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State Rep. Morales Urges Gov. DeSantis to Assist Puerto Rico in the Wake of Hurricane Fiona

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State Rep. Daisy Morales. Photo: Florida House of Representatives.

ORLANDO, Fla. – State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) has sent a letter to the Governor urging him to assist with and release much needed resources to aid Puerto Rico in the wake of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.

The letter reads:

“Dear Governor DeSantis,

“With the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria right behind us, Hurricane Fiona, which has now dealt catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico according to Governor Pedro Pierluisi, is an opportunity for us to help our loved ones on the Island.

“With expected flooding, mudslides and blackouts, conditions are extremely dangerous.

“I’m asking the Executive Office of the Governor and the Division of Emergency Management to closely monitor the situation and begin preparations for relief efforts. I am also asking your office to facilitate discussions with city and county governments, and transportation authorities, to prepare for a potential influx of our fellow citizens from Puerto Rico, as was the case with Hurricane Maria. I am also asking your office to assist with the potable water residents of the island needs with the contamination of its existing water supply. Florida, and in particular Central Florida, will always stand with and support Puerto Rico.

“My district, District 48, has one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the state and I know that, like myself, many Floridians are concerned for the safety and well-being of friends and loved ones currently there.

“Puerto Rico is still rebuilding from Hurricane Maria and must now redouble its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. Florida must be committed to doing everything we can to help the families impacted by Hurricane Fiona and aid in the recovery process.

“Thank you for your consideration.”

 

 

Other governors have already stepped into action, some as early as Sunday. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced that two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) are deploying to Puerto Rico to support response operations there. They will serve with a federal Incident Support Team and are prepared to remain deployed in Puerto Rico for up to two weeks.

New York governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday that “the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is monitoring the storm closely and will be able to rapidly deploy assistance if requested by the federal government and Puerto Rico.”

Thus far, it appears that Florida governor Ron DeSantis has not yet taken action.

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Central Florida News

State Senator Linda Stewart Filed Bill To Fight Human Traffickers

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Tallahassee, FL – Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) has begun crafting a bill to address the human trafficking epidemic seen across the State of Florida. The bill looks to include expanded requirements for the posting of human trafficking awareness signs, increase hours of training on trafficking for law enforcement, and create a human trafficking data repository allowing anonymous tips.

In recent years, it was revealed that the state’s hotels and motels had been favored by human traffickers to conduct their illegal trade, and Central Florida had an exceedingly high amount of human trafficking in hotels, ranking in at the third largest region for trafficking in the state.

The bill will additionally work on adjusting language passed last session by Senator Stewart in her Tenant Safety bill, also known as Miya’s law. The bill prohibited hourly rentals at certain lodging establishments in an effort to curb exploitation.

“I’ve always advocated for human trafficking reform, and we can’t wait any longer with people’s lives at stake,” said Stewart. “I’m hoping that my legislation will see bipartisan support so we can work to put an end to trafficking across the state.”

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Central Florida News

VIDEO: Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Celebrates 2nd Annual India Republic Day in Kissimmee

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Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez (center, orange scarf) hosted the 2023 India Republic Day at the Osceola County Sheriff's Complex in Kissimmee Saturday, January 21, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez (center, orange scarf) hosted the 2023 India Republic Day at the Osceola County Sheriff's Complex in Kissimmee Saturday, January 21, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN) – Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez hosted the 2023 India Republic Day in Kissimmee for the second year in a row, in partnership with the Indian American Chamber of Commerce and other community partners. The festival celebrated the ratification of India’s constitution and Indian culture in the Central Florida community.

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Central Florida News

FAMU Law Fellows and Partners Provide Support to Eatonville Families with Heirs’ Property Issues

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ORLANDO, Fla –Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students Madison Flanagan, Alec Rose, and Sofie Barrett have been selected as Heirs’ Property Protection Legal Fellows working with Helping Everyone Live Prosperously (H.E.L.P.) Community Development Corporation and Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida to provide free legal services to families in Eatonville that are experiencing heirs’ property issues.

“I have always been committed to giving back to my community,” said third-year FAMU Law student Flanagan. The Allamuchy, New Jersey native continued, “I hope that by working on the Heirs’ Property Project alongside such dedicated and hardworking people from H.E.L.P. CDC and Community Legal Services, who have a true passion for giving back to the community, I will be able to make a positive and meaningful impact on those living in Eatonville.

Fellows provide legal assistance in real estate, probate, title, and estate planning. “Fellows are also engaged in property mapping, tax, and other public records research, will prepare community outreach and informational materials, attend community meetings and participate in educational presentations,” said FAMU Law Clinic Director Mark Dorosin.

H.E.L.P. Community Development Corporation is a HUD-approved, Central Florida-based, comprehensive housing counseling agency that provides quality financial education and counseling to improve the lives and financial stability of individuals and families.

“We are so excited to be working with our FAMU Law fellows to help Eatonville,” said Deputy Executive Director Nicole Oriol, H.E.L.P. “Their enthusiasm and commitment to working on this project is inspirational. Each of them contributes knowledge and skills that are important for our program’s success.

Families with heirs’ property in the Town of Eatonville may contact H.E.L.P. CDC at (407) 628-4832 ext. 188700.

Community Legal Services is the primary provider of no-cost legal services to the most vulnerable in Central Florida, helping them to protect their families, health, and livelihoods. For legal assistance, call the CLS Helpline at 1-800-405-1417.

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