09.20.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Thanks to the wonders of Facebook’s “On This Day,” a feature which allows users to grin or grimace at their social media posts from yesteryear, I recently discovered I’ve been living in Florida for 11 years.

For whatever reason, I still tell folks I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio when they ask. They tend to figure out that I’m from the North when I correctly describe Diet Coke as “pop,” but I suppose I should really start telling my Lyft drivers that I’m from St. Pete. I put too much thought into small talk, which is probably why I’m so bad at it.

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Oklahoma school reopens after transgender student threatened

By : wire report
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ACHILLE, Okla. (AP) | Officials have reopened a rural Oklahoma school system after an investigation into comments authorities deemed threatening to a transgender student.

Achille Public Schools, near the Texas border, reopened August 15 after being closed for two days while the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

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Alaska Airlines asks gay couple to make room for straight couple or to get off the plane

By : Colton Adkins
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Alaska Airlines is in clean-up mode after a gay couple was asked to move seats on one of its flights to make room for a straight couple that wanted to sit together.

David Cooley, CEO and founder of The Abbey Food and Bar and The Chapel at the Abbey in West Hollywood, took to Facebook to express his anger with the airline.

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Paintball shooting in Lake Eola linked to potential LGBTQ hate crime

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | Police are investigating a possible hate crime at Lake Eola Park in Orlando after several LGBTQ individuals were attacked by a paintball gun being shot from a moving vehicle on July 27. The attacker also shouted homophobic slurs at the victims.

One Orlando resident, who asked not to be identified by name, was shot in the leg with paintballs while playing the popular app game “Pokemon Go” with a friend at Lake Eola Park. He also says that a lesbian couple in the park told him they were also hit with paintballs.

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Deal requires Facebook to end discriminatory ad targeting

By : wire report
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SEATTLE (AP)| Facebook and Washington state have reached a legally binding agreement that requires the tech giant to stop enabling advertisers to unlawfully discriminate in who sees their ads.

Facebook says it was already doing so. Under pressure from civil rights activists, it announced in April it removed thousands of categories from its “exclusion targeting” tools, which allow companies to control who sees their ads, including for jobs and housing. The removed categories included attributes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

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Tampa Bay Overheard: G, I Wonder…

By : Anonymous
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Tampa Bay’s social media sphere was all abuzz July 3 with a cryptic tease of “G St. Pete,” a new bar heading to St. Petersburg.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s reminiscent of Ybor’s G. Bar, which closed and reopened as Southern Nights Tampa just over three years ago. Several of the Ybor bar scene’s mainstays have also shared the tease personally, prompting further speculation about the similarities to the now-defunct Ybor hotspot.

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Watermark is hiring a Multimedia Assistant

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark is seeking a full-time multimedia assistant. The multimedia assistant will maintain, as well as create, content for our website, WatermarkOnline.com. They will handle all Watermark social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), organize and promote Watermark contests and support the business manager with administrative duties.

This is an on-site position at our Orlando office. This is an entry-level position for a self-motivated, multi-faceted worker seeking to thrive in a challenging, fast paced environment. Position includes health insurance benefits, dental and 401K options.

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Watermark is hiring: Multimedia Assistant

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Watermark is seeking a full-time multimedia assistant. The multimedia assistant will maintain, as well as create, content for our website, WatermarkOnline.com. They will handle all Watermark social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), organize and promote Watermark contests and support the business manager with administrative duties.

This is an on-site position at our Orlando office. This is an entry-level position for a self-motivated, multi-faceted worker seeking to thrive in a challenging, fast paced environment. Position includes health insurance benefits, dental and 401K options.

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Ex-teacher who made anti-gay comments settles lawsuit

By : wire report
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UNION, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey high school teacher who resigned after posting anti-gay comments on her Facebook page has settled a discrimination lawsuit against the school district.

The Union Township school district recently agreed to pay Jenye “Viki” Knox $132,500 to settle the claims.

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Pulse shooting survivors sue Google, Facebook, Twitter for ‘providing support and resources to ISIS’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Sixteen survivors from the June 12, 2016 massacre at Pulse Orlando filed a federal lawsuit in the Middle District Court of Florida April 4 against Google, Facebook and Twitter asserting the online media titans provided “material support” to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly referred to as ISIS.

The 122-page lawsuit states the plaintiffs are seeking damages against the three companies “for aiding, abetting, and knowingly providing support and resources to ISIS, the notorious designated foreign terrorist organization that carried out the June 12, 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 innocent civilians and wounded some 53 others.” The lawsuit goes on to list the 16 plaintiffs.

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Want your voice heard? Take Watermark’s LGBTQ community survey

By : Watermark Staff
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Dear Watermark reader,

We would like to invite you to take a new survey about your opinions and preferences, from an LGBTQ perspective.

There’s power in our Pride! Participating in this study helps open doors and minds around the world, and influences positive changes for our community. Previous surveys have yielded 45,000 respondents from 150 countries! You may have seen it quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, etc.

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Prosecutors: Pulse Nightclub shooter intended to attack Disney Springs

By : wire report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando nightclub shooter intended to attack Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex by hiding a gun in a stroller but became spooked by police and instead chose the gay club as his target, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors revealed those details during their closing arguments in the trial of Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen. Salman, 31, is accused of helping her husband in the attack that killed 49 people in 2016. She is charged with obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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