Top Thursday News: DUI Manslaughter, Bail For Former Lakeland Commissioner and More

Here are some of Thursday’s top stories.

Florida man accused of DUI Manslaughter in death of three linemen

A Thonotosassa man was driving drunk and without a valid license Wednesday when he drove into three linemen working to restore power in Florida’s Panhandle, killing all three, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers say 37-year-old John Roland Goedtke then fled the scene. He has since been arrested and faces numerous charges in the fatal crash, including vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter.

Records show Goedtke has been arrested 27 times since 2000 on charges that include drug possession and domestic battery. Nine of the 27 arrests include a charge of driving with a license suspended or revoked.

One of the linemen who was struck died at the scene and another did shortly after at a local hospital. The third lineman was reported to be in critical condition but died early Thursday afternoon. Troopers say that Goedtke did not stop to help any of the men after hitting them, but, instead, continued to drive drunk until he crashed into a ditch.

Troopers say they are still investigating the crash. Goedtke is being held without bond.

Former Lakeland commissioner’s bond set at $150K in after alleged shooting

A judge set former Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn’s bond at $150,000 on Thursday, Polk County records show.

Lakeland Police say Dunn has been charged with second-degree murder in the deadly shooting of a suspected shoplifter at his military surplus store on Oct. 3. He was on Lakeland’s city commission when the shooting occurred, but has since resigned.

Dunn must give up all of his personal firearms, police say, and can no longer work at his store, which sells guns.

Early voting up and running in Polk County until Nov. 4

It’s that time of year.

Early voting began Thursday morning in Polk County for residents who prefer to not wait until the Nov. 6 general election day to cast their ballots on a variety of statewide and local races.

There are nine locations scattered throughout Polk County where any registered voter may cast a ballot. Early voting ends Nov. 4.

Sarasota County transgender students can now register with their preferred gender

Sarasota County Schools say they will release a set of gender guidelines this week that will allow transgender students to be identified by and use the bathrooms that correspond with their preferred gender identity.

The school board says the guidelines indicate that students will be addressed by the name and gender that they prefer, which does not have to correlate with what is on their birth certificate.

All schools must have a universal or single stall bathroom, but no student will be forced to use that bathroom, according to the guidelines.

Pasco County Animal Services to offer free pet adoptions Friday and Saturday

Pasco County Animal Services says they will waive adoption fees for anyone who brings in pet food or treat donations to its location at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’Lakes on Friday and Saturday.

All of the adoptions will include spaying or neutering, microchipping and vaccinations, the organization says.

Anchor: Kyle Cooper
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