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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – They came together to remember, to pray to grieve. Family and friends of Jarvis Deliford still can’t believe he’s gone. They also want answers about his death and the circumstances surrounding the discovery of his body.

The remains of the 16-year-old St. Petersburg teenager were found in Lake Maggiore surrounded by multiple alligators on July 4th. The question is – how did they get there? Did he fall in the water?

Or, did someone dispose of the body?

The teen’s mother says her son was killed on purpose. She just wants to know who did it and why. She says her heart is breaking, as is the rest of the young man’s family who misses him terribly and wants justice.

Those who loved him most gathered on Tuesday night at Lake Maggiore Park for a memorial. They formed a circle, held hands and called on the Lord. “We’re weeping tonight, we crying tonight, we trust that joy is on its way,” said Corey Gibens, Jr. from the NAACP.

Emotions ran high as friends and relatives shared their grief over this loss and their joy from the moments spent with Jarvis.

“That’s why I’m here, I need justice for Jarvis. I’m Jarvis’ voice. I need someone to come forth,” said Regina Wooten, the teen’s mother. She says she prays each day as she tries to focus on the good times with her son.

His was a life taken far too soon.

“Someone murdered my child, someone murdered my child,” she told 8 on your Side.

The news of his death was, indeed, shocking to those who knew this young man. The teen was trying to start over, forging a new path after a troubled past.

Jarvis was arrested last month on burglary charges and released from a juvenile detention facility on June 29th.

“He was on an ankle monitor, he had released from juvenile detention earlier that day and was on an ankle monitor and he cut that off,” said Lt. Matthew Furse from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

At this time it is not known why he cut off the monitor and why Deliford was at the lake.

“It would have to be a medical examiner determination to see if the gators came before or after,” police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said earlier this week. “At this time we can’t say it’s an alligator attack, but they were around the body and that made it more difficult getting to it.”

At this time, there are no obvious signs of foul play, according to police. However, detectives are still looking at every possibility as they await an official autopsy report to determine a cause of death.

“I’m demanding justice for my son because there’s no way my son came out here and made a mistake and fell in this lake. He did not know how to swim,” said his mother.

Loved ones of the teenager just want answers.

“Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children,” said Gibens. “It’s not supposed to happen like that. We need to come together. I think we need to come together to say, this child will be the last child to die a senseless death.”

For now, Jarvis’ mother says she’ll continue to pray.

And, she’ll continue to ask questions about what really happened to her son. She wants to know how his body wound up in an alligator-infested lake, a place she insists he would never, ever go.

“So, there’s no way he slipped and was out here fooling around and he ended up and drowned. Someone murdered my child,” said Regina. “I know someone murdered him.”

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A Clearwater woman became something of a celebrity when a giant alligator broke into her home back in May.

But now, she says she’s getting anything but the A-list treatment from her insurance company as she tries to claim the damages the gator left behind.

At the end of May, Mary Wischhusen woke up in the middle of the night to find an aggressive, 11-foot-long gator had broken into her Eagles Landing home. The creature smashed windows, wine bottles, and glass furniture, and left holes in her walls.

The giant window toward the front of her home is still boarded up with plywood.

“There’s no one willing to help me fix the problem, and I don’t have the money to fix the problem,” Wischhusen said.

Wischhusen filed a claim under her homeowners insurance for the window and wall damage, only to have Florida Peninsula reject the claim about a month later.

“Because it was a gator that broke it, and they don’t cover gators,” she explained. “If it was wind, they would have fixed it. If it was anything but a gator, they would have fixed it.”

8 On Your Side looked into the matter and found that some homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by wild animals. However, Wischhusen’s explicitly states damage from rodents, reptiles, and other animals is not covered.

We reached out to Florida Peninsula to find out if gator damage would and cover ever be covered under one of its policies. A publicist working on behalf of the insurance company is still working on getting an answer.

Wischhusen said the damage was quoted at thousands of dollars which she is currently on the hook for, meaning this gator break-in could also break the bank.

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TAMPA (WFLA) – John Paul Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court for nearly 35 years has passed away according to media reports.

Stevens was the 3rd longest-serving Justice in the history of the United States Supreme Court.  He served from 1975 to 2010.

He retired in June 2010 at age 90, the second oldest justice in the court’s history. He was 99-years-old.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A former bartender at Walt Disney World says she was fired over CBD oil she bought at a grocery store and used for foot pain.

Kathy Talafous said of her firing from Disney, “It’s pretty much destroyed my life.”

Talafous loves Disney, she visited all the time with her family and had worked, as a bartender here for about a year.

That changed, in April when she says she came, on her own time, and brought a small container of CBD oil. “I bought this over the counter at Lucky’s,” Kathy said. “And I didn’t do anything wrong, I went into a store, I bought it. I paid $50 for it.”

She uses it to deal with foot pain and says it was the type with virtually no THC. It won’t get you high.

