Florida megachurch pastor charged with defying coronavirus stay-at-home orders

first_imgHoward-Browne, originally from South Africa, was arrested at his home under a warrant charging him with misdemeanor offenses of unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules, the sheriff’s office said later.The emergency health orders limit public gatherings in the county to fewer than 10 people and require residents to stay at home except as otherwise necessary.The Tampa Bay Times reported the preacher posted $500 bond and was released from jail shortly after he was booked on the charges, each carrying a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if he were convicted.Chronister said his office had contacted the church’s attorneys and its leaders at least twice over the weekend imploring them to cancel Sunday’s services at the Pentecostal church, to no avail. Topics : The pastor of a megachurch in Tampa, Florida, was arrested on Monday on charges of holding prayer services in violation of public health orders temporarily banning such gatherings to limit the spread of coronavirus infections, authorities said.Rodney Howard-Browne, co-founder of the River at Tampa Bay Church, is accused of presiding over two services on Sunday attended by hundreds of parishioners, some of them ferried there by bus transportation his church provided, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.”His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger,” Chronister told a news conference.center_img The sheriff said Howard-Browne’s defiance was especially baffling because his 4,000-member congregation had the technology to broadcast its services live on both television and the internet.’God heals’Howard-Browne quoted biblical scripture in his own defense during Sunday morning’s 3-1/2-hour service, livestreamed on social media, declaring: “No plague shall come nigh thy dwelling, no weapon formed against them,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.”Suddenly we are demonized because we believe God heals, that the Lord sets people free, and they make us out to be some sort of kooks,” the newspaper quoted him as telling worshipers.Members of the congregation, many standing shoulder to shoulder, although some apparently separated in church by empty seats, cheered and applauded his remarks, the Times said.Chronister disputed Howard-Browne’s assertions that the public health orders in question exempted religious services as essential gatherings or that they trampled constitutional rights to freedom of religion.”It’s unfortunate that the pastor here is hiding behind the First Amendment,” the sheriff said.State Attorney Andrew Warren also cited scripture in supporting the sheriff.”There’s no more important commandment than to love thy neighbor as thyself,” he said. “Loving your neighbors is protecting them, not jeopardizing their health by exposing them to this deadly virus.”Nearly 5,500 people have tested positive in Florida for COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, including more than 60 who have died.last_img read more

Top 5 Syracuse sports storylines to look for in 2016

first_imgAs 2016 starts, Syracuse puts an NCAA investigation and sanctions, two national titles and the hiring of a new football coach in the past and gets to work on a fresh slate. From the men’s basketball team’s return to the postseason to the future of the Carrier Dome, here are the five biggest storylines surrounding Syracuse sports entering the new year.Dino Babers enters first season as football head coachBabers took over the reigns as Syracuse’s head coach from Scott Shafer in early December. The next eight months will be filled with anticipation for the new offensive scheme Babers plans to install, but it won’t be fully on display until Sept. 3 against Colgate. Babers is tasked with turning around a football team that’s won just seven games in the past two seasons, but he expressed enthusiasm at his introductory press conference. He told those in attendance to close their eyes and imagine a raucous Carrier Dome, a suffocating defense and an electrifying offense that doesn’t huddle. Whether that becomes a reality or not, only time will tell.Men’s basketball team returns to postseasonWhile it’s too early to tell whether or not Syracuse will make the NCAA Tournament, the Orange will be participating in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Coming off a season in which the Orange self-imposed a postseason ban, SU is eligible again, but has already lost three nonconference games. That had only happened four times in the last 25 years prior to this season. The first three, Syracuse missed the NCAA Tournament and played in the National Invitation Tournament instead. The most recent time, last season, the Orange wasn’t eligible for the postseason. If Syracuse misses the NCAA Tournament, it would only be the third time during Jim Boeheim’s tenure the Orange have missed the tournament in back-to-back seasons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Maller | Staff Photographer Related Stories Top 15 Syracuse sports storylines of 2015 The future of the Carrier DomeThe Carrier Dome enters its 36th year in 2016, and discussions about its future have been ongoing. Chancellor Kent Syverud said in October that Syracuse is “teed up” for a decision this academic year.The three possible options for the Dome are to replace the current roof, install a new roof structure while renovating the entire building or build a different stadium off-site. The third option is the least likely, according to university and city leaders.Daily Orange File Photo Eric Dungey’s healthQuarterback Eric Dungey is coming off a freshman season in which he missed parts of four games after being hit in the head against Central Michigan and Louisville. He suffered other blows to the head against Virginia and Pittsburgh but didn’t come out of those games. Coaches said they tried teaching him to slide in the open field and throw the ball away, but he often didn’t heed their advice. Entering 2016, his health is the biggest question mark for Syracuse football, outside of what Babers will bring to the table. In eight games, Dungey racked up 1,298 yards on 105-of-176 passes while throwing 11 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He also ran for 351 yards on 91 carries. With an offseason to rest, he is Syracuse’s best quarterback, but his health will be worth watching.Logan Reidsma | Staff Photographer Comments Published on December 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm National championship defenders and contendersSyracuse’s field hockey and men’s cross country teams are both coming off national championship seasons and look to defend their titles next fall. Men’s soccer, which made the Final Four, returns most of its roster and should also contend for a title. Field hockey’s national title was SU’s first-ever title in a women’s sport after reaching the Final Four in three of the last four years. The cross-country team only graduates one — Martin Hehir — of its top three runners, which includes sophomores Colin Bennie and Justyn Knight.Meanwhile, the men’s lacrosse team is ranked eighth in Inside Lacrosse’s preseason poll and attempts to end its six-year championship drought, its longest since the inception of the NCAA tournament. The women’s lacrosse team has reached the Final Four in each of the past four seasons, but hasn’t come away with a national title.Katherine Sotelo | Web Designer Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Pollard outshines Russell

