🐱 Cats take over
Evictions have been spiking
Clearwater locals recreate “Back to the Future” time machine
Two locals have spent their time in quarantine remaking the famous time machine from “Back to the Future”: The DeLorean.
The car is decked out with all of the same gadgets from the movie, including the flux capacitor and the plutonium chamber.
Now the two friends say they are renting out the machine for birthday parties and other special events.
What’s more, the vehicle is street legal!
Florida’s emergency communications system hacked
Earlier this month, public officials received a message from the state’s emergency text service that read, “speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has now confirmed that someone hacked its system to send the unauthorized message.
In response, the communications director for the department said, “The fact that someone would use an emergency alert system for their own purpose, whatever it is, is both irresponsible and unlawful.”
Tampa man’s home overwhelmed by feral cats
Andres Santana, who lives in north Tampa, says his home and neighborhood have been swarmed by stray cats that scratch and pee on his vehicles.
According to Santana, his neighbors have a “collection” of up to 20 cats that they feed regularly.
The county officials have tried to reduce the feral population by trying to neuter the cats, but the county won’t euthanize them.
Santana said, “They’re jumping on the cars. They sleep overnight on my roof. They’re trying to get the birds on the nest. They’re everywhere.”
Hundreds of locals evicted during pandemic
Despite the CDC ordering a nationwide moratorium on evicting renters, hundreds have been kicked out of their homes since the pandemic began.
In October alone, over 700 writs of possession––the last step of the process whereby a sheriff’s deputy orders a renter from their home––were issued in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.
Governor Ron DeSantis let the state’s own suspension on evictions lapse in September. Since then, evictions have spiked.
The nationwide moratorium ends on January 1, 2021.
Tree-cutting saga heads to appeals court
Last year, Miller & Sons––a tree-cutting company––chopped down nearly three dozen trees in a trailer park in South Tampa. A City Code Enforcement Magistrate then ordered the company to pay a quarter of a million dollars in damages. Now the decision is heading to an appeals court.
South Tampa adopted a strict code related to tree-cuttings in the 1970s.
The city initially tried to reclaim $840,000 from the unauthorized tree clearance.
Other tree-cutting incidents have revived the debate over who has the authority to chop down a tree.