But at Epcot’s gate, she says security stopped her and found the CBD balm, in her purse. “They said, ‘You can’t have this, it’s illegal.’ I said, ‘What do you mean it’s illegal,’”

That was April 12. Three days later, a South Carolina grandmother was arrested for bringing CBD oil to Magic Kingdom.

The state attorney soon dropped that case and the woman said she planned to sue Disney and the sheriff’s office.

Kathy shared some documents, including one from the sheriff, which says her oil was not tested. But the Disney incident reports claim it did test positive for THC.

She was suspended, the next Monday when she came to work and just found out this week that she was fired.

She says she’s out of money and all she wants is her job back. “Now here I am losing my job because of something I bought at a supermarket.”

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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – (WFLA) They leave trash, use drugs, and trespass on private property.

Neighbors in a Pasco County community are fed up with homeless people congregating near their homes.

Just a stone’s throw from busy Highway 19 and New Port Richey, you’ll find a place where hard-working folks are trying to cope, living next to large groups of homeless people.

The street name “Leisure Lane” may conjure up images of easy living and the good life. “I’m left with 40 to 50 people in the field across the street right now,” said neighbor, Rosa Immel.

In a vacant field, homeless people have set up camp. Trash abounds, and neighbors report rampant drug usage. “Raise all kinds of cane. Cuss.  Throw stuff. I got stuff in my garbage cans now that’s not mine” said Immel.

When 8 On Your Side showed up, many scattered. But some stayed to cook burgers on a grille. “We’re out here on our own trying to deal with whatever demons we got.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little support?” said a young homeless man, who didn’t want to give his name.

The nearby “Homeless Coalition” tries to support people in this predicament.

But some homeless, don’t want the help. “For me, I kind of embrace this.  I like this” said a homeless man named Cody.

Rosa Immel said the problem has been going on for more than 2 years. “They broke my water pipe.  They’ve used my water. They’ve taken showers in this driveway” she said.

Pasco County Deputies try to get services for the homeless, and work with property owners to have them “trespassed” if they intrude.

But it’s a constant battle for neighbors and law enforcement.

Efforts are underway to revitalize the area. Habitat for Humanity owns several lots with plans to build homes on them.

Until then, homeowners and the homeless, are sharing.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a remarkable political repudiation, the Democratic-led House voted Tuesday night to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four congresswomen of color, despite protestations by Trump’s Republican congressional allies and his own insistence he hasn’t “a racist bone in my body.”

Two days after Trump tweeted that four Democratic freshmen should “go back” to their home countries — though all are citizens and three were born in the U.S.A. — Democrats muscled the resolution through the chamber by 240-187 over strong GOP opposition. The rebuke was an embarrassing one for Trump, and he had appealed to GOP lawmakers not to go along, but there were four Republican votes for the resolution.

The measure carries no legal repercussions for the president and the vote was highly partisan, unlikely to cost him with his die-hard conservative base.

Before the showdown roll call, Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers.

The president was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and other top Republicans in trying to redirect the focus from Trump’s original tweets, which for three days have consumed Washington and drawn widespread condemnation. Instead, they tried playing offense by accusing the four congresswomen — among the Democrats’ most left-leaning members and ardent Trump critics — of socialism, an accusation that’s already a central theme of the GOP’s 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

Even after two-and-a-half years of Trump’s turbulent governing style, the spectacle of a president futilely laboring to head off a House vote essentially proclaiming him to be a racist was extraordinary.

Underscoring the stakes, Republicans formally objected after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said during a floor speech that Trump’s tweets were “racist.” Led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Republicans moved to have her words stricken from the record, a rare procedural rebuke.

After a delay exceeding 90 minutes, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland ruled that Pelosi had indeed violated a House rule against characterizing an action as racist. Hoyer was presiding after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri stormed away from the presiding officer’s chair, lamenting, “We want to just fight,” which he apparently aimed at Republicans. Despite Hoyer’s ruling, Democrats flexed their muscle and the House voted afterward by party-line to leave Pelosi’s words intact in the record.

Some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers have agreed that Trump’s words were racist, but on Tuesday party leaders insisted they were not and accused Democrats of using the resulting tumult to score political points. Among the few voices of restraint, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump wasn’t racist, but he also called on leaders “from the president to the speaker to the freshman members of the House” to attack ideas, not the people who espouse them.

“There’s been a consensus that political rhetoric has gotten way, way heated across the political spectrum,” said the Republican leader from Kentucky, breaking his own two days of silence on Trump’s attacks.

Hours earlier, Trump tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” He wrote that House Republicans should “not show ‘weakness’” by agreeing to a resolution he labeled “a Democrat con game.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of Trump’s four targets, returned his fire.

“You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest,” she tweeted.

