Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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onePULSE Foundation begins construction on Pulse interim memorial

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | onePULSE Foundation begins construction on the interim memorial at the Pulse nightclub location Feb. 26 as they work to design the permanent memorial that will go in the nightclub’s location.

As part of the temporary memorial, the now iconic Pulse sign will remain in place but will be enhanced. A new fence will be built around the perimeter of the nightclub with areas available for visitors to leave messages.

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onePulse Foundation postpones gun violence forum as CNN hosts town hall in Parkland

By : Randa Griffin
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The onePULSE Foundation is postponing its Town Hall Forum that was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21, out of respect for a CNN town hall meeting taking place in Parkland at the same time.

“In the wake of last week’s tragedy, now is the time to focus on the Parkland community and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Barbara Poma, executive director and CEO of onePULSE, in a press release.

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onePulse Foundation announces date for next town hall forum, continues series of community talks

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation announced that the date for their next town hall forum will be on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Orlando Repertory Theater.

The town hall forum’s topic will focus on the impact of gun violence in the community and in the country.

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Hope & Help Center expands clinic services, hosts Orlando AIDS Walk at Lake Eola

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida held a grand re-opening Jan. 26 to unveil their new building and expansion of LGBTQ health services. The center added a medical clinic to their services where clients can receive primary care, screening, treatment and urgent care for medical issues.

The center has expanded its fight against STDs by offering a full panel of testing. The clinic offers services for people in the transgender community as well.

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PHOTOS: Orlando’s Hope & Help Raises over $40K with AIDS Walk

By : Maia Monet
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News 6 anchor Julie Broughton, joined by fellow News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges and traffic safety expert Steve Montiero, hosted this year’s AIDS Walk to benefit Orlando’s nonprofit Hope & Help center. Also on hand were Pride Radio Orlando’s Ricky and Sondra Rae as well as Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma.

In keeping with the appearance of local notables, walk participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite celebrities for the mile-long walk around Lake Eola. According to their website, a total of $41,965 was raised to assist Hope & Help with its HIV/AIDS services including free testing, community education initiatives, and case management.

More photos after the jump.

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PHOTOS: Dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth

By : Maia Monet
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivors, and members of law enforcement joined with LGBTQ citizens and allies for the dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth at Colonialtown Square Park on Dec 21.

The Orlando United rainbow heart at the center of the memorial is surrounded by the labyrinth outlined in brick. The outer edge is made up of 49 equal pieces of granite inscribed in gold with the names of each Pulse victim. After the dedication and a request to hold hands for a group prayer, those gathered were invited to walk the labyrinth in memory of those lost in the tragedy.

More photos of the proceedings after the jump and video clips have been posted to the Watermark Instagram page.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Pamela Schwartz, Orange County Regional History Center’s Chief Curator

By : Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Mayor
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Teresa Jacobs

It’s an honor and privilege to celebrate Pamela Schwartz as a 2017 “Remarkable Person.”

In the early hours after the Pulse Nightclub massacre, when we were reeling with anguish and disbelief from the brutal attack on our LGBTQ, Latinx and Hispanic communities and the unimaginable loss of 49 innocent souls, one person was already thinking about how we could help memorialize the staggering loss and remember the innocent victims. That was Pam Schwartz, who by the next day, had already outlined a plan for the collection and preservation of the tribute items that she knew would come.

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onePULSE Foundation launches Pulse memorial survey, schedules town hall

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation launched the final phase of the Pulse Memorial Survey Sept. 13 asking for opinions on how the memorial should be constructed.

The survey launched over the summer for victims’ families and survivors, as well as first responders from law enforcement and healthcare. The final phase is currently open to anyone around the world who would like to provide input on the future memorial.

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Looking back on a gay nightclub that almost wasn’t; looking forward after a massacre

By : Alma J. Hill
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The news coverage of Pulse is a 24-hour cycle of tragedy. Again and again, readers are forced to relive chaos and carnage. Images of the battered wall fill our news feeds, and the faces of the 49 float in and out of our consciousness on a regular basis. Bodies in corners, mothers crying in cars, candles in the rain; remembering Pulse has come to almost exclusively mean reliving the events of June 12th.

Rarely is the legacy of the club discussed. As an LGBTQ friendly space that had been operational for well over a decade, Pulse represented many firsts for Orlando. It was the first Orlando nightclub to feature a space even remotely similar to its famed futuristic white room (that changed colors). In 2013, it became one of the first gay clubs in Central Florida to give a Saturday night home to a Latin night. The club’s opulent interior garnered national attention, earning Pulse coverage in both Club and Mondo magazines.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Univision banned, MegaCon invites and Pink Collar Comedy is coming

By : Anonymous
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Uni-vited

On May 4, Pulse survivors, families of the victims, city and county officials and various media representatives gathered for an announcement regarding the future of the Pulse nightclub site. As people were checked and moved behind the fence, one news outlet was turned away.

Latin outlet Univision was denied access, and when questioned why, they were referred to the onePULSE Foundation’s public relations contact.

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This morning’s announcement of the Pulse memorial was short on information, full of emotion

By : Billy Manes
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This morning, May 4, 2017, a pall fell over the inside of the tribute gates of the oft-visited Pulse Orlando nightclub, where thousands have paid their respects to the 49 killed on June 12, 2016. The event was announced nearly a week before, but the details of what was going on were amorphous at best. The Pulse site would become a permanent memorial, the original April 25 press release read, leaving out any finite details.

“Pulse has always been a part of me, but after this tragedy which took 49 lives, it became a part of this community and the world,’’ Poma explained in the press release. “When this event happened, I had no clue how expansive the love for Pulse was. It’s important that we as a community be mindful and take great care to preserve, honor and help heal.”

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