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     • Aaron Hernandez left a message of eternal life as he willfully took his own life in prison - Aaron Hernandez was a gifted athlete who led a troubled life. But his suicide caught friends and family by surprise, a week after an quital in court on another case. ...
     • Frosty the Snowman provided a chilly break from Florida’s warmer winter weather - Visiting up North was an experience that a Floridian could enjoy, but coming home to warmer weather makes one appreciate Florida. ...
     • Women prisoners count their blessings on a tearful Thanksgiving at Lowell Prison - Visits on Thanksgiving were all too short at Lowell Prison where children were asking "Why can't I stay with Mommy?" Columnist Jack Strickland visits at Lowell and writes a riveting story about the emotions of the day as families got together all too briefly. He came away with both a feeling of sadness and of joy. ...
     • “Souls to the Polls” march re-enacts history to inspire students at FAMU to vote in the election - FAMU students recreated history on Sunday with a march to the polls to demonstrate the importance of voting and to inspire students to vote in the national election. ...
     • Florida women’s prison is nightmare as prisoners endure humiliation, poor medical care, rip-offs - Florida's major prison for women is an endless nightmare for those who have to endure the permanent psychological scarring that results from little privacy, no meaningful rehabilitation, general neglect of medical care by the prisons, and the rip-off of high prices for phone calls and items supplied by private contractors. ...
     • Question is whether Adelson family was involved in Markel murder, and motives of the suspects - Questions remain unanswered about release of evidence and possible motives for murder - were suspects trying to extort money from Adelsons? ...
     • Small explosion causes chaos at Florida A&M University - An explosion at the FAMU campus Thursday was actually a dishwasher catching fire. However it did cause a scare among faculty, staff and students at the Presidential Dining Hall. ...
     • In a surprise appearance, Shaq has a ball inspiring neighborhood kids to dream big - A surprise visit by the former star basketball player to Gainesville and the police department brought out good feelings all around as kids got to play with superstar. ...
     • ‘Cash register justice’ for the poor means no justice for many in Florida courts - Prosecutors now seek to extract fees from indigent defendents to help pay office costs, causing possible miscarriage of justice, says national justice center. ...
     • If Jeb Bush ever really went to prison in Florida, he wouldn’t get a happy reception - The disaster of corruption, privatized prisons, and loss of competent leadership in state prisons is Jeb Bush’s legacy in Florida. ...
     • Court fails to convict police officer in NC shooting death of former FAMU football player - Family pleads for calm as jury fails to find officer guilty in shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte; no decision yet on retrial. ...
     • Carson wins best dressed while Trump brings up the rear in the clash of haberdashery at GOP debate - Who was dressed to win the recent GOP debate? Who wore the most stunning tie, and the best cut suit? Looks like neurosurgeon Ben Carson knows how to dress. Donald Trump, who sells a line of clothing, ironically finishes last. ...
     • FSU could receive NCAA sanctions similar to those of Penn State sex scandal - Recent events will add up to more problems for Florida State University when NCAA and Title IX investigators report their findings. ...
     • Gators end Florida State’s baseball hopes in big wins in Gainesville; on to the Series - Getting back into the College World Series was a dream for both teams, but the Gators managed to teach Florida State a lesson or two. ...
     • Miracle of heart transplant puts ‘inoperable’ Rachel, 10, back in the arms of her new family - The dramatic story of how 10-year-old Rachel McCary got her new heart and a new chance to live is told by Jack Strickland who watched closely at the hospital in Gainesville while a miracle was performed. ...

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    Local and State News and Views...

    Columnist Jack Strickland

    Aaron Hernandez left a message of eternal life as he willfully took his own life in prison

    April 19, 2017
    By: Jack Strickland

    Aaron Hernandez is dead.

    The gifted 27-year-old football player, who starred for the Florida Gators and the New England Patriots, reportedly hanged himself in his prison cell early this morning. His death comes five days after he was found not guilty, in a Boston courtroom, of double murder and other lesser charges.

    The jury that found him not guilty also convicted him of possession of an unregistered firearm. On that conviction, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke sentenced Hernandez to a prison term of not more than five years, and not less than four years. That sentence was to be served consecutively with all previous sentences.

    Hernandez was serving a sentence of life without parole for a previous murder conviction. He stood convicted of the 2013 execution style murder of his friend, Oiden Lloyd.  Lloyd was the brother of Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister.

    He had seemed upbeat

    Hernandez’s death caught his friends and family by surprise. They said he was upbeat after his acquittal, last week. Miami Dolphins Center Mike Pouncey, a college teammate and close friend of Hernandez, said he talked to his friend Tuesday.  He said it was a positive conversation. He said there was no indication that Hernandez was suicidal.

    Spectators in the Boston courtroom observing Hernandez’s trial, last week, were moved by the interaction between Hernandez and his four-year-old daughter, Avielle. At every break Hernandez and his cute daughter blew kisses back and fourth to each other. It appeared that Hernandez had everything… (Read More)


    Frosty the Snowman provided a chilly break from Florida’s warmer winter weather

    January 11, 2017
    By: Mike Abrams

    Building our snowman outside in blustery weather in Horseheads, N.Y. reminded me that I was glad I didn’t forget to bring my gloves while visiting my son, his wife,… (Read More)

    Women prisoners count their blessings on a tearful Thanksgiving at Lowell Prison

    November 30, 2016
    By: Jack Strickland

    It’s hard to find something to be thankful for inside a penitentiary. At Lowell Correctional Institution, at Thanksgiving, prisoners seemed determined to overcome their harsh surroundings and give thanks.

    (Read More)

    Opinion...
    I wish I would have hugged my Dad who taught me so many lessons about life

    By Dominique D. Roy
    Florida A&M University

    One of the many misconceptions that we have in life is that we as humans always have time to “do it later.”

    It’s a cliché to admit that we know that there… (Read More)


    Florida Tales...
    Gator gym team changes sadness to a smile for cancer victims at Hope Lodge

    By Jack Strickland

    They brought hope to Hope Lodge. Last week, the number three nationally ranked Florida Gators Gymnastics Team hosted a dinner with cancer patients, their families, and caregivers. The college students were a big hit at the American… (Read More)


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