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Rebekah Jones faces cyber-crime charge, accused of illegally accessing state database

Rebekah Jones faces cyber-crime charge, accused of illegally accessing state database

Rebekah Jones, the fired state COVID-19 dashboard manager, faces a felony charge of illegally accessing a computer system, according to an arrest warrant issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Jones, who turned herself in at the Leon County Detention Facility on Sunday, faced a judge Monday morning, who set bond at $2,500, court records show. Advertisement Prosecutors asked for Jones to face a higher bond, wear a GPS monitor and be banned from the internet, but a judge rejected the additional measures, The TV station reported she was ordered to stay off Department of Health...

January 18, 2021
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Did mysterious independent candidates swing Florida House, Senate races to Republicans?

Did mysterious independent candidates swing Florida House, Senate races to Republicans?

Independent candidates with clear ties to GOP donors and operatives whose names appeared on ballots in two competitive Florida Legislature races received enough votes to swing the outcome of those contests, possibly costing Democrats those seats. The little-known candidates running without party affiliation, known as NPAs, received more votes than the Republican candidate’s margin of victory, and if some of those ballots had been cast for their opponents, the Democrats could have won. Advertisement That was the case in the tight contest between Republican Fred Hawkins and Democrat Barbara...

November 6, 2020
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Fred Hawkins Jr. applies for pre-trial diversion, could get cop-impersonation charge dropped

Fred Hawkins Jr. applies for pre-trial diversion, could get cop-impersonation charge dropped

State House candidate and suspended Osceola Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. has applied for a pre-trial diversion that could lead to his felony charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer being dropped, court records show. Hawkins was arrested in July following an investigation into a November incident in which he flashed an honorary Osceola County Sheriff’s Office badge, declared he was “a sheriff”, and pushed his way past a security guard who wouldn’t allow him into a Turnberry Reserve Homeowner’s Association meeting. Advertisement The incident was investigated by the Florida...

October 13, 2020
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Will women voters turn Seminole blue in a presidential year?

Will women voters turn Seminole blue in a presidential year?

The suburban women of Seminole County may hold the keys to the White House and a slate of crucial state races. Women voters outnumber men by more than 26,000 and make up more than half of the electorate in the community just north of Orlando. That has helped transform Seminole, a once-reliable Republican stronghold, into one of the most important swing counties in the country’s most important swing state during this year’s presidential election. Advertisement The gender gap is also visible on the ballot itself, as Democrats have fielded female candidates in the contests for each of the...

October 5, 2020
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Disney workers won’t stay in NBA bubble -- and many live in coronavirus hot spots

Disney workers won’t stay in NBA bubble -- and many live in coronavirus hot spots

Many of the Walt Disney World workers who will be cleaning hotel rooms, preparing meals and providing other services for NBA players confined to a “bubble” on the resort’s property will be commuting from some of the hottest coronavirus infection zones in greater Orlando. Of the 20 Central Florida ZIP codes with the most Disney workers represented by union Unite Here, half rank in the region’s top 30 ZIPs for confirmed COVID-19 cases, an Orlando Sentinel analysis shows. More than 8,600 Disney workers live in those ZIP code areas. Advertisement The 32824 ZIP code that includes Belle Isle has...

July 2, 2020
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Orange mayor requires all people to wear masks in county

Orange mayor requires all people to wear masks in county

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Thursday that every person in the county must wear a mask, an effort to try to stem a resurgence of the coronavirus seen in the past 10 days. “We do not want to experience another shutdown in our community,” Demings said, noting there could be more restrictions in the future. Advertisement The order will take effect on Saturday and remain in place indefinitely. People are permitted to take off the mask while eating or drinking, but must wear the mask as they enter establishments, Demings said. Employees of businesses must wear a face covering at all...

June 18, 2020
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