Center exhibited the innovative simulation technologies used in classrooms at UCF to simulationists worldwide.

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare chose Orlando as this year's host for the annual international meeting. Following the six-day conference at the Orange County Convention Center, 26 participants attended a post-conference immersive course at the UCF campus, led by the STIM Center, on Wednesday.


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