The four-page Democratic resolution said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It said Trump’s slights “do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”

All but goading Republicans, the resolution included a full page of remarks by President Ronald Reagan, who is revered by the GOP. Reagan said in 1989 that if the U.S. shut its doors to newcomers, “our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

Republican leaders lobbied GOP lawmakers hard to oppose the resolution.

McCarthy called the measure “all politics,” and No. 3 House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming said the four Democrats “are wrong when they attempt to impose the fraud of socialism on the American people.”

The showdown came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Those include his kicking off his presidential campaign by proclaiming many Mexican migrants to be criminals and asserting there were “fine people” on both sides at a 2017 neo-Nazis rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly.

And the strong words in Washington come as actions are underway elsewhere: The administration has begun coast-to-coast raids targeting migrants in the U.S. illegally and has newly restricted access to the U.S. by asylum seekers.

Trump’s criticism was aimed at four freshman Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and thinly veiled distaste for Trump: Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.

The four have been in an increasingly personal clash with Democratic Speaker Pelosi, too, over how assertively the House should be in trying to restrain Trump’s ability to curb immigration. But if anything, Trump’s tweets have served to ease some of that tension, with Pelosi telling Democrats at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, “We are offended by what he said about our sisters,” according to an aide in the room who described the private meeting on condition of anonymity.

That’s not to say that all internal Democratic strains are resolved.

The four rebellious freshmen joined Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee and a handful of others who wanted the House to vote on a harsher censure of Trump’s tweets. And Rep. Al Green of Texas was trying to force a House vote soon on whether to impeach Trump — a move he’s tried in the past but lost, earning opposition from most Democrats.

At the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch Tuesday, Trump’s tweets came up and some lawmakers were finding the situation irksome, participants said. Many want the 2020 campaigns to focus on progressive Democrats’ demands for government-provided health care, abolishing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and other hard-left policies.

“Those ideas give us so much material to work with and it takes away from our time to talk about it,” Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said of the Trump tweets.

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – One Sarasota County man claimed a $1 million top prize on a $5 scratch off.

According to the Florida Lottery, 75-year-old Stephen Lyons from Sarasota, Florida claimed a $1 million top prize in the $5 MONOPOLY JACKPOT  Scratch-Off game.

Lyons chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $715,000

He purchased his winning ticket from Palmer Market, located at 5300 Clark Road in Sarasota.  The Palmer Market will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning scratch-off ticket.

The $5Scratch-Off game, MONOPOLY JACKPOT, launched in July 2018 and features more than $32 million in cash prizes.  The game’s overall odds of winning are one-in-3.98.

The Florida Lottery says Garritani declined to take a photo

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Pasco County, FLA (WFLA) They leave trash, use drugs, and trespass on private property.

Neighbors in a Pasco County community are fed up with homeless people congregating near their homes.

Just a stone’s throw from busy Highway 19 and New Port Richey, you’ll find a place where hard working folks are trying to cope, living next to large groups of homeless people.

The street name “Leisure Lane” may conjure up images of easy living and the good life. “I’m left with 40 to 50 people in the field across the street right now” said neighbor, Rosa Immel.

In a vacant field, homeless people have set up camp. Trash abounds, and neighbors report rampant drug usage. “Raise all kinds of cane. Cuss.  Throw stuff. I got stuff in my garbage cans now that’s not mine” said Immel.

When 8 On Your Side showed up, many scattered. But some stayed to cook burgers on a grille. “”We’re out here on our own trying to deal with whatever demons we got.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little support?” said a young homeless man, who didn’t want to give his name.

The nearby “Homeless Coalition” tries to support people in this predicament.

But some homeless, don’t want the help. “For me, I kind of embrace this.  I like this” said a homeless man named Cody.

Rosa Immel said the problem has been going on for more than 2 years. “They broke my water pipe.  They’ve used my water. They’ve taken showers in this driveway” she said.

Pasco County Deputies try to get services for the homeless, and work with property owners to have them “trespassed” if they intrude.

But it’s a constant battle for neighbors and law enforcement.

Efforts are underway to revitalize the area. Habitat for humanity owns several lots with plans to build homes on them.

Until then, homeowners and the homeless, are sharing.
         

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Break out the hockey sticks for this beach party!

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be hosting their first-ever Bolts Beach Bash on Saturday, July 27 at Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach.

The beach bash will feature a ball hockey and cornhole tournament, a trivia contest, a sunset cinema showing of Mighty Ducks 3 on Clearwater Beach, and Young MC will be performing.

Fans must RSVP for this free event on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s website.

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LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Largo Police say they’ve captured 20-year-old Ryan Elliot.

Elliot is the third person accused of luring a man to an apartment complex, where a 22-year-old man was shot and killed.

Police said two of the three suspects, 19-year-old Gavin Griffin, and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested and both confessed to the crime.

Largo police say Pinellas deputies, and a Crimestoppers tip helped track him down.

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