Mother of Boy in Circumcision Case Has Vanished; Judge Orders Her to Return

(Note: Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen has requested the media to withhold the name of the child and the names of the doctors in this case, due to the nature of this story. New Times has published these names in past stories.)

Heather Hironimus, the mother of a 4-year-old boy caught in the middle of a circumcision case, has been ordered to appear before Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen of the 15th judicial district in Palm Beach County on Tuesday or be found in contempt.

In a hearing held Friday, Gillen heard testimony from the boy's father, Dennis Nebus, over how Hironimus has fled and vanished with their son. Nebus also asked the court to have Hironimus stop allowing anti-circumcision activists to continue using their son's name and likeness on the internet. She had been ordered to do so in the past but has disobeyed that court order.

See also: Protesters at Doctor's Office Hope to Stop 4-Year-Old From Being Circumcised

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Lake Worth's Outspokin Hosts Benefit Show for Human Rights Center

Categories: Broward News

On a weekly basis, stacks upon stacks of letters from Florida prisoners filter into the Lake Worth headquarters of the Human Rights Defense Center, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of the human rights of people held in U.S. detention facilities.

Some of the letters are simple thank yous to the center for sending copies of its magazine Prison Legal News, while others are first-hand correspondences, detailing allegations of abuse, physical violence, and deplorable living conditions.

"We have been getting hundreds of letters from Florida prisons on a weekly basis since Human Rights Defense Center went to trial last month against the whole Florida Department of Corrections having a blanket ban on our magazine," says Special Projects Coordinator Panagioti Tsolkas.

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Native Americans: Return Lolita the Orca to the Pacific Northwest

Categories: Animal Planet

Photos by George Martinez/
Lolita, the orca at the Miami Seaquarium, has been in captivity for decades. Now, in addition to the animal rights groups that have long been calling for her release, another others are demanding her retirement.

Several native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest, where Lolita was born, are voicing their concern on the orca's ongoing captivity. They hope that she is soon returned to Puget Sound. Thesepeople believe holding orcas captive for entertainment purposes is an affront to their cultural beliefs. They call Lolita by a different name, Tokitae.

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FDLE Investigations of Police Shootings Double Over Two Years

Categories: Broward News

Kozorez Vladislav via Shutterstock
Over the past two years, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has more than doubled the amount of investigations of police shootings and use of deadly force incidents, going from 50 in 2013 to 103 in 2014.

WFTV news reports that the increased number is due to local police departments wanting to appear more accountable to the public in how it investigates its own. In other words, using the state-run FDLE, rather than its own police officers or the prosecutors they work with everyday, may help departments convey a sense of transparency.

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Police Arrest Creeper Who Was Allegedly Grabbing Womens' Butts in Cooper City

Categories: Broward News

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, since December, police had been receiving complaints from women that a stranger had touched them inappropriately when they were walking in the Rock Creek subdivision of Cooper City.

Tuesday night, police were in the area investigating when 911 received a call from a woman saying she had been walking on Stonebridge Parkway when a man walked up behind her and grabbed her left buttock.

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Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Backs Uber, Calls on Commissioners to Enact Solution

via Uber
Since the car service Uber began operating in Palm Beach in August, county commissioners have been working on details to regulate the ride-sharing service, two bills have been introduced in the state legislature to legalize it, local cab drivers have been expressing their frustration over it, and at least two county officials have accused Uber of shutting down their accounts on purpose.

Meanwhile, Uber drivers have been operating illegally, and being fined any time an official finds them. But now the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce is officially backing Uber's presence in the county, and have written a formal letter to commissioner Steve Abrams asking the commissioners to enact a temporary agreement with Uber while regulations re developed.

See also: Uber Shuts Down Palm Beach Officials Accounts, County Compliance Officers Claim

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Ringling Bros. Ending Elephant Acts, Moving Them to Florida

Categories: Animal Planet

In a major shift on how it conducts its entertainment business, Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, announced Thursday that it will remove Asian elephants from its traveling circus performances. The plan is to have Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus phase elephants out of its shows entirely by 2018.

Part of that plan includes having 13 elephants currently traveling with the three circus units relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant for Conservation in Florida, where they'll join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.

It's a big victory for animal-rights activists, who have for years been fighting the company with protests and petitions to remove the elephants from performing and traveling with the show.

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Transgender Discrimination Bill Leads to Emotional Testimony and Criticism

Categories: LGBT News

Sam Howzit via Flickr cc
On Tuesday, Florida Rep. Frank Artiles' restroom bill passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on a 9-5 vote. It was one of three subcommittee votes the bill will have to get through in order to get to the House floor. Still, it was a symbolic defeat for LGBT activists and the transgender community.

And yet, HB 583 passing that first subcommittee might also have sparked the kind of response that will ultimately defeat it. Before the vote took place, LGBT activists, civil rights activists, and transgenders gave two hours of emotional testimony over the draconian bill. On Twitter, people expressed their disgust over the bill with a #HB583 hashtag. Some even called out Artiles, tweeting directly at him and accusing him of hate-mongering.

See also: "Anti-Transgender" Bill Proposes Jail Time for Using Wrong Restroom

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Rick Scott Gives Up on Welfare Drug Testing

Categories: Politics

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Drugs are bad, mkay?
Is it possible that Rick Scott 2.0 will be a kinder, gentler governor?

Uh. Maybe? In a first term that was filled with dickhead moves, Rick Scott's primo dickhead policy position was probably his push to drug-test welfare recipients. Grounded in the imaginary conservative bogeyman that welfare recipients sit around all day lighting crack pipes with their government checks, welfare drug testing is a complete waste of money. Scott's administration seems to finally have gotten the memo. This week, it admitted it will no longer fight for the proposal.

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Victor Ramirez, Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man, Has History of Using Force at Bus Terminal

Categories: Broward News

James Argyropoulos
Protesters want Ramirez fired.
Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Victor Ramirez gained widespread infamy when he slapped a homeless man suspected of trespassing in a public bus terminal last month and video of the incident went viral. But internal affairs files show that the "slap heard around the world" definitely wasn't the first time Ramirez got physical with bus station loiterers.

An 87-page internal affairs file documents nearly 40 incidents, a majority of which involve physical use of force, as well as a few Taser incidents (he has never been accused of shooting anybody). A pattern has emerged over his nine-year career: hitting, slamming, dropping, and sometimes even tasering people while working off-duty security around Fort Lauderdale.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man Omits Slap in Arrest Report

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