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New Florida school grades show improvement

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:51:42 GMT

More Florida schools are making the grade, according to the latest round of grades.

The Florida Department of Education on Wednesday issued grades for more than 3,000 schools across the state.

The number of "A" and "B" rated schools increased during the last school year, according to the numbers.

The preliminary grades given out show that 969 schools received A grades, and 865 schools received a B. A total of 43 schools earned an F grade, while 216 schools were given a D. The remaining schools got a C grade.

Florida schools saw a drop in the number of failing or "F" schools by more than half, down to 43 schools from 111 last year.

School grades are calculated annually based on student achievement, learning gains, standardized testing assessment and high school graduation rates.

This is the third set of grades that is largely determined by the Florida Standards Assessment, a high-stakes test that is based primarily on Common Core standards.

How did Central Florida school districts fare? Get details form each district here.

Only two Central Florida districts earned A's for last school year: Brevard and Seminole counties. Brevard, Lake, Osceola and Seminole counties all improved by one grade.

See the individual grades below:

Brevard County: A, compared to last year’s B. The county has received an A or B grade since 2010. The district also ranked No. 1 among the 14 largest districts for college and career acceleration.

Flagler County: B; last year the distinct also received a B grade.

Lake County: B, up from a C last year.

Marion County: C, last year the district also received a C grade.

Orange County: B for 2017; the district has received a B grade for the last four years.

Osceola County: B, up from a C in 2016.

Polk County: C; Polk County has received a C grade for the last six years, including 2017. Officials said it increased the number of A school from 19 to 24 within the district.

Seminole County: A, up one grade from last year.

Volusia County: B, for the last three years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

'I haven't had sex in a long time,' accused attempted rapist saysNews 6 What You Need to Know: Death penalty dispute, car split in halfDeath penalty dispute between Rick Scott, Aramis Ayala goes to courtMan assaults girlfriend on drive home after learning of pregnancy, police say

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:31:08 GMTWed, 28 Jun 2017 15:27:00 GMTWed, 28 Jun 2017 21:51:29 GMTMon, 19 Jun 2017 14:55:38 GMT

A 89-year-old man called on his neighbor Monday to help fend off a suspect with a baseball bat who police said was sexually assaulting the woman cleaning his Maitland home.

The homeowner told police that he saw Robin Moretz Campbell, 23, in the backyard of his Robinhood Drive house and asked what he was doing. Campbell said he was looking for someone who did not live there. The suspect then asked the housekeeper for a glass of water, according to the arrest report.

The homeowner said after drinking the water, Campbell grabbed the woman and forced his way into the house from the backdoor. The homeowner tried to call police but Campbell grabbed his phone, the victim told police.

"Then he looked like he just snapped, and he rushed in and grabbed my cleaning lady up in his arms off the floor and he was trying to push her into the living room area," the homeowner, William Rooks, told News 6.

Police said Campbell pushed Rooks out the backdoor and began trying to pull off the housekeeper’s pants.

"She was on the floor right there," Rooks told News 6 while in his room Wednesday. "He was trying to attack her. He wanted to take her clothes off."

Rooks said he quickly ran to his upstairs neighbor, Eric Love, for help. Armed with a baseball bat, Love came down and told Campbell to get off the victim, according to the report.

"He dialed the Maitland Police Department handed me his phone and he grabbed his baseball bat and he came down stairs," Rooks said of his neighbor.

The suspect got up and tried to leave the house, and Love attempted to detain Campbell until Maitland police arrived, Rooks told police.

Campbell then yelled out, “I haven’t had sex in a long time, just let me go,” as he fled the house, the Rooks told police.

“I went behind him and grabbed him at the back of his shirt and pulled him back,” Love said of the encounter.

“He kept repeating, ‘I just haven't been with a woman in a long time, can't you have mercy on me, let me go, and I was like, ‘No, it doesn’t' work like that, get on the ground.’”

Love chased the suspect but lost him between houses on Robinhood Drive, police said.

Campbell called police Wednesday and said he wanted to turn himself in. Police found the homeowner’s cellphone when Campbell was arrested, according to the arrest report.

Rooks said police told him Campbell admitted to the crime.

"He admitted what he was after, he was only interested in the woman and he was trying to get rid of me simply just by force," Rooks said.

Campbell is charged with sexual battery, battery on a person 65 years or older, preventing communications, burglary, robbery and theft. He is being held in the Orange County Jail without bail.

Check out ClickOrlando's daily list of top trending news and stories.

