Off-duty deputy saves couple from burning car by shooting it

Car Moccasin Wallow Road

MANATEE COUNTY — Willie Finklea said he will purchase the tool needed to break a car window for his wife, daughter, and himself, after he needed to use his personal firearm to shoot out the window of a car and rescue a couple from a burning vehicle.

“All I had was my keys and my pocket knife so I had no other tools other than my off-duty weapon to make entry into the car,” said Finklea who is a Manatee County Sheriff’s deputy. “I banged on the window several times with my hand.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Neil Cook, 64, was driving with his wife, Claudia, 65, in the 9300 block of Moccasin Wallow Road at about 2:27 p.m. Sunday when he noticed smoke coming from his vehicle. Cook pulled over and realized the vehicle was on fire, but the couple was trapped inside because the electronic windows and locks were not working. Full Story »

Bill would block use of food stamps for soda in Florida

coca-cola

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A House Republican filed a proposal Friday that seeks to prevent people from using food-assistance benefits to buy soft drinks.

The bill (HB 47) by Rep. Ralph Massullo, a dermatologist from Lecanto, is filed for the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January.

The proposal would direct the Florida Department of Children and Families to seek approval of a federal “waiver” that would allow the state to ban the use of benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy soft drinks.

The program traditionally was known as food stamps. Full Story »

Uber driver prevents a St. Petersburg man from killing himself

chad farley

ST. PETERSBURG — Uber driver Chad Farley suspected something was wrong Monday night when a passenger asked to be dropped off in the middle of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

There’s no walkway for pedestrians along the iconic span, nowhere even to step safely at the top. Walking on the Skyway 200 feet above the water is something people do when they’re contemplating a jump to their death, from the place that holds the grim distinction as Florida’s top spot for suicide. Full Story »

Group of 80 People at Panama City Beach Form a Human Chain to Save a Drowning Family

chain-save-drowing-family

Beachgoers formed a human chain near the M.B. Miller County Pier on Saturday afternoon off Panama City Beach, Florida, to rescue nine swimmers who were drowning. [The News Herald]

Apparently some people from Alabama knew about disaster recovery because of tornadoes, and upon seeing distressed beach-goers, Jessica Simmons thought:

“These people are not drowning today. It’s not happening. We’re going to get them out.”

She dove in to save the Florida People. Her husband got to work on gathering beach-goers to help him form a human chain, interlocked on a unique rescue mission.

The News Herald reports that as Jessica Simmons paddled, the human chain grew, with 80 people stretching over 100 yards out to the distressed swimmers. Some of them couldn’t swim, Simmons said, but wanted to help and stayed in the shallows. Others stood in water up to their necks, waiting for Simmons and her husband to cover the last few feet so they could pass the swimmers to shore.

“It was the most remarkable thing to see,” Simmons said. “These people who don’t even know each other and they trust each other that much to get them to safety.”

The Florida family was saved by all these brave people. Nobody died, but there were a few injuries.

“I am so grateful,” Ursrey said. “These people were God’s angels that were in the right place at the right time. I owe my life and my family’s life to them. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

If you have any extra money around (and you know you do, and you know what the right thing to do is), you should make a donation to the family on their GoFundMe page.

Looking back, Simmons said it wasn’t so much about what she did to help rescue the family, but everyone dropping what they were doing to help.

“It’s so cool to see how we have our own lives and we’re constantly at a fast pace, but when somebody needs help, everybody drops everything and helps,” Simmons said. “That was really inspiring to see that we still have that.

She added:

“With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity.”

Florida Man Saves FHP Trooper’s Life by Lifting Vehicle With His Bare Hands

Kenny Franklin

TAMPA – Kenny Franklin became a heroic version of Florida Man on Thursday, June 29th, 2017, on his way to work via Uber. Suddenly, his Uber driver suffered a seizure while driving on I-4 near Interstate 275.

Franklin explains, “His foot is accelerating on the gas, and instantly, I’m in the back seat wondering, ‘Okay, my life is pretty much over at this point.'”

Somehow the driver was able to get the car somewhat safely to the side of the road. Kenny jumps out of the vehicle as the disoriented driver begins fumbling around with the gears. A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, Jack Hypes, shows up behind them to investigate the situation… just as the driver puts the car in reverse…

The vehicles pins Trooper Hypes underneath it. This all happened very quickly while Franklin’s “adrenaline was racing.”

Our brave Florida Man used that adrenaline to lift the vehicle off the trooper, saving his life.

All three men involved are fine. (fox13news.com)

Kenny Franklin: “Honestly, I was just somebody who was in a position to help, in the right place at the right time. I’m glad that, you know, I had something to do with lives being preserved.”

“President Barack Obama Highway” replaces “Old Dixie Highway”

Just to be clear, the WTF element of this story is the racist past of Old Dixie Highway.

The “Old Dixie Highway” has been renamed to honor President Obama. This comes at a time when cities across the U.S. are getting rid of symbols that remind people of the racism, slavery and violence of the past.

In December of 2015, a crowd cheered in Riviera Beach, Florida, as city workers removed the “Old Dixie Highway” sign and replaced it with a “President Barack Obama Highway” sign. The renaming of the road, which is one of the primary thoroughfares in Riviera Beach, happened in August of 2015. The sign changing ceremony was held where the new President Barack Obama Highway intersects with Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

The “Old Dixie Highway” is the second Palm Beach Country road to be renamed in order to honor President Obama. In 2014, East First Street was renamed Barack Obama Boulevard.

The Old Dixie Highway is a symbol of racism, the KKK and cross burnings. It also carries a lot of bad memories by the black residents of the neighborhood. It once served as the line that divided the white neighborhoods from the black neighborhoods. There may have even been a KKK cross burning on the road several years ago. By renaming it in honor of President Obama, it shows that the city approves change.

Source: greenvillegazette.com