The mosquito-born Chikungunya virus has reportedly infected over 1 million people and killed 155 since beginning its spread throughout the Americas a year ago. There is no known treatment or vaccine for the disease, with cases being reported in Florida and Texas as well.
CNN reported on Thursday that every country in Central America has now reported cases of the virus, while the U.S. has noted of 11 confirmed cases this year in Florida. Confirmed cases reported in Texas have been with those who've traveled to the Caribbean and areas where the virus is more common.
"It wasn't until 2013 that unfortunately a traveler resulted in local transmission of Chikungunya," said Erin Staples of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to people infected in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. more >>
A county in Florida is refusing to change its invocation policy for public meetings in response to a Wisconsin-based atheist group's demand.
Denise Marie Nieman, an attorney for Palm Beach County, recently rejected the request of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to change the Board of Commissioners' policy for invocations. In a statement given to both The Christian Post and FFRF, Nieman wrote that the county's policy of having commissioners give invocations is constitutional.
"While I appreciate FFRF's position, it is not applicable to Palm Beach County's practice. The Commissioners' chosen invocation isn't a prayer in the traditional secular sense," said Nieman. more >>
An atheist whose recent invocation at a Florida city's meeting prompted a walkout of some of the commissioners is fighting to give an invocation at another city meeting elsewhere in the state.
Preston Smith of Miami, who saw four members of the Lake Worth County Board of Commissioners walk out on his previous invocation, was denied a request to give a secular invocation at a Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Smith explained that "my next invocation was aimed at the Palm Beach County Commissioners Meeting. However, they have denied my request, opting instead to strictly allow the Commissioner's themselves to give (overtly Christian-themed) invocations. I consider this a monopoly of a certain religious viewpoint, the very opposite of the Supreme Court's intention." more >>
A city in Florida has recently garnered much attention when a few of its leadership walked out in protest of an atheist invocation given at a government meeting.
Members of the Lake Worth City Commissioners stepped out of their meeting last week when Miami atheist Preston Smith took to the stand to give an invocation.
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo and three other commissioners exited the space, as seen by a video posted on YouTube last Wednesday by Wes Blackman. more >>
In a time of intense racial tension in the U.S., a megachurch congregation of predominately black members at a thriving Shiloh Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, is making a powerful statement by merging with a struggling predominately white church to launch a second church 22 miles away from its current downtown location.
Shiloh Baptist, led by Pastor H.B. Charles Jr., is merging with Ridgewood Baptist Church in Orange Park, pastored by Michael Clifford. Charles told The Christian Post that it was in "the providence of God" that the merger took place during such a racially charged moment in the nation's history.
"Just a few weeks ago, we were wrestling with the fact that no one really knew what was taking place," Charles, 41, said. "In the providence of God, He's the kind of a God that knew that for us. We are excited that our actions are making their own independent statement for Christ in the midst of all of the racial tension that's in the news these days." more >>
Florida police are searching for Andres "Andy" Avalos, 33, who is wanted for questioning in relation to three murders, including that of a pastor, that took place on Thursday afternoon.
Avalos is believed to have shot and killed Pastor James "Tripp" Battle, 31, at the Bayshore Baptist Church in Bradenton, Florida. While responding to that call, police also learned of two women who were shot and killed at a nearby home. One of those victims was Avalos' wife, Amber, 33, and the other was her friend, Denise Potter, 46. The couple had six children, and they are all in the custody of a relative.
Avalos' father, Andy, is also a minister at the Bayshore Baptist Church. He was unharmed, and the younger Avalos has not been seen since the shooting. Authorities found the vehicle he was last seen driving on Thursday night but there was no evidence of Avalos. He is still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities warned. more >>