Report: SWAT Teams Responding to Possible Naked Sniper Situation in Lake Worth UPDATED

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Update 3: According to PBSO spokesman Eric Davis, the man has surrendered and is in custody.

Update 2: According to PBSO spokesman Eric Davis, police are negotiating with the man to surrender his weapon and come down off the roof. No one has been harmed, and there are no hostages.

Update: SWAT is working with PBSO to try to breach the building. The man is threatening to kill anyone who comes near him.

Original story:
There's apparently a naked man on a building rooftop on a sniper perch, with a gun. This according to a Facebook and Twitter account called Palm Beach County Alerts.

According to the alert, numerous Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and Palm Beach Fire Rescue units are surrounding the area of 1700 S. Federal Highway in Lake Worth. That is the address for the Shangri-La Hotel. The area has been evacuated, according to the report.


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Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial: What We Know So Far About the Florida Connection

Categories: News

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Photo by Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons
Thursday saw the opening statements in the Aaron Hernandez first-degree murder trial, where prosecutor Patrick Bomberg said he has surveillance video of Hernandez and a couple of his friends with victim Oldin Lloyd on the night Lloyd was murdered.

Hernandez has also been named as a person of interest in a separate incident at a nightclub in Florida, as well as another one in Boston; references to those cases have been ruled inadmissible for the Lloyd trial. Still, there remain Florida connections to Hernandez here, starting with one of the friends, Ernest Wallace, who was allegedly with him the night Lloyd was killed.

Wallace's parents live in Miramar. And when news broke of Lloyd's death, Wallace turned himself in to Miramar Police.

Hernandez's troubles are a seemingly complex web with some Florida connections. Here's a recap of what we know so far:

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Lance Bass to Help Lead Mass Gay Wedding in Fort Lauderdale

Categories: LGBT News

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Photo by Toglenn via Wikipedia Commons

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a sunrise beach wedding and vow renewal ceremony for 100 LGBT and straight couples on Thursday, February 5, and former N'Sync pop artist Lance Bass will serve as the event's ambassador.

The event, dubbed "Love Is Love," was set up as a commemoration of the historic January 6 Florida marriage equality ruling and will be making television history when Bass and partner Michael Turchin's wedding is broadcast in the E! network special Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding. Lance and Michael were married in December.

See also: First Gay Couples Marry in Fort Lauderdale With Laughter and Tears


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Florida Utilities Continue to Roll Out Plans for Solar After Sidelining Private Industry

Categories: Environment

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Solar is good. It's good for the environment. It's good for you and me. And, apparently, it's good for the state's massive utilities, who have steadily been rolling out large-scale solar projects. These project unveilings come after the utilities spent the past year edging the private solar providers out of business by restricting their input at the Public Service Commission. And now Florida Power and Light has announced plans that would double the state's overall solar production.

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Food Not Bombs Sues Fort Lauderdale Over Homeless Feeding Law

Categories: News

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Dylan Bouscher
A Fort Lauderdale activist is arrested during a public feeding in Stranahan Park on November 7.
Food Not Bombs of Fort Lauderdale has filed a federal lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale over the city's recent homeless feeding ordinance. The group is saying that the city violated its First and Fourth amendment rights through the regulations passed in October last year. Since the ordinance was passed, members of Food Not Bombs have continued to defy it and feed the homeless at Stranahan Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale. They say that the ordinance keeps them from practicing their freedom of expression, speech, and association.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is asking for the ordinance to be struck down as well as for the group to be awarded damages for said violations. The group has in the past called this ordinance a "homeless hate law." A series of five ordinances was passed by the city in 2014 to crack down on the homeless population. They were designed to stop panhandling and discourage people from sleeping on public property.

See also: Vote Out Jack Seiler Rally Going Down in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday

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BSO Deputy Arrested for Drunken Drive-By Shooting From a Prius

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via Youtube
PBSO has not released Stepelton's mug shot, so we can only assume he looks something like this.

Remember those wild and crazy BSO deputies who were suspected of leaving a West Palm Beach strip club and then shooting at a nearby Walgreens? Well, one of those deputies has turned himself in on charges of "discharging a firearm from a vehicle" -- a second-degree felony.

Deputy Norman Stepelton, a 26-year-old member of the BSO force for about one year, was on paid administrative leave for more than three weeks before he decided to walk into PBSO headquarters on the evening of January 28 and turn himself in for his involvement in the January 5 shooting. He was released the next day without having to pay any bail, according to PBSO arrest records. BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright tells us he's now on unpaid administrative leave.


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Double D Strip Club Can Serve Food When It Opens, Palm Beach Commissioners Say

Categories: Palm Beach News

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Photo by Alex Markow
King of Diamonds in Miami

Chins up, strip club aficionados. Because thanks to the Palm Beach County Commission, you can now get a steak with your lap dances. On Thursday morning, commissioners approved a zoning change that will allow the Double D Ranch and Saloon strip club to serve food.

Despite some Palm Beach residents opposing the measure, commissioners voted to approve the zoning change for the strip club, which is under construction on Southern Boulevard, west of the turnpike.

Earlier this month, residents voiced their displeasure through emails, asking commissioners to block any of the proposed changes. Specifically, some residents are troubled over the how the strip club might bring crime and put a hurting on home values.

See also: Palm Beach Commissioners' Tentative Agreement to Let Strip Clubs Serve Food Has Some Residents Peeved


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Anti-Medical Marijuana Florida Sheriff Changing His Mind About Legalization

Categories: Marijuana

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"A vote for Amendment 2 is a vote for legalizing marijuana forever in the State of Florida," Florida Sheriffs Association President Sheriff Grady Judd said in a vehemently anti-medical marijuana video released last April.

With the video, titled The Devil Is in the Details, Judd's anti-medical weed group No on 2 launched their biggest talking point: that Amendment 2 was fraught with legal loopholes and language that would allow pot to be smoked and sold on the streets willy-nilly. This despite the many attempts by medical marijuana advocates saying otherwise.

Amendment 2 eventually failed to reach the 60 percent needed to pass, and medical marijuana was not made legal in Florida.

But now, with a new bill being introduced to make medical marijuana legal, Judd and some of his fellow Florida sheriffs may be changing their minds.

See also: New Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Jeff Brandes

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Off-Duty PBSO Cop Who Shot and Killed Son Being Investigated as On-Duty Cop

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cops.usdoj.gov
It might be several months before the autopsy results of Khamis Shatara, the 21-year-old shot and killed by his off-duty PBSO deputy father on Christmas Eve, are released to the public. That's because the death is being investigated as an "officer-involved shooting" even though the elder Shatara was at home and off-duty when he pulled the trigger.

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's office told New Times the status of the case when we attempted to get a copy of the autopsy results, which are considered public records.

"It's an officer-involved shooting, and the case is still under investigation," the records clerk said, adding that it might be before April the records are releasable, after having gone through the District Attorney's Office, which is the norm for all shootings involving on-duty police officers.

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Carnival Cruise Passenger Says She Was Raped by Crew Member While Her Kids Watched

Categories: Crime

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Scott Lucht via Wikimedia Commons
Cruises pretty much sell themselves on their care-free vibes: Come stay with us on this floating five-star hotel, where you don't have to worry about anything except getting to the buffet before the cheese blintzes run out. The truth is that there's a shady underbelly attached to the cruise business involving missing passengers, crimes on in-country excursions, and sexual assault.

A recent case hitting federal court in South Florida throws that final category into stark relief. A woman says that not only was she sexually assaulted by a crew member on her Carnival cruise but that the ship's security actively tried to keep her from reporting the crime.

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