News Update for 7/11/24

The historic Kenilworth Lodge is involved in yet another lawsuit. The current lawsuit was filed by a former owner against two current owners and an alleged third owner. Former owner Mark Stewart initially filed a lawsuit on March 27th and it was refiled on June 20th. Stewart’s lengthy 75-page complaint, names the defendants as Monier Rahall, Paula Rush and Robert Mueller. All 3 Defendents have filed a motions to dismiss the complaints.

A Central Florida man accused of killing 13-year-old Madeline Soto more than five months ago was in court yesterday afternoon. Officials agreed to combine a hearing for Stephan Sterns’ murder charges and another for a separate sexual abuse case into one. Police believe the 38-year-old is responsible for the disappearance of Soto, whose body was found in a rural part of Osceola County in early March. During the investigation, authorities say they found images of Stern battering the Orange County middle schooler. Sterns was the boyfriend of the victim’s mother at the time of the disappearance. His trial is scheduled to begin next week.

A mechanical issue is blamed for a tire explosion at Tampa International Airport. An American Airlines flight to Phoenix had to abort its takeoff yesterday morning when the tire exploded and caught fire. Reportedly the plane was evacuated, and no one was hurt. No other flights were affected.

Florida gun owners could soon get their ammunition at their local grocery store. The CEO of American Rounds LLC, Grant Magers, is hoping to install its first Automated Ammon Retail Machine in the Sunshine State in the near future. The Dallas-based company told Tampa’s News Channel 8 that its equipment uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition software to verify customers before they can purchase ammo. The machines weigh up to two-thousand pounds. They are currently only located in eight supermarkets in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas. Magers says the company has received more than two-hundred requests for the equipment for stores across nine states.

Changes are on the way to the streets of Lake Wales thanks in part to a new federal grant. Lake Wales is getting $22.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund its Complete Streets project.
Changes include separated cycle tracks, expanded sidewalks, crosswalk improvements, upgraded lighting and shade for pedestrians in downtown. The city has already started improvements through its Lake Wales Connected plan. According to USDOT, the portion of the construction project using the federal money will begin in November.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is turning to social media to help them solve the murder of a teenager. A 13-year-old girl was killed July Fourth on South Rio Grand Ave. The sheriff’s office posted video yesterday of a person of interest in the case. You can watch the video at the Orange County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page.

Three relatives are facing charges in connection to the deadly shooting of a child in Miami-Dade County. Police say they have arrested the parents and grandmother of eleven-year-old Taliyan Clarke, who was shot inside the family’s Miami apartment complex yesterday afternoon. The relatives told investigators they were in another part of the unit when they heard the gun go off in the victim’s bedroom. Clarke was with her nine-year-old brother at the time of the incident. The three family members are each facing aggravated manslaughter charges. Arrest records state that the child’s father has been convicted of a dozen felonies.

A Central Florida congressman is backing an effort to impeach two Supreme Court justices. Tenth District Democrat Maxwell Frost announced his support yesterday for articles of impeachment against justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito. The articles were drafted by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She cites what she calls Thomas and Alito’s repeated failures over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court.