The Florida Supreme Court hears arguments about the death penalty in a case between Gov. Rick Scott and State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

On the way home after learning they were pregnant, a man grabbed his girlfriend on Saturday by the neck, leaving bruising, according to police.

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Deputies search for man who's been tying pantyhose, underwear to cars

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:38:05 GMT

Flagler County deputies are asking for help to identify a cross-dressing man they say has been wearing women's underwear and placing pantyhose on vehicles in a business parking lot.

"To be so bold in the middle of the day to do something like this. We want to identify this individual so we can reach out to him and make contact," Steve Brandt, with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, said.

Brandt is looking into the case after an anonymous complaint was filed two days ago.

In the complaint, it said the man was tying pantyhose to Houligan's employee vehicles in the parking lot.     

"We don't know if this is a local person. We don't know if it's somebody traveling through town and stops in areas and does this. It did happen over multiple days, so, we think it's probably somebody in this area," Brandt said.

The report also said that the man followed employees from the Home Depot parking lot, where they park, to the back door of the restaurant.

"(An employee) saw a man in women's clothing and (when) she came out to her car she had the women's clothing he was wearing on her car," said Michelle Visciglia, who works at Ruby Tuesday next door. 

She said an employee at Houligan's went to Ruby Tuesday to warn others, saying her friend found the women's items on her car.

Visciglia said she now runs to her car when she gets off of work.

Authorities said the man has legally done nothing wrong, as of yet, but they do want to talk with him to get an understanding behind his odd behavior. 

"This behavior in and among itself could be many different things," Brandt said. "We would like to identify this person and talk to them in case this behavior were to escalate into something else."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Flagler County Sheriff's Office at 386-313-4911 or CrimeStoppers to remain anonymous at 1-888-277-TIPS.

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Third Outlaw arrested in Leesburg biker gang shooting

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 18:41:34 GMT

Leesburg police have arrested a third man in connection with a fatal motorcycle gang shooting near Leesburg Bikefest in April, according to a news release.

Miquel Angel Torres, 37, was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A warrant was issued for his arrest in May.

Marc Edward "Knott Head" Knotts, 48, and Jesus Alberto Marrero, 35, were arrested in May. A warrant has been issued for Gregory Alan "Stinky" Umphress, 32. All four men are members of the Outlaw motorcycle gang, according to police records.

The shooting at a Leesburg Circle K between the Outlaws and the Kingsmen motorcycle gangs on the night of April 29 left  Kingsmen David "Gutter" Donovan, 41, dead, according to the warrant.

Knotts, 48, was also shot during the incident.  He was wearing a ballistic vest during the shooting and has since recovered from his injuries.


Kingsmen members told police at the scene that the Outlaws attacked them at the gas station then rode away in formation, records show. They said Umphress approached the Kingsmen inside the convenience store and demanded that they remove and surrender their club insignia.

When the Kingsmen refused, they were forced outside, where Torres made Donovan get on his knees and held a knife to his throat, according to the warrant. Donovan pleaded for his life but still refused to hand over the insignia "due to his loyalty to the club."

Knotts commanded that his fellow Outlaws shoot Donovan for his refusal, police said.

After the shooting, the Kingsmen hid inside the convenience store, unable to help Donovan because he was surrounded by Outlaws. A Kingsmen shot Knotts in an attempt to help Donovan, the report said.

That Kingsmen told police that the Outlaws have been challenging motorcycle clubs across the state in attempt to get them to join their ranks or submit to their authority, according to the warrant. The Kingsmen refused to the affiliation.

"[The Kingsmen] furthered that, due to the prior rumors of the 'Outlaws' decree and their reputation, the fear  felt by him and his fellow club members had been further enhanced during their confrontation," the warrant read.

Umphress is the only Outlaw still at large in connection with the shooting. Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Leesburg Police Department or local authorities.

Uber to offer passengers cheaper rides from airport

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:21:15 GMT

Come Saturday, UberX drivers will be able to pick up passengers from Orlando International Airport and officials say that even with the extra fee, it'll still be the most inexpensive transportation option.

Uber Florida general manager Kasra Moshkani said the new law going into effect will mean thousands of people who travel through the airport will have more ride options.

Currently, UberX can drop passengers off at OIA but only Uber Select, the higher-end option, can retrieve passengers from the terminals.

"Knowing that you have options for getting from point A to point B I think is very valuable, and we're really excited to be one of those options," Moshkani said.

Even with the $5.80 airport fee, UberX will cost about half the price to get to some major Central Florida destinations. 

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Those figures include the $5.80 airport fee, which officials from Mears Transportation said Uber has been refusing to pay for years.

