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florida

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Florida teen receives $30,000 scholarship after winning 2022 Doodle for Google nationals

Google Doodle
  • Sophie Araque-Liu, a 16-year-old student from Florida, has won the 14th annual Doodle for Google National Competition.
  • Doodle for Google is an annual competition where K-12 students across the U.S. create their own versions of the Google logo.
  • The theme for the 2022 Doodle for Google competition was "I care for myself by..."
  • Araque-Liu’s winning entry, titled “Not alone,” answered the prompt by writing "I care for myself by accepting [that] others care for me."
  • Araque-Liu has been submitting her artwork to the competition for the past three years, until she was chosen as the state winner in Florida last May and eventually the national winner on Tuesday.
  • She explained in her submission packet that she often struggles to “shoulder a burden on my own and forget that I have so many people, like my mom, who care about me and want to help.”

A high school student from Florida has won the 14th annual Doodle for Google National Competition.

Sophie Araque-Liu, a 16-year-old junior at Martin County High School, was named the state winner in Florida last May before she was announced as the national winner on Tuesday. 

Meme placing Florida Asian American judge between Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping sparks outrage

  • A meme that sandwiched an image of Florida Asian American Circuit Judge Vincent Chiu between photos of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping has been slammed as racist by community members.
  • The meme was created by Xavier Villacis, a former campaign consultant for Aldo Bartolone, who is running against Chiu for the Orange County Circuit Court.
  • Villacis posted the meme outside Bartolone’s campaign and defended it by saying he was exercising his own freedom of speech.
  • Bartolone said he fired Villacis immediately after being informed about the latter’s actions.
  • Responding to the controversy, Chiu said he is upset by the attack but declared that it is “nothing new to people of color.”

A political strategist behind a meme that sandwiched an image of a Florida Asian American circuit judge between photos of Chinese communist leaders Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping has been slammed as racist by community members.

The image of Orange County Circuit Judge Vincent Chiu, who is running for re-election, was also marked with a big red “X” and labeled “China’s judge” in one corner.

Andrew Yang condemns FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence

  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang condemned the FBI’s recent raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, saying that the decision “seems political” in nature.
  • “I’m no Trump fan. I want him as far away from the White House as possible. But a fundamental part of his appeal has been that it’s him against a corrupt government establishment. This raid strengthens that case for millions of Americans who will see this as unjust persecution,” Yang wrote about Monday's raid.
  • “It seems like this was authorized by a local judge and a particular FBI office without buy-in or notification of higher levels of government,” the former presidential candidate added in a follow-up tweet. “But literally no one will believe that or make a distinction. It’s probably bureaucratic but it seems political.”
  • Citing two unnamed sources, CBS News noted that FBI agents only took boxes and documents and did not appear to have taken any electronics from the property during the raid.
  • Speaking to TMZ Live on Wednesday, Yang said that if the FBI does not uncover any “really strong” evidence against Trump, the recent raid will look like a political attack on the former president.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has condemned the FBI’s recent raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, saying the decision “seems political” in nature.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Yang, 47, wrote that although he is “no Trump fan,” the raid on the former U.S. president’s Palm Beach residence could be viewed as “unjust persecution” by millions of Americans.

Florida woman receives life sentence following murder-for-hire plot involving FSU law professor

  • Katherine Magbanua, 37, was sentenced to life in prison without probation or parole, as well as two consecutive 30-year prison terms.
  • She was convicted in May of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.
  • According to prosecutors, Magbanua acted as the contact point between her ex-boyfriend, dentist Charlie Adelson, and the men he allegedly hired to kill Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel in 2014.
  • Adelson, who was arrested in April, was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.
  • Lawyers representing Markel’s parents said Magbanua’s sentencing “marks another important step toward accountability and justice.”

A Florida woman has been sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of assisting in the murder of a law professor eight years ago.

In May, Katherine Magbanua, 37, was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.

Florida man drives to Space Force base to ‘warn the government’ about ‘US aliens fighting with Chinese dragons’

  • Corey Johnson, 29, of Ocala, Florida, was arrested on Friday for trying to get into the Patrick Space Force Base located in Brevard County using a stolen 2013 Ford F-150.
  • According to his arrest affidavit, Johnson said he was ordered by President Biden in his head to steal the truck and drive it to the Space Force base to "warn the government’ about "U.S. aliens fighting with Chinese dragons."
  • The Florida man, who has been booked into Brevard County Jail, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, and his bond was reportedly set at $3,000.

A Florida man has been arrested for attempting to break into the Patrick Space Force Base using a stolen truck to warn the U.S. government of a war between aliens and Chinese dragons.

Corey Johnson, 29, of Ocala, Florida, was arrested on Friday. His arrest affidavit noted that he stole a 2013 Ford F-150 three days before driving to the Patrick Space Force Base located in Brevard County.

