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Latest from Tony Marino

    A federal judge in Texas ruled President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act 'invalid' Friday, the eve of the sign-up deadline for coverage next year. In a 55-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that last year's tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under 'Obamacare' by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.  Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has been leading the multistate coalition to defend the law, issued a statement saying: 'The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court. Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans.'  Becerra called Friday's ruling 'an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for healthcare, on America's faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans.'  President Donald Trump hailed the ruling, tweeting: 'As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.'  But Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become House speaker in January, vowed to fight what she called an 'absurd ruling.' She said the House 'will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act.'  White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying: 'We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.'  Twenty Republican-led states brought the lawsuit. After Trump ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the health law, a coalition of ACA-supporting states took up the defense.  O'Connor is a conservative Republican appointee who has previously blocked other Obama-era policies.
  • Today's the day, doughnut lovers can score a dozen Kripsy Kreme's for just a buck. December 12, 12/12, marks the return of Krispy Kreme's 'Day of Dozens' deal.  So here's the deal, customers have to buy a dozen doughnuts at the store's regular price, then the second dozen will cost just $1.  In case 24 delicious, sweet doughnuts weren't enough, you can can actually use the deal twice,for a grand total of 48 doughnuts.  If it seems like Krispy kreme just ran this incredible promotion, they served up the buy one dozen get one for a buck deal back in July to celebrate the chains birthday.
  • Megabus is moving it's Orlando bus stop to a new location this week. The transport operator announced Monday that the Orlando stop will move from 902 North Semoran Boulevard to 4504 South Orange Blossom Trail.  Beginning Wednesday, all Megabus transportation arriving to and leaving from Orlando will be at the new location.  The company said riders can buy tickets in suite 4652 of the new center. Lynx bus routes 8, 107 and 441 will have service to the new south Megabus stop.
  • A teenage boy is embarrassed, but safe after being locked in an abandoned bank vault. Police in Hollywood say the 17-year-old and a friend were trespassing in a closed down Bank of America when he got locked inside the vault. Hollywood Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Pat Keller told WSVN TV, He got trapped in there somehow. Him and his buddy were playing”  The teen’s friend called 911 about two hours later, but rescue crews had difficulty getting into the concrete and steel vault. “The vault is approximately 14 by 14 feet, and it’s about 2 feet thick concrete walls with a huge steel vault door” Keller said.  A former employee from the branch gave rescuers the combination to the vault, allowing them to free the teen without having to cut through the steel door.
  • Thousands of music fans left the Amway center stunned and disappointed Tuesday night, after not getting to see Elton John perform as scheduled. The 71 year old singer was forced to cancel his performance due to an ear infection.  An announcement was made nearly a half hour past the scheduled 8 p.m start time that he would not be able to perform.  The show is one of several scheduled in Florida for the Elton John Farewell Tour. According to the announcement, the Orlando show will be rescheduled.
  • Governor Rick Scott held a surprise news conference from the Governors mansion Thursday night to address the Senate race recount and the Florida elections. Scott's campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a lawsuit late Thursday demanding that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes be ordered to turn over several records detailing the counting and collection of ballots cast in Tuesday's election. They are seeking an emergency hearing as the votes must be certified by noon Saturday. The Governor said he has also requested the  Florida department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Broward and Palm Beach voting operation. This comes after Scott’s lead over Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson narrowed as ballots in Democratic Broward and Palm Beach counties were counted Wednesday and Thursday.  Scott said,  'All Florida residents should be concerned about rampant fraud in Broward and Palm Beach County' Nelson campaign spokesman Dan McLaughlin issued a statement saying that all votes should be counted accurately and that Scott's action 'appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.
  • Ride sharing services Uber and Lyft both say they will offer free or discounted rides to polling places Tuesday. As part of a larger effort 'to drive the vote' with groups like ‘Voto Latino’ and ‘Democracy works to provide free rides to the polls’  to help get undeserved communities to their polling stations. According to a Lyft blog post,  it was estimated that over 15 million people were registered but didn’t vote in 2016 because of transportation issues. Lyft is providing fifty percent off or up to $5.00 off across the country and free rides to people in under-served communities.  The uber app is also featuring a special election day button that riders can use to find their polling place and a book a ride.  Uber is also offering political groups the chance to purchase promo codes they can give to workers.
  • Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum spoke a the Allen Chapel Church Friday night, in the  historic Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford. Earlier , newly released documents showed the same undercover FBI agent that allegedly supplied Broadway show tickets to Gillum,may have paid for a fundraising dinner in 2016.  The information has come to light as part of an ongoing ethics investigation that has shadowed the Tallahassee mayor since he beat out other Democrats in the August primary.  The documents, show that lobbyist Adam Corey, a former friend of Gillum's sent an invoice for $4,386 to the agent, posing as a developer named Mike Miller. The bill was for an April 2016 reception on behalf of Gillum's committee that featured filet mignon, salmon and an open bar.  The information was released by Christopher Kise, a lawyer representing Corey, in response to a document request earlier this week from the state's ethics commission. The commission is investigating whether Gillum accepted gifts from lobbyists after a Tallahassee businessman and critic of Gillum filed a complaint.  Gillum has denied any wrongdoing. Florida law bars elected officials from accepting anything worth more than $100.  Attorney Chris Kise was once Florida's solicitor general and served on the transition team of Republican Gov. Rick Scott when Scott won in 2010.
  • The University of Central Florida Police department will welcome five new officers to the department on Tuesday, October 23.  Family, friends, UCF Police officers and staff will be on hand for a swearing-in ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Cypress Room, which is adjacent to the CFE Arena on East Plaza Drive. This will be UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger’s first swearing-in ceremony as chief.  After several weeks of training , these four new hires are joining the ranks as patrol officer.  *Marjorie Chilan, a UCF alum and former UCFPD intern  *Gregg Nelson, who served in the U.S. Navy for eight years  *Brad Piersall, a UCF alum  *Jon Stanley, who lived in England and Australia before settling in Central Florida  The fifth new addition is Commander Darnell Hill, a Navy veteran who joined the department last month after a 26-year career at the Orlando Police Department. Commander Hill oversees UCFPD’s patrol division.  In addition to the new hires, four UCFPD members will be honored for rising through the ranks.
  • The Volusia County Sheriff's office is warning parents to be even more vigilant after a recent child sex sting. The Sheriff's office announced on Monday, that seven men ranging in age from 22 to 49 were arrested and charged as part of an undercover sting called 'Operation Unlawful Attraction'.  Investigators said the men were chatting online with detectives who they thought were children. They chatted with more than 50 people, seven of whom met with them at gas stations in Daytona Beach and Deltona.   Deputies said the youngest of the group, Jonathan Hayes, 22, of Eustis, previously worked at a youth camp. According to officials, Hayes told a detective who he thought was a 14-year-old girl about a previous sexual encounter he had with a 16-year-old girl.  The suspects each face the following charges: use of a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child; travel to seduce seduce, solicit or lure a child; attempted lewd or lascivious battery; and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
  • Tony Marino

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