Five Things to Know in Florida for Aug. 4

EX-OFFICER WHO PUNCHED VALET PARKER CHARGED WITH BATTERY

Court records posted Thursday show 37-year-old John Kiernan is being charged for the punch he threw to the jaw of Rodolfo Rodriguez outside a Fort Lauderdale hotel on July 25. Security video shows Rodriguez with his hands in his pockets, but Kiernan told police he felt threatened. Prosecutors declined comment Thursday, saying Kiernan has not been served with the warrant.

FLORIDA WILL PAY $82,000 AFTER LOSING VOTE-BY-MAIL LAWSUIT

Court records filed last week show the administration of Gov. Rick Scott agreed to pay the money to end a lawsuit over the state’s vote-by-mail law. The Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee sued the state last year because the law did not require voters to be notified if their signatures on their ballot and voter registration forms don’t match. A federal judge called the law “illogical” and “bizarre.”

MAN THREATENS TO STICK HOME DEPOT EMPLOYEE WITH NEEDLE

A security officer in the Orlando store spotted 47-year-old Dennis Hamlett taking two Bosch grinders from their boxes and placing them in his pants Tuesday afternoon. When Hamlett left the store, a loss prevention officer approached him and told him to give the merchandise back. An Orange County Sheriff’s arrest report says Hamlett refused, adding he didn’t steal anything. Hamlett then brandished a needle and threatened the employee.

SLIMMED DOWN BACK-TO-SCHOOL TAX HOLIDAY RETURNS TO FLORIDA

The tax holiday kicks off this coming Friday at 12:01 a.m. and will last the entire weekend. Two years ago the back-to-school tax holiday lasted 10 days. Legislators have also cut back on what is covered by the tax break. Shoppers won’t have to pay state or local sales taxes on clothes worth $60 or less and on school supplies worth $15 or less. In 2014 and 2015, shoppers could buy clothing worth $100 or less without paying taxes.

FLORIDA WOMEN TRASH CHICK-FIL-A DURING ARGUMENT OVER ORDER

Allison Music, who was in the restaurant and posted videos of the tirade online, tells Action News Jax it happened Monday night in Jacksonville. She wrote in a Facebook post that two women beat on a locked door trying to get inside as the store was closing. Video she posted shows the women arguing with employees, tossing condiments on the floor and throwing an object that could be heard breaking in the background.

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