Assistance center set up for victims of Pulse attack

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando's Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).


ORLANDO – The Orlando United Assistance Center, designed to provide long-term assistance to people impacted by the Pulse shootings, opens today.
The center located at 507 E. Michigan St. will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s located at the corner of Osceola Avenue and East Michigan Street.
Created by the City of Orlando and the Orange County Government, the center is expected to hire numerous representatives from the Hispanic and LGBT communities to be on staff to help the survivors of the attack. To learn more, call 407-500-HOPE.
On Monday, the city of Orlando also announced that it had established a partnership with Heart of Florida United Way to manage the center. That will include managing all daily functions such as the oversight of the building and its staff.
Heart of Florida United Way will also be responsible for arranging a series of partnerships with various service providers who can help meet the needs of the people visiting the center. Those partnerships will include arrangements with the Victim Service Center, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and Miracle of Love, Inc.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Heart of Florida was chosen because it has a vast network of partners in the nonprofit sector whose services could prove to be vital to individuals and families impacted by the shooting massacre on June 12 that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others. Continue reading

Orlando creating a permanent memorial to victims of the Pulse massacre

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando's Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).


ORLANDO — The City of Orlando has started the process of creating a permanent memorial that pays lasting tribute to the victims of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting.
“As the Central Florida community continues to heal from this tragic event, the city stands committed to creating a permanent space that will preserve the memory of those who lost their lives, provide comfort to those who seek it and honor the spirit and love of our great city,” noted a news release issued by the city’s press secretary, Cassandra Anne Lafser on Friday.
As part of that, she noted, the city government has started a partnership with the Orange County Regional History Center to collect and preserve items that had been intended to pay tribute to the Pulse victims, including letters, notes, and signs placed at temporary memorial sites.
The Orlando region continues to work on recovering from the devastating massacre that happened on Sunday June 12, when a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside Pulse, a gay nightclub near downtown Orlando.
The deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, the assailant was later identified as Omar Mateen, 29. He was killed by Orlando police after a three hour standoff. Continue reading

Florida wildlife officials: alligator attacks are “very rare”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says despite the abundance of lakes in Central Florida, alligator attacks are rare.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says despite the abundance of lakes in Central Florida, alligator attacks are rare.


LAKE BUENA VISTA — The state has closed its investigation into an attack by an alligator on a toddler, after noting that wildlife officials had captured and euthanized the alligator responsible for the killing.
The state’s top wildlife and conservation agency also sent out a message to Florida residents and its many visitors – but it was not a warning to be on the lookout for gator attacks.
Instead, the state noted simply, “Alligator attacks are a very rare occurrence in Florida,” and that a program is in place to protect people in the Orlando area.
On Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced it had suspended alligator trapping activities in the area where 2-year-old Lane Graves was killed.
The toddler and his family had been visiting Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and were at the beach by the Seven Seas Lagoon when Lane was attacked by an alligator and dragged into the water. Continue reading

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