“Uber will finally be required to pay the airport a fee comparable to what other ground transportation providers have been required to pay.  Something they have refused to do for two years.  Another result will likely be more congestion on surrounding roadways," Mears Transportation spokesman Roger Chapin said.

Chapin said it may be difficult to tell which drivers are with Uber and which aren't, which could pose insurance problems in the event of a car crash.

Moshkani said part of the new state law that will allow ride-sharing companies to pick up passengers at the airport requires that drivers have insurance and other consumer protection safeguards, including providing the cost of the fare up front before booking, sending a receipt and sending the rider information about the car and driver.

Linda Lehr has worked as an Uber driver in Orlando for the past two years and she said she's excited for the expected boost in business.

"As many people as I take from Disney to the airport, I'm going to have just as many, if not more, going from the airport going to Disney," Lehr said.

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Death penalty dispute between Rick Scott, Aramis Ayala goes to courtState Attorney Ayala dodges questions about lawsuit fundingAramis Ayala sought advice on answering 'Soros question'Rick Scott, Aramis Ayala to meet in court later this month

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:51:29 GMTWed, 07 Jun 2017 17:25:22 GMTTue, 09 May 2017 14:34:35 GMTTue, 06 Jun 2017 17:34:32 GMT

Arguments about Florida Gov. Rick Scott's power to strip a prosecutor of murder cases because she won't seek the death penalty were presented Wednesday before the state Supreme Court.Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala is asking the court to block Scott from assigning her murder cases to a neighboring prosecutor.It's not known when the state's highest court will rule on the matter.The dispute began in March when Ayala said she wouldn't seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, who is charged in the fatal shootings of an Orlando police officer and his pregnant ex-girlfriend, or any other death case.Scott said he reassigned the cases because Ayala isn't following Florida law.Ayala argues that Scott doesn't have the right to take the cases from her because she's independently elected.Roy L. Austin Jr. argued on behalf of Ayala, saying that she has the discretion as an elected state attorney whether to pursue the death penalty."She's going to seek a very severe sentence when prosecuting," Austin said.“Hasn’t she nullified the death penalty law in the 9th Circuit?" Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Pariente asked later in the hearing, which lasted less than an hour.Pariente also asked Austin to clarify whether Ayala made her decision based on the effectiveness and cost of the death penalty, as Ayala stated during a news conference earlier this year, or if she was looking at each case independently."It is both," Austin said."What did she say about the Loyd case?" Pariente asked."There is nothing in the law that says her discretion has to be based on a single case," he said, adding that the "controlling language" in the law says state attorneys are the prosecuting officials for all trials in their circuit."When you say that, it seems you're precluding any legislative oversight of the elected attorney, including conflicts," Justice Charles T. Canady said. "Why can't this be viewed as malfeasance?" "(The state does not) have that case here," Austin said.Justice C. Alan Lawson focused on the governor's ability, per state statute, to remove prosecutors from cases."Where does it say that he has to get someone else's permission to do this?" Lawson asked.Austin said in the history of Florida, there's never been a case taken from a state attorney against their wishes, until now."We have to respect the rights of the voters to elect state officials," Austin said.Several justices argued about DUI cases that were not prosecuted in South Florida and whether the state attorney there was removed against his desire.Attorney Amit Agarwal represented Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi"She's not willing to apply the current death penalty statute to any of the pending cases," said Agarwal, adding that no one person should be able to make a determination that nullifies the law.Agarwal said Scott called Ayala after she announced she would not pursue the death penalty, giving her the chance to recuse herself.“We don’t have a single case that the governor has ever exceeded the scope of his reassignment authority,” Agarwal said.During Austin's rebuttal, Pariente said, "My concern is that we are taking the death penalty off the table. ... She didn’t run on that platform.""What if she does not believe in war on drugs? Can she determine not to enforce drug laws?" Lawson asked.Austin again stated that there is a difference between charges and sentences.Ayala was at the courthouse, but Scott did not attend.Watch News 6 for more on this story. border="none" frameborder="0" id="mv-widget-dFk0bqki2Z8TwMuLhcrLXqJ8sm1" src="" style="width:100%; min-width:280px; height:750px;">[...]As [...]

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Port Authority approves SpaceX hangar for rocket storageFor the second time, SpaceX launches flight-proven rocket, sticks landingSpaceX successfully launches, lands Falcon 9 rocket

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:23:56 GMTSat, 24 Jun 2017 02:46:15 GMTMon, 26 Jun 2017 02:50:36 GMT

SpaceX will start construction on a hangar at Port Canaveral soon after the Canaveral Port Authority Wednesday unanimously approved the two acres the company needs.

