Daytona Beach Church Fights Back After City Forces Closure of Vital Food Pantry, Lawsuit Filed

Daytona Beach, Florida – A small congregation in Daytona Beach finds itself at odds with the city’s zoning regulations, leading to the shutdown of its food pantry. Led by Pastor Ben Figueroa, the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Daytona Beach had been operating the pantry every Wednesday, providing assistance to hundreds of community members. However, the city cited a violation of an ordinance and forced the pantry to close its doors. Feeling powerless, the church is now working with attorney Chobee Ebbets to challenge the city’s decision in court. Ebbets, representing the church pro bono, … Read more

Federal Judge Rules Miami’s City District Maps Unconstitutional, Casting Doubt on Future Elections

Miami, Florida – A federal judge in Miami, Florida has invalidated the city’s district maps, ruling that they were racially gerrymandered for several decades, causing uncertainty for the city’s electoral future. The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and NAACP, who alleged that Miami’s council districts were illegally segregated based on ethnic makeup. Judge Michael Moore issued the ruling, affirming the claims made by the plaintiffs. In his decision, Moore stated that by categorizing citizens by race, the city violated the equal … Read more

Portland City Council Settles Lawsuit Over Withheld Text Messages with $167,000 Payment

Portland, Oregon – The Portland City Council has agreed to pay almost $167,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused the city and Mayor Ted Wheeler of withholding a large number of text messages from a public records request. The lawsuit followed an investigation that found Wheeler and other city officials regularly violated city policy by using iMessage on their city-issued iPhones. The city’s public records software at the time was unable to access iMessages. The state public records law mandates that government officials preserve all written communication, including text messages and emails, and provide them … Read more

Disgraced City Councilor Flees to Russia, Joins Russian Army Before Trial on Child Pornography Charges

Holyoke, Massachusetts – Wilmer Puello-Mota, a former city councilor, has reportedly evaded his trial on child pornography charges by fleeing the country. Puello-Mota, who had aspirations for a political career, believed that the criminal charges had ruined his life, according to his lawyer David Cicilline. Fearing a bleak future in his hometown, Puello-Mota opted to join the Russian army instead. The case has gained global attention after a video surfaced, showing Puello-Mota signing a contract to join the Russian armed services. Puello-Mota had been facing charges of possession of child pornography after police discovered explicit … Read more