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Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:35 AM
— During CNN’s Wednesday night town hall with Florida lawmakers, survivors of last week’s high school shooting and members of the NRA, Sen. Marco Rubio attempted to explain why a ban on assault rifles wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy, and the audience’s reaction was not quite what he was hoping for.
While explaining what a ban on assault rifles would do, the Republican senator from Florida said to ensure no one would “get around it.”
“You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America.” A surprised Rubio, who appeared to have been hoping to convince the audience against such an idea, was met with a solid 10 seconds of applause that overwhelmed the room.
“Fair enough, fair enough,” the senator said as the cheers died down.
The moment came just after a grieving father called Rubio’s reaction to the mass shooting “pathetically weak” and asked whether the senator would support banning assault rifles like Nikolas Cruz’s AR-15 in order to save the lives of children.
“It’s too easy to get. It is a weapon of war,” the father emotionally said. “The fact that you can’t stand with everybody else in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”
A flustered Rubio assured him, “I do believe what you’re saying is true,” before launching into his argument against an assault rifles ban.
CNN’s town hall follows last week’s shooting at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School where gunman Nikolas Cruz fatally shot 17 people and injured over a dozen more. In the time since, many of the school’s surviving students have been commanding public attention and demanding a conversation about gun reform in the United States.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:58 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing off on a measure that would let Florida stay on daylight saving time all year long.
Scott on Friday signed 74 bills into law, including the "Sunshine Protection Act." The measure won't take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.
But if Congress were to go along, Floridians would no longer set back their clock an hour each November.
That would translate into later sunrises and sunsets from November to March.
Scott in a statement said he supported the move because it would help the state's tourism industry. He said it would allow residents and visitors to "enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer later in the day."
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 PM
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a mother intentionally crashed her SUV into a pole to prove to her two small children that God is real.
Investigators say Bakari Warren, 25, told officers after the crash that she did it on purpose to show her kids that if they believe, God would protect them.
The crash and the 5- and 7-year-old kids’ explanation were all caught on camera.
Police say Warren was driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when she crossed into the southbound lanes and drove head on into a concrete pole.
Sitting in a police car, her children explained what happened before the crash.
“You think she did it on purpose?” the officer asked.
“Yeah because she turned. Her eyes was closed and she was saying, blah, blah, blah, ‘I love God,’” one daughter said. “She didn’t want us to just have a car accident. She wanted us to know that God is real."
Police said Warren told her children to buckle up their seat belts just before she accelerated into the pole. Warren was frisked and handcuffed right after she got out of the SUV.
“When the officers asked the driver of the vehicle what had happened her first statement was to check her Facebook, and it would explain what happened,” Norcross police Sgt. Eric Butynski said.
Nothing was found directly referencing the incident on what appeared to be her Facebook page, but police say she later gave the same reasons as her kids -- to prove that God will protect them.
No one was hurt in the accident, but officers say it could have been much worse.
“It could have been a lot worse. It could have been heavier traffic at the time, she could have hit the pole at such an angle that she did more damage to the car,” Butynski said.
Warren remains in jail on $22,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of child cruelty.
The children are now with their grandparents.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:47 PM
TULUM, Mexico — A Creston, Iowa, family of four that was previously reported missing in Mexico has been found dead.
KCCI reported that 41-year-old Kevin Sharp, his wife, 38-year-old Amy Sharp, and their children, 12-year-old Sterling and 7-year-old Adrianna were found dead on a tourist condo complex in Tulum, Mexico, a tourist area. The Associated Press reported that the developer of the complex declined to comment.
“The Sharps have been located. They were found last night in their condo deceased,” a relative named Ashli Peterson wrote on Facebook, according to The Des Moines Register. “There was no foul play! At this time that is all the information we have.
“Please respect the family at this time as they go through the grieving process. Thank you for all the posts, shares, and kind words,” the post said.
Tulum is in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. A March 16 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State said there was a level 2 advisory in the state due to crime. There were no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in that state, which has other tourist areas, such as Cancun and Cozumel.
On Thursday, relatives filed a missing persons report through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, KCCI reported. According to Peterson’s original post, the family had not been in contact with relatives after letting them know they made it to their condo safely.
Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said the family had not boarded their flight from Cancun, Mexico, back to the U.S.
“It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston as a whole,” Ver Meer said. “We’ll work through this together.”
"It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston," police chief says after deaths of Iowa family in Mexico https://t.co/QzNwv5cNs0— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) March 23, 2018
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 5:58 PM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Update March 23, 2018 8:50 EST: A missing Atlanta area middle schooler has been found safe.
Anthony Randolph III disappeared Wednesday after getting on the wrong bus at his school in DeKalb, Georgia.
Investigators have been searching for the boy for two days and found him Friday at a gas station not far from his home, police said.
Police have not released the details on where the boy has been and how he was found.
A 12-year-old boy disappeared after getting on the wrong school bus on his way home from middle school in metro Atlanta.
Anthony Randolph III disappeared Wednesday after boarding the wrong bus at Redan Middle School in DeKlab County, police said.
Investigators said the boy got off the bus two miles away from his home.
He wasn’t supposed to be on that bus and school officials said they are working to figure out why the bus driver didn’t take him back to school.
“We need you home Anthony, fast, please,” the child’s father, Anthony Randolph Jr., said.
Randolph wiped away tears as he begged anyone with information on the disappearance of his son to come forward.
A search is underway as police continue investigating the boy’s disappearance.