FL Top News: Theater Shooting, Candidate Threat, Ukraine Help

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FLORIDA — Top news stories this week in Florida included the acquittal of retired police captain Curtis Reeves in the Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting of Chad Oulson; GOP Congressional candidate Martin Hyde of Sarasota apologized after video showed he threatened the job of a police officer who issued traffic tickets to him; Florida veterans are in Ukraine evacuating people from the country as Russian troops move in; and a Floridian who became known as “Lectern Guy” for carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to prison.

Plus, face masks and quarantines are no longer required in Florida child-care facilities; the world’s first Peppa Pig theme park is open at Legoland; video caught a hammerhead shark lurking near paddleboarders; nine Florida beaches are among the best in the U.S.; a street sweeper driver was killed when the machine ran over him; and more in our roundup of top news stories from Florida’s Patch sites this week.

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Here are some of this week’s top news headlines:

Curtis Reeves Not Guilty In Wesley Chapel Theater Shooting

In a trial that took eight years to conclude, 79-year-old Curtis Reeves was found not guilty of all charges Friday night in the shooting death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson at The Grove of Wesley Chapel movie theater in 2014.

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What’s Ahead For Martin Hyde Political Future? We Don’t Know Yet

Less than a week after Republican congressional candidate Martin Hyde made national headlines for threatening to end a Sarasota police officer’s career over traffic tickets, his campaign has gone dark on social media.

‘Lectern Guy’ Gets 75 Days In Prison For Capitol Riot: Report

One of the most recognizable faces of the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach, Adam Johnson of Parrish — known to many simply as “Lectern Guy” because of a now-viral photo of him carrying U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the building — was sentenced Friday to 75 days in prison for his role in the riot.

Americans Evacuate Ukrainian War Zone With Tampa Nonprofit’s Help

As missiles were launched by Russian forces in Ukraine during the early hours Thursday, Tampa resident Bryan Stern and Naples resident Stan Bunner were huddled in a hotel in Kyiv, mapping out the route they planned to take to evacuate Americans from the combat zone.

VIDEO: Hammerhead Sharking Caught Lurking Near FL Paddleboarders

Three paddleboarders in Palm Beach got quite the adrenaline rush recently when a hammerhead shark swam a little too close for comfort. A drone managed to capture the epic encounter on camera.

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