Proposed Teacher Bonuses, Police Standoff and More

DeSantis announced teacher pay proposals

During his visit at Armwood High School, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a plan to increase teacher pay. The proposal included a $422 million increase in bonuses for teachers through the Best and Brightest program.

DeSantis also announced that the program will no longer take SAT and ACT scores into consideration when distributing bonuses. The rewards will be given based upon criteria such as ratings and the growth of a school’s grade calculation.

The governor also proposed allocating $10 million annually for five years toward teacher recruitment.

Police standoff in Polk County

A roughly six-hour standoff between an armed man and SWAT deputies ended when he surrendered in Davenport .

When officers responded to a call of a family disturbance, they arrived at a home in the West Haven subdivision to find Zachary Stinson. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Stinson shot at the officers and barricaded himself in the home.

The incident began around 10:14 p.m. Wednesday night and ended in arrest at about 4:15 a.m. The Crisis Negotiation Team was able to convince Stinson to surrender peacefully. The suspect is being held in the Polk County Jail and has so far been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Suspect arrested in Busch Boulevard shooting

Courtesy: Hillsborough County Jail

An 18-year-old suspect has been arrested after Wednesday night’s shooting near Busch Gardens.

Steven Saviras Williams reportedly shot a 40-year-old victim in the head on East Busch Boulevard. Officers found the victim inside a car and provided aid until Tampa Fire Rescue arrived. The shooting victim was transported to Florida Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

According to police, the shooting was a result of domestic abuse. Williams was charged with discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

Man repeatedly exposed himself in Westchase

Hillsborough County deputies are looking for a man who has exposed himself to women in Westchase.

Since Jan. 29, the man has exposed himself at four different locations: Montague Street and New Parke Road; Parley Drive and Milbank Way; West Park Village Drive and Cavendish Drive; and the 9000 block of Cavendish Drive.

Deputies say they are looking for a thin, white or Hispanic male between 20 and 30 years old with black hair. They say he wears glasses and drives a white, four-door car.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813)-274-8000.

Florida State Fair opened

The Florida State Fair opened its gates to the public this morning. Attendees are invited to enjoy food, games and rides at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Guests will have the opportunity to experience various shows that the fair has to offer. Daily shows include stunt dogs, the Budweiser Clydesdales, a giraffe petting zoo and Circus Hollywood. Click here to see the full list of events.

Different exhibits are also on display throughout the fairgrounds to educate visitors on various topics. Exhibits include Paw Palace, Ag-Venture, Little Farm Hands, Florida Learning Garden and more.

On Feb. 12, the fair will be celebrating $2 Tuesday with $2 admission and $2 select rides, games and food after 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the fairgrounds, and parking is free. The fair continues until Feb. 18.

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