Law and public safety

Lifelines after landfall: Southwest Florida grapples with Hurricane Ian’s impact

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Gulf of Mexico swallowed driftwood, stray shoes, split skim boards and the last vestige of Crystal Edge’s mother’s memory in the days following Hurricane Ian’s devastation. The 28-year-old sailboat – a family heirloom – remained trapped below piled debris at a marina under the Fort …

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How to help Florida disaster victims

Hurricane Ian has left thousands of Florida residents struggling with basic needs, and many organizations are making donation and volunteer opportunities available to the public. Gov. Ron DeSantis encourages the public to make monetary donations to enable relief organizations to do their work. Within the last 24 hours, people have donated more than $2 million to Florida hurricane relief efforts. The Category 4 hurricane shifted its course to the east before making landfall just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, catching residents off guard. Many people who could not evacuate are experiencing flooding and infrastructure failure.

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Florida National Guard aids in Hurricane Ian response

The Florida National Guard is among several federal and state agencies aiding in response efforts after Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Florida’s western coast late Wednesday afternoon. The Florida National Guard announced Wednesday that it has 4,611 Guardsmen activated and ready to help with search and rescue operations, route clearance, aviation and law enforcement support and communication and humanitarian support, including distributing food and water to those in need.

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Need sandbags? Here’s a map

Sandbag information is subject to change based on a multitude of factors including restricted hours and component availability. While we will do our best to keep this information as accurate as possible, please verify the provided information with your local municipality, county or local public safety agency. As Hurricane Ian …

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Criminal case moving forward again for suspect in violent sexual assault of UF student

Antwine Johnson, a 32-year-old Gainesville man, attended a short hearing Wednesday before Judge Phillip Pena for his felony cases involving an alleged kidnapping and rape. On Sept. 20, 2021, Johnson allegedly kidnapped and attempted to sexually assault a woman jogging on the side of the road. The same morning, he dragged a woman from her front doorstep, beat her behind bushes, raped her and stole her phone, leaving her unable to call for help. Later the same morning, he is accused of felony battery of his girlfriend. Johnson was arrested soon after and has been held in jail since. Johnson will appear in court again next week for misdemeanor charges for disobeying the judge’s orders not to contact any of the alleged victims when he tried sending a postcard to his girlfriend. Johnson will appear for a case management hearing on Oct. 26 for the charges of kidnapping, battery and rape.

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