TRUST INDEX: Fact checking claims made during the DeSantis/Newsom debate
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom squared off in a a contentious debate Thursday night and News4JAX is running some of the statements they made through the Trust Index. The two clashed on several issues including the economy, and gun control, and the city of Jacksonville was also mentioned in the governors’ discussion about crime rates.
Appeals court hears arguments after judge ruled North Florida Black congressional district was purposely dismantled
Lawyers representing Black voters told a three-judge federal panel that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis violated the U.S. Constitution by deliberately dismantling a congressional district that favored Black candidates.
National civil rights leaders plan hate crime summit in Jacksonville
Nearly one week after a gunman killed three Black people in New Town, National civil rights leader Al Sharpton, the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and the Anti-Defamation League announced plans Monday to bring a hate crime summit to Jacksonville.
Racially motivated deadly mass shooting brings attention to New Town neighborhood
The racially motivated murders in Jacksonville’s New Town community have created grief and additional strain in an urban neighborhood that was already experiencing challenges. There are no grocery stores in New Town, no restaurants, or access to shopping.
Poll: UNF students ‘strongly disagree’ with removal of DEI programs, courses
A poll of more than 800 students, and a handful of faculty, staff and others, at the University of North Florida showed overwhelming approval of the institution’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, programs and courses.
Students, faculty, alumni blast Gov. DeSantis’ collection of ‘gender dysphoria services’ info from public universities
Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, has collected information from the state’s public universities about the number and ages of individuals who have received or even sought gender-affirming care over the past five years.
I-TEAM: Gov. DeSantis gets backlash from Hispanic leaders and political challenger Charlie Crist over transporting migrants
On the heels of a federal lawsuit filed against Governor Ron DeSantis, the State of Florida and other state officials over transporting 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard from Texas… DeSantis’ challenger in the governor’s race - Charlie Crist - held a virtual meeting with leaders in the Hispanic community. They allege the migrants were misled before boarding the planes, which they say is a violation of the law.
Duval County School Board candidate shows favor for DeSantis endorsing local candidates, Duval Democrats speak out
Gov. DeSantis made his rounds around Florida Sunday on his Education Tour. He made a stop in Jacksonville and brought out some of the candidates he’s endorsing for school board positions in the area.
I-TEAM: Newly released documents reveal which items were flagged as Critical Race Theory in textbooks
The News4JAX I-TEAM is digging through thousands of documents just released by the Florida Department of Education. They reveal what textbook reviewers flagged as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other prohibited topics which led to the rejection of 54 unpublished math books. Governor DeSantis has targeted Critical Race Theory -- saying the book authors are trying to ‘indoctrinate” Florida students.
Florida’s Education Dept. rejects 54 school textbooks for ‘prohibited topics’
In its review of 132 math textbooks that were submitted for consideration, the Florida Department of Education rejected 54, claiming they contain ‘prohibited topics’ such as critical race theory, social-emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.
Controversial ‘viewpoint’ survey sent to Florida’s colleges draws criticism from faculty
The survey is in response to HB 233 signed into law in 2021 by Governor DeSantis, who, at the time, claimed universities were prone to suppressing certain political viewpoints, though he did not cite any specific examples or elaborate on which viewpoints were being suppressed.
DeSantis blasts Disney for ‘woke’ response on Florida sexual identity in schools bill
Gov. Ron DeSantis is condemning Disney’s response to Florida’s bill banning discussion of sexual orientation and identity in some classrooms, calling the company “woke” and saying it’s fallen for “phony hysteria” from the corporate media.
DeSantis: Satellite company to invest $300 million, bring 2,000 jobs to Florida’s Space Coast
Terran Orbital, a micro-satellite company, plans to invest $300 million in a massive commercial spacecraft and constellation facility to Space Florida on Merritt Island, Gov. DeSantis and the company announced Monday.
As DeSantis pressures school districts on COVID-19 policy, Biden administration replaces withheld state funds
In its latest emergency rule issued Wednesday, the Florida Department of Education renewed pressure on local school boards to refrain from mandating face masks without a parental option to opt-out, something at least 10 school districts have done anyway.
Biden tells education secretary to take on governors blocking masks in schools
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference on the COVID-19 crisis in America, President Joe Biden said he is directing the secretary of education to take action against governors who attempt to block school mask mandates.
200+ Duval County students, faculty tested positive for COVID-19 during summer programs
Duval County students and staff taking part in summer activities were not spared the scourge of COVID-19, as more than 200 tested positive between June 3 and July 28, according to data provided by Duval County Public Schools (DCPS).
The Latest: Sinovac: CoronaVac vaccine effective in children
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING — Sinovac said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac is safe and effective in children ages 3-17. State-owned Sinopharm, who has two COVID-19 vaccines, is also investigating the effectiveness of its vaccines in children. The House vote came just before the state health department reported that more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered within the state. State officials say about 2.9 million vaccine doses have been given to about 1.1 million people so far in Arizona. ___LISBON, Portugal — Portugal resumed administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, a week after temporarily halting its use.
Business starts to improve for area restaurant as more seniors get vaccinated
“This year has been a big challenge for everyone in our industry,” said Nammour Nammour, owner of St. Marys Seafood & More. “Sales have plummeted.”A year ago at St. Marys Seafood & More, the mood was one of devastation. “Up where we live up in Brunswick, we’ve noticed more people going to restaurants, not that we go to many restaurants,” Deb Swan said. “We go to two up in Brunswick where we live.”At St. Marys Seafood & More, the hope is more workers will apply. “If anyone needs a job, come see me.”Because when the pandemic ends, the restaurant hopes its business does not.
