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Demonstrators lie on the floor today at the East Colonial Drive #Publix near downtown #Orlando in protest of gun violence. It was one of many 'die-ins' across the state after anti-gun activist David Hogg called for a coordinated demonstration to take place at Florida Publix stores at 4 p.m. Friday. Hogg is a student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where a gunman killed 17 students and faculty on Feb. 14.
In this Orlando store, about 25 protesters lay in an aisle with signs, blocking customers from shopping for about 15 minutes. They got up and chanted, “Boycott Publix.” Store managers diverted shoppers around the protest and fetched grocery items for the customers. Publix employees did not interfere, and there were no police. A handful of customers stood to watch, but most went on shopping.

Publix on Friday announced it suspended making political contributions in the wake of mounting pressure over its support of Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor who strongly backs the National Rifle Association.

Read the stories and see a photo gallery at OrlandoSentinel.com.
Photo by @joeburb, #orlandosentinel
#parkland #msd

Anenushka Piñero shows off her cap and gown on Thursday, May 17. She didn’t want to leave her family and friends or give up on the small school, with its emphasis on the arts, that she’d attended for more than six years. But after Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico, staying on the island seemed risky given the uncertainty about when schools would reopen. “I was scared about my senior year. I didn’t want to lose it,” the 17-year-old said. “I closed my eyes and said, ‘Mom send me to Florida.’ ”

Anenushka flew to Florida in mid-October — about a month after the storm hit — and moved in with family friends from Puerto Rico who’d previously relocated to the Four Corners area of Osceola County.

She enrolled at Celebration High School, becoming one of nearly 12,000 students from the island who registered in Florida public schools in the wake of the hurricane. Orange and Osceola counties were the top destinations for those students, with their public schools taking in more than 5,000 of them.
Photo by Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda, #OrlandoSentinel

A big gopher #tortoise peeks out of its burrow Monday at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge during the nearby launch of a @SpaceX Falcon9 Block 5 rocket from @kennedyspacecenter. The long-lived reptile is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for other animal species. They occupy upland habitat throughout Florida including forests, pastures and yards, according to @myfwc. Photo by @redhuber, #OrlandoSentinel #gophertortoise

UCF President John Hitt extends his hand to shake a student's hand at graduation for the last time as he greets Lea Rebecca Meir, the last student to graduate during UCF's College of Medicine commencement at The Venue at UCF on Friday, May 17, 2018. Hitt is retiring and moving to Wisconsin, but will stay on in a fundraising role for the university as president emeritus. 📸 By @jacoblangston
#UCF #Knights

Kenny Belcher, a lineman for Duke Energy, works on running new feeder cable up a pole that will connect underground wire to the lines attached to the poles along Central Florida Parkway in Orlando.
It's all part of routine maintenance in preparation for hurricane season.
📸 By @jacoblangston • Jacob Langston

Pic 1/3 Major Devon Meister, a U.S. Air Force Reserve pilot, aboard a WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, based in Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi; visits the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, to take part in a hurricane preparedness event on Friday, May 11, 2018. °
Pic 2/3 U.S Air Force Technical Sgt. Clinton Nicholas examines an Air Force Reserve WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.
📸 By Ricardo Ramirez-Buxeda

A young guest reaches out to passing Commerson's dolphins Friday at the @aquaticaorlando water park at @seaworldorlando. The park's four Commerson's are among the very few in captivity in the U.S. SeaWorld announced in 2016 that the current exhibit at Aquatica would be its last to showcase the rare species as the park does not plan to breed or replace the #dolphins as they age out. Photo by @joeburb, #OrlandoSentinel

The Russell Home for Atypical Children finished a $2.4 million renovation project, completely funded by private donations. On Mother’s Day, they held an open house to show the 7 ½ bathrooms, a physical-therapy room, a theatre room, and a cafeteria large enough to fit all the residents and staff for Thanksgiving dinner.

Some of the staff caregivers do not have children of their own, “But, oh my goodness, they’re moms here,” said Turner, 55, granddaughter of the late Vantrease “Grandma” Russell, who founded the group home-- Central Florida’s first in 1951. “This is hard work, mother’s work they do.” By that, Turner means they care for and love the child-like clients at the home on Holden Avenue.

A few residents have families who arrange for overnight or weekend visits. “But for the majority, there is no family. We are the family. We are mom,” Turner said. 📸 By Sarah Espedido / @sa_roar 📝By Stephen Hudak

Workers continue construction today on the artistic 90-foot tower at Interstate 4 and West Colonial Drive in downtown #Orlando. The aesthetic pylon is one of five under construction as a part of the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project and will be used to direct drivers to new toll lanes. The $2.3 billion project is expected to be completed in 2021. Photo by @joeburb, #OrlandoSentinel

At least 100 dogs participated in the annual Running of the Chihuahuas event on Sunday to benefit Winter Park Lost Pets and the Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida. Read the story and see a video at OrlandoSentinel.com/animalcrazy. Photo by Sarah Espedido (@sa_roar), #OrlandoSentinel

Fireworks blast Wednesday night over Fast & Furious – Supercharged, the latest ride at @universalorlando, as the attraction got off to an explosive start, courtesy of film star Vin Diesel’s fiery grand entrance. He appeared to speed around a corner and crash through a garage door wall during the grand-opening party. Read more and see a video and photo gallery at OrlandoSentinel.com/themeparks. Photo by @joeburb, #OrlandoSentinel

A mother duck and her four ducklings take a leisurely stroll down the sidewalk today at Lake Eola Park. Shortly after, the family plopped into the lake. Photo by @jacoblangston, #OrlandoSentinel #ducksofinstagram

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