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Obama campaign: 'Fine' without Mayor Brown endorsement

Alvin Brown -- a fellow Democrat and mayor of the largest city in the U.S. -- isn't endorsing any candidates in the presidential race.

So, is the Obama Campaign hurting for Brown's backing?

"He's not going to endorse in any political campaign, from the president all the way on down to the local races. And we understand he wants to focus on doing his job and being the best mayor and we're fine with that," says Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina.

Even as a past aide to President Bill Clinton, Mayor Brown says he's not jumping into the middle of anyone's partisan campaign, including Mitt Romney. Messina says their bigger concern is how Florida's new voting laws are making it harder for some people to vote.

"It's frustrating. I think just as Americans, put aside our party labels just for a second, what we should all want to do is have more people vote," says Messina.

Obama comes back to Florida on Thursday, with a campaign stop in Orlando.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Volstead in downtown Jacksonville will remain open under new ownership, Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Owners of the speakeasy on West Adams Street announced it was closing Aug. 21 on Facebook. The Volstead’s co-founders said that the bar wasn’t closing for any financial reason, but because of poor health was hindering one of them from running the business any longer. After a social media outcry, Volstead patrons Dana Chen and her husband, George Cunningham, reached out to the Volstead. Over the last few weeks, they quietly negotiated a purchase deal, the Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Chen and Cunningham live in Atlantic Beach and own a real estate company. Chen told the Journal that they love everything the Volstead represents and that they want to carry on the legacy and keep the drinking spot going. The Volstead will not close its doors at any point. A party is planned for Sept. 1 to celebrate its continuation.
  • It's a bizarre story out of St. Augustine.   A 22-year-old woman is facing two misdemeanor charges, after interacting with a fisherman on Tuesday.   According to the offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Turner, was swimming in the ocean at the St. Johns County Pier, off of A1A, when she allegedly swam up to a man's fishing line, cussed him out, bite his line, and then swam away with the rigging.   When deputies arrived, the report says Turner, who smelled like alcohol, became belligerent and was verbally confrontational.   At one point, a deputy claims Turner screamed several times 'I am f****** naked', causing a scene, despite her being in a bikini at the time.   Turner is now charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.
  • Baltimore has removed statues that honored the Confederacy in the city overnight. Crews worked in Wyman Park starting around midnight Wednesday to remove the Lee and Jackson monument.  >> Read more trending news  They took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson early Wednesday after the city council passed a resolution Monday that ordered the immediate destruction of the monuments, WBAL reported. The board cited the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia for the quick removal. “Destroyed. I want them destroyed, and as soon as possible. I want them destroyed,” city councilman Brandon Scott said Monday. The statues may be sent to Confederate cemeteries after Mayor Catherine Pugh reached out to the Maryland Historical Trust for permission to remove the monuments, WBAL reported. The removal didn’t come without cost. WBAL reported Monday that the bill could be between $1 million and $2 million. The city had four monuments to the Confederacy: a Confederate women’s monument, a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, the Lee and Jackson monument and a statue of Robert Taney, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice who wrote the Dred Scott ruling in 1857, WRC reported. Baltimore isn’t the only area that is trying to remove its Confederate history.  North Carolina’s governor said he is trying to reverse a law that prohibits the removal or relocation of monuments in the state. Dallas’ mayor is looking at the city’s options. Tennessee’s governor called for the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust. Forrest was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans have spoken out about the removal of the monuments across the country. “These statues were erected over 100 years ago to honor the history of the United states. They’re just as important to the entire history of the U.S. as the monuments to our other forefathers,” Thomas V. Strain Jr. told WRC.
  • The parents of Heather Heyer, the woman killed Saturday in a protest against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, remembered the 32-year-old as a big-hearted, outspoken woman who wanted equality for all. >> Read more trending news About 1,000 mourners gathered Wednesday for Heyer’s memorial in downtown Charlottesville, the same city where police said Heyer was killed while protesting what was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. Heyer’s death sparked outrage across the nation and reinvigorated the debate over race relations in America. >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville “I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said at Wednesday’s memorial service. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Since her daughter’s death, Bro said she’s received an outpouring of support from people wondering how to help the grieving family. She suggested that anyone wishing to help should follow Heyer’s example. “I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die,” Bro said. “This is not the end of Heather’s legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?” Heather Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, remembered his daughter in an emotional speech to mourners as a passionate woman who always spoke her mind. >> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack? “She wanted equality. And in this issue, on the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” he said. “And for my part – we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop -- just love one another.” He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the group gathered to mourn his daughter. “I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, if she loved you that was it – you were stuck,” he said with a shaky laugh. Police said Heyer was killed Saturday when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, slammed a car into two vehicles and protesters in Charlottesville. >> Related: Father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer says he forgives James Fields Fields was described by his former high school teacher as a Nazi sympathizer. He traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the Unite the Right rally, a demonstration organized by white supremacists to oppose the removal of a Confederate memorial from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park. Mark Heyer said shortly after his daughter’s death that he forgave Fields, because “as far as I’m concerned, he was deceived by the devil.” “My daughter was fighting for equal rights, demonstrating against hatred and doing what she thought was right,” Mark Heyer told the New York Post on Sunday. “I can’t hate the man who did this to her because that would make me as bad as the people who did this.”
  • Now-former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown has been denied a new trial, after being convicted on 18 of 22 federal fraud-related charges in May. A judge has also issued an order denying a motion for acquittal. Brown’s sentencing has now been set for November 16th. Brown was found guilty of soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sham charity called “One Door For Education”, using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead. Her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of One Door Carla Wiley both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown at trial. Simmons has now been formally adjudicated guilty and his sentencing has been set for November 15th. FULL COVERAGE: Federal fraud trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown Brown had sought a new trial by claiming the judge improperly dismissed a juror after deliberations had already started, because that juror said at the outset of deliberations that the “Holy Spirit” had told him Brown was innocent. Her motion for acquittal said that prosecutors had not shown she had criminal intent, claiming instead that she had poorly managed her finances and office, but never intended to defraud anyone. WOKV is working through the rulings from the Judge this afternoon and will continue to update  with the basis he gave for denying both motions. Brown’s attorney James Smith tells us she’s “understandably saddened and disappointed” by the judge’s rulings, but she remains strong and maintains her innocence. She further wants supporters to know that she appreciates their prayers and will continue fighting. While Smith said Brown is planning to pursue “any and all available legal options”, he declined to get in to many specifics on what those avenues include. He says their focus right now is geting her the best sentence possible, and a motion for reconsideration is something they could look at in the future. The US Attorney’s Office declined to comment about the rulings at this time. This is a developing story that will be updated in to the afternoon.

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