From shortage to choice: FEMA sites now offering Pfizer or J&J shots
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting Saturday morning, both the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available at the Gateway Mall, Normandy Community Center and Hammond Senior Center sites in Jacksonville. The Duval County Alert System sent an alert Saturday morning about who is eligible for coronavirus vaccines. FEMA said approximately 790 people were vaccinated Saturday at Gateway Mall. AdThe Department of Health said that as of Friday, 137,499 people have completed their series of vaccines in Duval County. The site at Gateway Mall is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Gov.
Florida agriculture commissioner won’t lower flags to honor Limbaugh despite DeSantis order
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she is ordering state offices she controls to ignore an upcoming order to lower flags to half-staff to honor conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who died last week. “Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots. “Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard the Governor’s forthcoming order to lower flags for Mr. Limbaugh – because we will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division. The statement from the commissioner marks the latest in an ongoing back-and-forth between Fried, the only Democrat elected to a statewide office, and DeSantis, a Republican. It’s expected that Fried will challenge DeSantis for governor when he is up for reelection in 2022.
Gov. DeSantis adamant on not shutting Florida down as COVID-19 variants increase
Ron DeSantis called President Joe Biden a “lockdowner” when he was asked about a domestic travel ban report on Fox News. He said lockdowns won’t help with the increase of COVID-19 cases, and cases of the new variant. DeSantis said he doesn’t agree with the reports that said the Biden administration will place a domestic travel ban on certain states including Florida. This despite a White House spokesperson saying as recently as Thursday that there are currently no bans of domestic travel being considered. Lockdowns don’t work.
With 1 million Floridians vaccinated, where do COVID-19 cases stand?
In the last week, we saw thousands of people in our area get the COVID-19 vaccine, despite a rising number of cases of the virus. Do you remember when the state hit 1 million cases on Dec. 1? Just over 11,000 new cases were reported Sunday, but Florida also surpassed a million people vaccinated on Sunday. With nearly 75,000 cases in Duval, and over 50,000 people vaccinated, the percent positivity for new cases is at 9.3%. Some people asked why you’re doing some of the counties you’re doing; there’s some counties that have really big health infrastructure, Orlando, Jacksonville, has big infrastructure, a lot of hospitals.
First-come, first-served vaccines available Monday for Duval County seniors
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beginning Monday, Duval County residents 65 years and above can get COVID-19 vaccines at two Jacksonville senior citizen centers not by appointment but based on their birth month. RELATED: Moncrief church to administer 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine | VA to hold drive-thru vaccination clinics for certain veteransAll patients must provide a photo ID that shows their birthdate and proves Duval County residency. The Florida Department of Health in Duval County began giving Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday to anyone 65 years of age and older and health care workers who were able to get an appointment. New appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine will be added through the online system every Thursday at 5 p.m., the health department said. Curry said he’s grateful to the scientists, doctors and medical professionals who worked so hard to make a vaccine available to the public so quickly.
Florida House, Senate unveil COVID-19 business protections
The House and Senate on Wednesday released identical bills for consideration during the 2021 legislative session, which will start March 2. Neither the House bill (HB 7) nor the Senate measure (SB 72) contains lawsuit protections for health-care providers, which makes some health-care lobbyists uneasy. But physicians, nursing homes and other facilities aren’t being ignored, said Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who is sponsoring the Senate version. (Ron) DeSantis allowing the Legislature to adjourn without a sufficiently strong health-care liability legislation.”But Jacksonville health care attorney Chris Nuland, a seasoned lobbyist, doesn’t like the bifurcated approach. To place them in legal jeopardy for their sacrifice is inexcusable, and the Legislature should address that injustice immediately.”Attempts to contact the Florida Hospital Association and the Florida Health Care Association, the largest statewide nursing home group, were not immediately successful.
St. Johns County sees biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases since pandemic began
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The state Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 11,541 additional cases of the coronavirus, including 824 cases in Duval County. That’s the most cases reported in a single day in Jacksonville since July 16, the peak of the pandemic in the city. Also Wednesday, there were seven deaths reported in Duval County, part of 125 deaths that were reported statewide. St. Johns County saw its biggest one-day increase in cases since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday with 155 additional cases. Florida and Duval County daily cases reported since June 1As the number of cases has surged in Florida this fall, more COVID-19 patients also have required hospitalization.
3 Northeast Florida counties see biggest COVID-19 case increases in weeks
Also Tuesday, 94 deaths were reported in Florida, including six deaths in Northeast Florida counties. Clay County, which had the biggest one-day increase in cases on Tuesday since Sept. 12 (115), reported three deaths. Two deaths were reported in Baker County and one death was reported in Union County. According to the health department, 1,143,794 people in Florida have now tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Florida and Duval County daily cases reported since June 1As the number of cases has surged in Florida this fall, more COVID-19 patients also have required hospitalization.
Florida Senate offers double shot of ‘alcohol to go’
Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Fleming Island, separately filed measures that would allow a business holding a state alcohol license to sell or deliver spirited beverages by the package for off-site consumption. The proposals would require the liquid to be in a sealed container and to be part of a food order. We think it is a process that should continue, so we are looking to establish it in state law,” Brandes said on Friday. Brandes isn’t seeking to alter existing law that requires restaurants to reseal partially consumed bottles before patrons leave. In a 74-page report, the RESET task force, co-chaired by executives from Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Federation and the National Federation of Independent Business Florida, called existing rules restricting carryout alcohol “antiquated and no longer necessary.”DeSantis in September backed the idea of allowing carryout alcoholic beverages to become permanent.