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University of Florida to host white supremacist event, expects $500,000 in security costs

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 1:34 PM

What You Need To Know: Richard B. Spencer

The University of Florida plans on spending $500,000 to “enhance security on campus” and in Gainesville, Florida, for white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speaking event Thursday.

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The money will include costs not only for the University of Florida Police Department, but also for the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies providing first responders, the university said.

Spencer was to be a featured speaker at the August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which one person died, but authorities stopped the event from taking place after protests and counterprotests turned violent.

The university will recoup $10,564 from Spencer’s National Police Institute for the two-hour rental of the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. However, it cannot pass along the balance of these costs -- enough to pay the annual tuitions of about 75 undergraduate students, according to university estimates -- to him under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court free-speech ruling.

UF plans to remain open during the event, but access to campus buildings will be tightly restricted, and its faculty has been asked to be understanding of students who are fearful to be on campus that day.

University president Kent Fuchs has condemned Spencer’s message multiple times and has urged faculty and students not to attend the event, which is scheduled to run from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“UF has been clear and consistent in its denunciation of all hate speech and racism, and in particular the racist speech and white nationalist values of Mr. Spencer,” Fuchs wrote Oct. 10. “I personally find the doctrine of white supremacy abhorrent and denounce all forms of racism and hate.”

Following the white nationalist Charlottesville rally in August, Spencer and the National Policy Institute requested to rent a facility at UF on Sept. 12. The university originally denied the request citing violence from Charlottesville and threats toward UF. After Spencer’s group spoke of suing under free speech laws, the university switched positions to allow Spencer to rent the space, which often used by visiting speakers. He was not invited or sponsored by UF or any of its organizations.

In the days leading up the event, UF organizations and Gainesville businesses have denounced Spencer’s message.

UF Hillel, a nonprofit organization for Jewish students, will provide a safe space guarded by security on Thursday and hold a “Solidarity Shabbat” on Friday with other UF organizations “to show unity and strength.”

Alligator Brewing Co., located in Tall Paul’s Brew House just east of campus in downtown Gainesville, announced on Oct. 12 that everyone 21 and older who brought in two tickets for Spencer’s event would receive a free draft beer. However, plans for free beer fell through when NPI decided to distribute its own tickets instead of using the Phillips Center’s box office, the university said. NPI posted on its Facebook page that it will post updates of ticket information on the page and Spencer’s Twitter account.

A Facebook group called “No Nazis at UF” created a Facebook event announcement to protest Spencer, which has more than 460 people marked as going to the event and more than 870 marked as interested in attending.

“We must stand together in the fight against white supremacy and fascism, and defend the most marginalized of our communities,” the group wrote.

The group started an online petition on change.org to UF administration showing its displeasure with the university allowing Spencer to speak. It had recorded more than 3,300 signatures as of Monday morning.

On Monday, No Nazis at UF’s organizers held a news conference on campus with protest signs in tow. They marched to Fuchs’ office but were denied access.

White nationalist Richard Spencer (C) and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Emancipation Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clashed with anti-fascist protesters and police as they attempted to hold a rally in Emancipation Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White supremacist Richard Spencer talks with reporters during the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 23, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said that Spencer was "not part of the agenda" at CPAC. Hosted by the American Conservative Union, CPAC is an annual gathering of right wing politicians, commentators and their supporters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Watch: Good Samaritans lift car off trapped victims after crash

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:49 AM

Good Samaritans Rescue Car Crash Victims, Lift Vehicle

An amazing feat of strength was caught on camera.

Four people were hurt when they were hit by a car that crashed on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Police said a pickup hit a sedan when it took a turn too wide, WJLA reported. The sedan jumped the curb and ran into pedestrians. 

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But it was the actions of bystanders that is what people are focusing on. They rushed to the car to try to pull the pedestrians from under the wreckage. The group of people actually lifted and moved the car off two people and the entire thing was caught on video, WJLA reported.

WRC reported more than a dozen people rushed to help.

In all four people were hit by the car and were injured in the crash, but police said they were all conscious and breathing, taken to area hospitals, WJLA reported.

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Lemon-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts available for one week only

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 12:03 PM

Krispy Kreme Offering Lemon-Glazed Doughnuts for One Week Only

Krispy Kreme is offering its signature doughnuts with lemon glaze, but only for a week.

Participating shops of the doughnut chain are offering the flavor from April 23 to April 29. The glaze was one of four options customers could vote for. The others, Food and Wine reported, were caramel, maple and blueberry.

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According to a news release, the #VoteForGlaze campaign pulled in nearly 2 million votes. Maple had 18 percent of the vote, while blueberry had 20 percent and caramel was second with had 26 percent.

Depending on the success of the limited run, Krispy Kreme could sell the lemon-glazed doughnuts seasonally, Food and Wine reported.

“Experimenting with the many flavor profiles lemon presents to create an all-new lemon glaze was a fun, but serious culinary challenge,” Jackie Woodward, Krispy Kreme’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “There has been so much anticipation and zest for the new Lemon Glaze Doughnut, we can’t wait to share the joy with our fans!”

Customers can find out if the Lemon Glaze Doughnut is available at a Krispy Kreme near them at KrispyKreme.com.

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Trump VA nominee Ronny Jackson withdraws name from consideration

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:59 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:59 AM

Who is Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson?

Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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President Donald Trump calls in to ‘Fox and Friends’

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:34 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 24: President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France April 24, 2018 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 24: President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France April 24, 2018 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)(Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took to the airwaves, speaking to Fox and Friends via phone Thursday morning. 

The unusual call started with the President mentioning that today was his wife, first lady Melania Trump’s birthday and being asked what he got her. 

He also praised her for her hosting the first couple’s first state dinner and the visit by French president Emmanuel Macron.

Trump telling the Fox News hosts that the meetings accomplished a lot and that Macron is viewing Iran differently than before he walked into the Oval Office. 

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When asked about the withdrawal of Ronny Jackson and his pursuit for nomination to the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Trump, in a rambling statement, blamed democrats for dragging out the approval for all appointments, targeting Sen. Chuck Schumer specifically that it takes years for the Senate to approve appointees, citing unfilled judicial positions.

Fox hosts hammered back, asking why majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, isn’t keeping Senators in session to  approve appointees, Trump said that McConnell should.

They also asked Trump if obstructionists win when nominees don’t fight back against the allegations against them, and he said yes and no, signaling out Sen. Jon Tester, (D - MT) saying that it was his fault that Jackson dropped out of the nomination process. Trump said that Tester’s allegations against Jackson were false and that Jackson has an unblemished record. Trump said Tester had a “big price to pay” in Montana and that was the reason that Tester targeted Jackson.

Trump then said that he has someone slated to nominate, but refused to say who it was, only saying that it is someone with “political capabilities.”

Check back for more on this developing story.

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