OnePULSE Foundation to honor Parkland victims at one-year mark of school shooting

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | OnePULSE Foundation announced that it will begin honoring victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 7 at the Pulse Interim Memorial.

According to a press release sent out by the foundation, a banner will hang at Pulse for “community members to leave messages of love, hope and support.” They will also tie 17 ribbons – one for each of the victims – on trees at the memorial.

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – Hope (and Thoughts and Prayers) for Our Gun-Totin’ Future

By : STEVE YACOVELLI
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Steve Yacovelli

The Parkland shooting has yet again re-ignited the great American gun control debate. Both sides of the coin have brought out their best arguments for control/freedom. It’s sadly yet another repeat of the same ol’ “thoughts and prayers” responses we have heard time and time again: from Sandy Hook to Virgina Tech to Las Vegas to our own Pulse massacre. Yet this time something feels a bit different; it feels like a tipping point of sorts.

While there was ample focus after Pulse within our community and beyond to look at common sense gun control, sadly we were constantly met with that “thoughts and prayers” shenanigans from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Some – like Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith – passionately reached out to lawmakers to change things. Groups like the Orlando chapter of Gays Against Guns and The Dru Project formed and shouted for gun reform. But nothing seemed to change. Some thought that, gee, if Washington wasn’t moved into action when kindergarteners were gunned down in their own classroom at Sandy Hook, maybe nothing could really turn the dial.

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6 months later, 49 killed at Pulse are remembered

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Relatives, friends and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre stood outside Pulse where candles were lit behind stars with the names of each of the 49 patrons who were killed.

They hugged each other outside the shuttered gay club in the early morning hours Monday to mark the six-month anniversary of the massacre.

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Orlando shops designate themselves a ‘Safe Place’ for the LGBTQ community

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Officials in Orlando are launching a program allowing businesses to designate themselves as safe places for LGBTQ people if they feel threatened.

City officials will begin distributing decals Dec. 12 to local businesses to post in their windows identifying them as places members of the LGBTQ community can go if they feel they are in jeopardy.

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Months after brother died at Pulse, sister reopens his salon

By : Wire Report
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juan-rivera-valazquez-luis-condeORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Six months after her brother and his longtime partner were killed in Orlando’s gay nightclub massacre, Jessica Silva is re-opening the couple’s beauty salon.

Half a dozen black salon chairs are in place. One of them faces a large photo of the brother Juan Rivera Velazquez and his partner Luis Daniel Conde, who died June 12 in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It’s the same chair where Velazquez once styled hair.

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Suspect in Albany LGBTQ bar shooting in custody

By : Wire Report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A suspect has been arrested in connection with the Thanksgiving morning shooting at a bar popular with Albany’s LGBTQ community that left one man dead and three wounded.

Police say the suspect was taken into custody Dec. 5 on a charge unrelated to the Nov. 24 shooting at Rocks on Central Avenue. The suspect’s name hasn’t been released.

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Sheriff releases body cam footage from Pulse shooting

By : Wire Report
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Images recorded by the body cameras of police responding to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando show officers clearing entrances and going into the building where gunman Omar Mateen had barricaded himself in a bathroom.

About two dozen videos released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department revealed the uncertainty law enforcement officers faced as they responded to the June 12 shooting that left 49 dead at the gay nightclub. Mateen also died.

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Orlando to buy Pulse, turn it into memorial

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The city of Orlando, Florida, has announced plans to purchase the Pulse nightclub and eventually convert the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history into a memorial.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel  Nov. 7 that the city has reached a deal to buy the gay nightclub for $2.25 million.

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Pulse victims’ families can testify on 911 calls

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Relatives of the Pulse shooting victims, as well as the parents of the gunman, will be given the chance to speak at a hearing on whether all the 911 calls from the massacre can be made public.

A judge issued an order Oct. 11 setting a hearing when relatives of the 49 deceased victims can weigh-in on the impact of the release of calls made by their loved ones from inside the Pulse nightclub.

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Judge clears way for release of many more Pulse 911 calls

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A judge Sept. 20 cleared the way for the release of many of the hundreds of 911 calls related to a mass shooting at a gay Florida nightclub, but calls capturing patrons’ deaths will still be exempt.

In dismissing a lawsuit by the city of Orlando, Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber sided with more than two dozen media groups who sued for the recordings three months ago, immediately after the June 12 shooting at the Pulse club. Less than an hour after the lawsuit was filed, the city filed a complaint arguing that the records were exempt from the state’s public records law, both because they were part of an investigation and because some of them depicted patrons being killed. Current state law prohibits the public release of any 911 calls that capture someone’s death. Technically, the law will change on Oct. 1 to exempt only calls capturing the death of law enforcement officers. No officers died in the Pulse standoff.

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Arson suspected in fire at mosque attended by Pulse shooter

By : Wire Report
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FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida are investigating an early morning fire Sept. 12 at the mosque that was attended by the Pulse nightclub shooter as a possible arson.

No injuries were reported in the fire, which happened on the first day of Eid al-Adha, the most important Muslim holiday. It is also the three-month anniversary of the deadly Orlando shooting.

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Pulse shooting victim’s condition improves

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Officials at Orlando Regional Medical Center say the only survivor of the Pulse massacre who was still in critical condition has seen their condition improve.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that ORMC officials said the unidentified patient’s condition was upgraded Aug. 16 to guarded. Officials did not provide further details.

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