Fla. Governor Ron DeSantis says he wants to stop ‘huge problem’ of Chinese investors purchasing US real estate

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke with Fox News host Laura Ingraham about his efforts to cut ties with China and the growing concern over the communist country buying up U.S. real estate — $6.1 billion worth of which was purchased by Chinese investors in the past year alone.
  • DeSantis began by explaining that it is “not always apparent” what Chinese companies in the U.S. are doing, and this, he stated, is “a huge problem — the influence that they have.”
  • Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. sold several billions worth of telecommunications equipment to the U.S. and is now thought to be capable of potentially disrupting U.S. nuclear arsenal communications, as reported by the FBI.
  • This is thought to be a potentially catastrophic national security issue, adding to growing suspicions of Chinese investments — i.e. real estate and tech equipment — as rooted in espionage.
  • DeSantis also added that under his tenure, he has “signed legislation to crackdown on undue influence from rogue states including the [Chinese Communist Party].”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke with Fox News host Laura Ingraham about his efforts to cut ties with China and the growing concern over the communist country buying up U.S. real estate — $6.1 billion worth of which was purchased by Chinese investors in the past year alone. 

DeSantis featured on Friday’s “The Ingraham Angle” segment to talk about several topics, including Florida being a “sanctuary state” to “freedom and prosperity” and Biden’s “war on energy” with oil prices. 

Miami reporter defends restaurant sanitation investigative segment against accusation it targets Asian businesses

  • Miami-based news station WPLG defended its restaurant sanitation investigative segment against accusations of racism.
  • One of the news anchors called the claims of “Dirty Dining” targeting Asian restaurants “outrageous,” noting that the show was based on the state’s inspection reports.
  • “I saw you on TV show – 90 percent go to Asians’ restaurant,” the owner of Sang’s Chinese restaurant insisted in the segment’s latest episode. “I don’t know why you are against Chinese restaurants.”
  • Reporter Jeff Weinsier referred back to the report, which cited 21 violations, including a dead rodent found under the stove and both live and dead roaches found in various areas of the kitchen.
  • The women continued to reject the report, answering, “Really, show me. Show me a picture. We never have live roach here. Can you show me the picture?”
  • “Sang’s Chinese and Dim Sum” has since been allowed to re-open after a cleanup order and re-inspection.

A reporter from Miami-based news station WPLG defended his restaurant sanitation investigative segment against accusations of racism made by a restaurant owner in its latest episode.

Jeff Weinsier, the investigative reporter behind “Dirty Dining,” called the claim that his segment targets Asian restaurants “outrageous,” noting that the establishments selected to be featured on the show were based on the state’s inspection reports.

Man killed, 3 others injured by police over stolen Pokémon cards and pizza in Florida

pokemon cards
  • Two men in masks, identified as Michael Gomez and Joseph Lowe, were allegedly seen placing Pokémon cards and a pizza in a bag before walking out of a Target store in Kissimmee, Florida, last Wednesday.
  • The Osceola County deputies opened fire in an attempted “takedown” of four suspects, according to a release from the sheriff’s office on Thursday, killing one of them.
  • Gomez and Lowe were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and charged with petty theft.
  • The fourth suspect, who was “detained on scene,” suffered a shrapnel wound, but their involvement remains unclear.
  • It is not clear whether the suspects were armed or what events led to the deputies opening fire.

Osceola County deputies opened fire outside a Target store in Kissimmee, Florida, killing a man over stolen Pokémon cards and pizza.

Officers responded to a call at around 7:00 p.m. last Wednesday from the store’s loss prevention supervisor, who saw two men in masks placing Pokémon cards and a pizza in a bag before walking out, according to an affidavit written by Deputy Cole Miller.

Florida man caught on video stealing local sushi restaurant’s Buddha statue

Buddha thief florida

A man was caught on surveillance camera stealing a Buddha statue from a sushi restaurant in Florida.

The unidentified man can be seen placing an order at the Sushi Sake restaurant in Cutler Bay. When the server walks away, the customer is seen grabbing the Buddha statue on the counter and walking outside to place it in his car before returning inside the restaurant.

‘Moana’ star Auli’i Cravalho calls on Disney to ‘step up’ on opposing ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

  • “Moana” voice actor Auli’i Cravalho believes that Disney needs to “step forward” and take action against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
  • Disney faced harsh criticism in early March for funding campaigns of the Florida legislature members who voted in favor of the bill, including Governor Ron DeSantis.
  • Florida passed the bill on March 7, enforcing a ban across public schools of instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for students up to the third grade.
  • Cravalho called out Disney for “trying to play the safe role” and suggested the company use their “power” and “money” to support the LGBTQ community.

“Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho believes that Disney can “make the most impact right now” by using their position of power to take action against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

In early March, Disney drew backlash after a report found that the company had donated a total of $249,126 to the campaigns of Florida legislature members who voted in favor of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, including $50,000 to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Disney also faced harsh criticism for not doing enough to protest the passing of the bill.

Former teacher rises through lavender ceiling to become first out Asian American mayor in Florida’s history

new florida mayor
  • The newly elected mayor of Boynton Beach, Ty Penserga, is the first Asian American LGBTQ plus mayor in Florida.
  • Prior to being elected to the Boynton Beach commission in 2020, Penserga worked as a chemistry and biology high school teacher.
  • Penserga endured multiple homophobic comments from his opponent, Bernard Wright, throughout the campaign.
  • The 33-year-old defeated three other candidates with 57% of the votes, whereas Cindy Falco-Di Corrado and Golene Gordon each received 18% and Wright came in last with 6%.

In being elected Boynton Beach’s new mayor, Ty Penserga is now the first LGBTQ plus Asian American mayor in Florida history. 

Penserga won against three other candidates with 57% of the votes, while Golene Gordon and Cindy Falco-Di Corrado each finished with 18% and Bernard Wright received 6% of the votes.