June 12 named ‘Orlando United Day,’ will honor Pulse victims

By : Jeremy Williams
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The City of Orlando, Orange County and Pulse Orlando announced June 12, 2017 — the one-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting — will be designated “Orlando United Day: A Day of Love and Kindness,” according to OCFL.net.

“June 12 will be dedicated to honoring the memory of the 49 innocent Pulse victims, supporting survivors and recognizing the compassion and love that was displayed by the Central Florida community following the tragedy,” the website reads.

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State Senator Linda Stewart pushing for ‘Orlando United’ specialty license plate

By : Staff Report
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To commemorate the unity of the City of Orlando in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy last June, State Sen. Linda Stewart is pushing for the creation of an “Orlando United” specialty license plate, with proceeds funding various mental health organizations.

The three designated organizations that would be receiving the proceeds are The Mental Health Association of Central Florida, the Hispanic Federation, and Two Spirit Health Services Inc., which focuses mainly on the LGBTQ community in Orlando.

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Nightclub shooting victims sue gunman’s employer, wife

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A personal injury attorney representing some of the families and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman’s employer and wife, claiming they were able to stop Omar Mateen before the attack but didn’t.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in South Florida on behalf of more than four dozen of the survivors and family members of those killed at Pulse nightclub last June. Forty-nine people were killed during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history at the gay nightclub. Dozens more were injured.

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Many big restaurant chains give dirty money to right-wing, reactionary causes, We show you the places to eat hate-free!

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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Early last year, I found myself on a yacht off the coast of Isla Mujeres with a group of older adults far beyond my own socio-economic status.

The presidential primaries were ramping up and our evening was winding down – champagne had flowed freely and words came easier than they should have. One woman explained her voting strategy this way, no nuance, an open and shut case: “I vote with my wallet.”

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Ann Paula Bautista and her fellow cast members bring truth to the stories of Disney princesses in ‘Disenchanted!’

By : Jeremy Williams
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While Disney princesses are loved the world over, many people don’t know that the characters are based on real historical figures or darker fairy tales. That changed in 2011 when history teacher Dennis Giacino created the musical Disenchanted!.

Disenchanted! is a cabaret-style show that features 10 “Disney” princesses speaking out about their treatment in the House of Mouse. The show started as an Orlando Fringe show and has since gone on to sell out shows around the world and Off-Broadway.

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Free transgender documents workshop in downtown Orlando

By : Anna M. Johnson
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Transgender people in Central Florida have advocates that not only stand in solidarity with them, but that offer legal assistance to help with some of the more bureaucratic facets of transitioning.

On March 25, the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association will host a free transgender identification workshop and legal clinic at the Orlando Red Cross. The event focuses on making legal services accessible for transgender individuals who may be seeking name changes.

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Central Florida progressive groups, state representatives try again for an equal pay act

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – Following an extensive history of refusal by several states, including Florida, to pass the historic federal Equal Rights Amendment insuring fair pay for women in the workplace, this year several state legislators are moving forward – as they have been for the better part of this decade – to push it through on a state level.

On March 14, outside Orlando City Hall, representatives from the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Central Florida, the League of Women Voters of Central Florida, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and Greater Orlando Now gathered in support of Florida Senate Bill 410 and House Bill 319. Congressman Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) was also in attendance as he was snowed out of Washington during the recent blizzard.

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Scholarship fund to honor Pulse shooting victims

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A Florida businessman is raising scholarship money for gay students to honor the 49 patrons killed last June in Orlando’s gay nightclub shooting massacre.

Barry Miller said March 13 that The 49 Fund is to award 10 scholarships annually, each worth $4,900. Students would have to self-identify as “out,” have a GPA of 3.0 and attend an institution of higher learning full time.

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Britney Spears visits Disney Springs’ new Planet Hollywood Observatory

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO – International superstar Britney Spears paid a visit to Disney’s newly opened Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs in Orlando March 13 for a meet and greet with fans.

The pop princess was greeted by hundreds of admirers and spectators who waited to take pictures and get autographs before Spears and her family, including actress and sister Jamie Lynn Spears, “dined with the stars” in the restaurant.

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U.S. Department of Justice brings an additional $8.5 million to Orlando in aid of Pulse victims, survivors

By : Billy Manes
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Today, the U.S. Department of Justice leaned in on Florida with some extra funding to assist in the ongoing grief counseling of victims of the Pulse massacre.

The federal agency will move $8.5 million into Florida’s battle with its still-stinging tragedy, some of which will apparently be used to pay off debts at the Family Assistance Center which provided immediate help. The DOJ was quick to render $12 million last June in the immediate wake of the tragedy that took 49 – later 50 – lives and damaged at least 53 others.

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Central Florida celebrates Watermark’s 2017 WAVE Awards at Parliament House

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark celebrated with the Central Florida winners of the 2017 WAVE Awards at the Parliament House in Orlando March 10.

Guests were greeted in Parliment House’s main bar with tunes being spun by DJ Lindsey Leigh, decorated with beautiful arrangements by Lee James Floral Design and a delicious spread courtesy of John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Catering. First place winners took home awards in elegant frames courtesy of Tyrone’s Frame and Mirror from St. Petersburg.

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Jorge Estevez

By : Billy Manes
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In the lobby of the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando, WFTV News kingpin Jorge Estevez seems equally flattered and amused by his WAVE victories. The “centerfold” category is of particular interest.

“That is so much fun!” he laughs.“I love that category. I’m not biased at all.”

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