Wednesday, June 8, 2022


On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1421, which takes several measures to improve school safety in Florida.

According to a press release from the governor’s press office, the steps taken by HB 1421 will build on legislation over the last three years to implement the additional recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission meant to make schools safer and improve youth mental health in Florida. In the Freedom First budget, DeSantis also approved $140 million for mental health and $210 million for school safety, including “school-hardening” grants and youth mental health awareness and assistance training.

HB 1421 does the following:

  • Extends the sunset of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission
  • Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to enforce, rather than just oversee, school safety and security compliance
  • Authorizes safe school officers to make arrests on charter school property
  • Requires all safe school officers to complete crisis intervention and training to improve knowledge and skills for response and for de-escalating incidents on school premises
  • Requires law enforcement officers to be present and involved in active assailant emergency drills
  • Requires school boards to adopt family reunification plans in the event of an evacuation
  • Requires that school districts must annually certify that at least 80% of their school personnel have received mandatory youth mental health awareness training


A 49-year-old man is in the hospital on Tuesday after being bitten by an alligator in North Port by the Warm Mineral Springs Motel.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and FWC all responded to the alligator attack. The 49-year-old man told authorities he was walking around outside when he saw a dark figure moving along the bushes on the shell path.  The man told deputies it looked like a dog with a long leash, so he didn’t move out of the way.  As they passed one another the alligator bit down on his right leg, The man was able to get away from jaws of the alligator and find a deputy who was already in the area for a separate call. The man was taken to the hospital to be treated for the injuries he sustained. FWC trapped the alligator and removed it from the property alive. The alligator was measured at just over seven feet long. The 7 foot alligator is being transferred to Townsend Farms, in Labelle Florida


There’s a new K9 officer in Southwest Florida rescued from Ukraine. Bruno is a narcotics detection canine that will work with Fort Myers police.

Bruno, a 1½-year-old Labrador, stands four legs tall and weighs in at about 60 pounds. He’s the latest addition to the Fort Myers Police Department’s narcotics unit.

Detective Harrison Williams trains most of the dogs at the Fort Myers Police Department.

“So Bruno thus far in his life has been a world traveler, he came originally from Ukraine, his family left Ukraine when the Russian invasion happened,” Williams said.

Bruno’s drive to work got him discovered by a German K9 trainer and he ended up with his handler Williams.

Bruno’s still getting used to the Florida heat and having to paws for the camera, but their training is just beginning.

Williams said they are learning together and they go where Bruno’s nose takes them.


Starting Tuesday, children can get free breakfast, lunch and snacks at 85 sites across Lee County through July 29, and an outdoor event is kicking off the free summer food program.

The free summer food program ‘Breakspot’ in Lee County offers free meals to kids every weekday through July 29.

The event will be at Paul Sanborn Park, located at 2310 SE 3rd St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be provided to children 18 and younger from 11 a.m. to noon. There will be games and activities to celebrate the summer food program at sites including schools, churches and community centers. This effort extends to Charlotte and Collier counties, and the Summer BreakSpot website can be used to find locations.

“Increasing prices, gas prices, food prices, we expect to see a greater turnout this year. said Amy Carroll, coordinator of special projects and student wellness for Lee County schools.”

Cape Coral resident Andrea Guerrero said, “the summer break spot program estimates they’ll be giving out about 200 thousand meals just this summer.”

District officials are just happy they can still provide free meals to students who typically rely on schools for much of their nutrition.