Elon Musk's commercial space company requested a lease for 2.17 acres to build a more than 67,000 square-foot hangar to store, refurbish and test used rocket boosters and eventually other rocket parts, according to the lease.

With 12 reclaimed boosters to date and the launch cadence picking up, SpaceX is in need of a place near the launch pads at Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Station to turn around and relaunch the boosters.

SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 first-stages on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean called "Of Course I Still Love You," back on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or on a second droneship in the Pacific ocean for California launches.

"We need to find a space for them; we need to support them," Port Canaveral CEO Cpt. John Murray said during the meeting.

Murray recently said he sees private space flight as a valuable addition to Port Canaveral's operations.

The lease which runs through 2022, is for the land at the corner of State Road 401 and Payne Way, according to lease documents.

SpaceX will continue to use the 53,360 square-foot SpaceHab building at Port Canaveral on Magellan Road. The company signed a lease in 2016 to use the building for five years. 

As for a timeline, Murray said SpaceX "wanted to be done six months ago" and estimates construction on the hangar to begin soon.

SpaceX is targeting Sunday evening for its third launch in nine days. A Falcon 9 will liftoff with a commercial communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center. There are no plans for a booster landing attempt.

This liftoff marked the second mission a recycled rocket booster was flown by SpaceX. 

SpaceX completed a weekend double-header with a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, just two days after a successful satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.

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Florida woman gives birth to child fathered by 11-year-old, deputies sayTransgender student suing school board over bathroom policyNeighbors shocked when abused puppy is returned to owner

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:47:11 GMTWed, 28 Jun 2017 16:50:40 GMTWed, 28 Jun 2017 16:23:03 GMT

A Florida woman has been arrested on child abuse charges after authorities said she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials said in an email that Marissa Ashley Mowry, 25, faces a charge of sexual battery on a child younger than 12.

A police report said Mowry was 22 when she began having sex with the boy near Tampa.

Mowry became pregnant and gave birth in October 2014. Officials say she and the boy continued to engage in sexual intercourse multiple times when he was between the ages of 11 and 14 years old.

Officials said the baby was placed in the care of a responsible adult. Mowry is being held without bond, and it's unclear if she's retained an attorney.

A 16-year-old transgender student and his mother are suing the St. Johns County School Board because he was told he had to use a gender neutral restroom at Nease High School, the boy's attorney announced Wednesday.

A 20-year-old man seen in a Facebook video yelling at a puppy, smacking her and picking her up by the neck was charged with animal cruelty in March. After neighbors were shocked to learn the man paid a $500 fine and got his dog back, they are circulating a petition seeking to have the punishment increased for those who abuse animals.

2 dead after car splits in half during Orange County crash, FHP saysOrlando City's Cyle Larin speaks out after DUI arrestFHP: Orlando City star Cyle Larin arrested for DUI, driving wrong way

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:23:38 GMTFri, 16 Jun 2017 15:44:36 GMTThu, 15 Jun 2017 21:36:03 GMT

Two people were killed and their car was split in half Tuesday night in a two-vehicle crash in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The crash was reported at 8:05 p.m. on Semoran Boulevard and Hanging Moss Road.

Troopers said a 1995 Honda Civic was traveling south on Semoran Boulevard when the driver attempted to make a left turn into a parking lot, but drove directly in the path of a four-door 2015 Ford, which struck the Civic on the right side.

The FHP said the crash caused the Civic to split into two pieces.

The victims in the Civic who were killed were identified as Joseph Masseria and Gary Maharaj, both 37, according to the FHP. Another passenger, Claudette Rambissoon,37, was listed in critical condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center. 

All three people in the Ford -- driver Dalton White, 18, and passengers Ryan McClintock, 20, and Jesse Weigand, 18 -- suffered minor injuries, the FHP said.

Once pulled over, Larin was tested and found with a blood alcohol level of 0.179, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, the FHP said. His second breath test showed that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.182, the FHP said.

Larin initially said he hadn't had anything to drink before changing his story several times and saying that he consumed two or three Vodka Red Bulls, troopers said. He had come from club ONO in downtown Orlando, driving himself and a woman who was in the car, the FHP said.

The third-year player was the 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year with 17 goals at his feet, scoring 14 times in his sophomore season. The forward has shot the ball 36 times, with 23 on goal in 2017. Orlando City plays its next game against Real Salt Lake on Friday, June 30.


“I will do everything possible to never place myself in this position again and regain everyone’s trust," Larin said.

The FHP says Orlando City soccer star Cyle Larin was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

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