first_imgPAARL, South Africa (CMC): Kieron Pollard’s cameo trumped Andre Russell’s as his Cape Cobras beat Knights by four wickets in the final over, in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge yesterday. Chasing 141 for victory at Boland Park, Cobras got home when Pollard smashed a four off the third delivery of the over from seamer Shadley van Schalkwyk, to seal a comfortable win in the end. The right-handed Pollard finished on 23 not out from 12 deliveries, with three fours and a six while Justin Ontong top-scored with 40 from 42 balls and opener Richard Levi, 36 from 23 deliveries. With 16 needed from the last two overs, Pollard put his side on top when he blasted a four and a six in the penultimate over bowled by West Indies teammate Russell, which leaked 14 runs. Russell finished with two for 43 from his four overs of medium pace. Earlier, the Jamaican struck 27 from 20 balls to help Knights reach 140 for seven off their 20 overs, after they were sent in. He belted one four and two sixes, and put on 51 for the fourth wicket with Theunis de Bruyn who top-scored with 45 from 44 deliveries. In Johannesburg, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo failed with two as his Dolphins went down by six runs to Lions.last_img read more

Rep Lucido vehicle storage bill aims to protect locals in the towing

first_img The Michigan House today approved a bill sponsored by state Rep. Peter Lucido that prohibits local government or law enforcement from enacting new contracts for towing or motor vehicle storage facilities.“It’s proving to be unfruitful for anybody currently in or looking to get into the towing business because of the danger of a municipality starting up its own services in a reach for funding,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “If a business owner in a community invests in equipment – trucks, a building and labor – they should know that investment is sound without the threat of competition from a local government. This bill protects fair competition within this industry.”Facilities holding vehicles taken into custody for safekeeping that were in operation before the effective date of the bill, or contracts with outside vendors that were in place before the effective date, are to be grandfathered in.Lucido was joined by Michigan Towing Association President Joel Ballor in testimony on the bill before the House Local Government Committee on Feb. 14.“As small business owners, we are not afraid of competition amongst ourselves,” Ballor said. “We compete with our rates, customer service and the names on our respective doors and trucks. However, it is unfair for us to compete against the very people who set the rules for the game.”Added Lucido: “What other businesses compete with the public sector locally? If we start this and continue along this vein, I can see municipalities opening ice cream shops next to the ballfields in the summer to raise funds.”House Bill 4360 moves to the Senate for further consideration. 21Mar Rep. Lucido vehicle storage bill aims to protect locals in the towing business Categories: Lucido News,Newslast_img read more