DPBR Secretary Beshears steps down, citing health issues
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Citing health issues, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said he will step down from his post this month. Ron DeSantis in December 2018, said in a letter to the governor Friday that he has “been dealing with health issues” for the past two months. “It is in the best interest of my health, my family, and the department that I focus my full attention on getting well,” Beshears wrote. From ‘Deregathon’ to passing the most comprehensive regulatory reduction bill in recent history, I believe our efforts will have a significant and long-lasting impact on our great state,” Beshears wrote in Friday’s resignation letter. But, departing from ordinary regulations, Beshears did not require that a minimum amount of bar owners’ sales come from food.
State shuts down troubled Jacksonville motel
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville motel that has been a magnet for violent crime, including eight deadly shootings this year, has been shut down. He noted that the city is giving motel residents until Thursday to clear out, and they’ll be given assistance. “I think we could’ve declared this a public nuisance under a city ordinance sometime ago,” State Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville told News4Jax on Wednesday. While news of the motel’s emergency closure was met with applause on Wednesday morning’s Zoom call, not everyone was thrilled about it. It’s unclear exactly how many residents will be affected by the emergency closure, or how long the closure is expected to last.
Plan for St. Johns County gambling facility draws challenge
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state’s approval of a plan to open a pari-mutuel facility near St. Augustine has drawn a legal challenge from another gambling operator down Interstate 95. Daytona Beach Kennel Club, Inc., last week filed a challenge to a decision by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to allow the relocation of a long-existing gambling permit to the site of the planned facility in St. Johns County. The permit was used in the past at a dog track in northern St. Johns County, though it had been more recently used through an arrangement with a track in neighboring Clay County. The challenge points, in part, to the fact that the new facility would be within 50 miles of the Volusia County gambling operation, which goes by the name Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club. The Daytona Beach facility and bestbet Orange Park, the Clay County facility where the Bayard Raceways permit has been used, have ended live greyhound racing.
Florida business regulation agency grapples with breach
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Law enforcement officials have been asked to investigate a potential breach of the computer network of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The agency announced Friday it has limited operations due to “malicious activity on state-owned technology assets” that occurred Wednesday. It has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to review the security matters. A news release from department Secretary Halsey Beshears said the agency took steps to prevent the compromise of data and that the measures to protect the network will require temporary outages through Monday. “These system limitations are anticipated to continue until all systems and system functions are cleared for access by users,” the release said.
Bar license suspensions lifted after summer crackdown in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Drinks can flow at establishments where alcohol licenses were pulled this summer when the state cracked down on violations of coronavirus rules. Nine alcohol license suspensions issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation between June 22 and Aug. 10 have been lifted, department spokesman Patrick Fargason said in an email Tuesday. “As of Friday, October 2, 2020, all nine (emergency suspension order) cases have been resolved through a final order; therefore, the nine ESOs that were entered have been vacated, and the suspensions have been lifted from each license,” Fargason said. The order was lifted on June 5 in all but South Florida, which faced the strongest outbreaks of the virus. The suspensions --- some of which drew heavy publicity --- started with The Knights Pub in Orlando on June 22.
Some Florida brewery owners say customers slowly starting to return, others still waiting
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Brewery owners in St. Petersburg said they are slowly starting to see more customers come back months after they were forced to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone else is up and running,” DeSantis told a group of brewery owners during a round table discussion on Thursday. But, departing from ordinary regulations, Beshears did not require that a minimum amount of bar owners’ sales come from food. The restrictions on bars don’t make sense, she said. “Life is back to normal for everyone but us,” said Miracle, who’s among a number of bar owners suing the state over the closures.
States top regulator meets with Jacksonville bar, brewery owners
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Struggling to survive -- thats how many local brewery owners say they feel during the pandemic. Beshears began with separate private talks Friday afternoon in Jacksonville with groups of craft-brewery owners and bar owners. I really think that he is behind us, (but) his process is slow, Crooked Rooster Brewery owner Sarah Sheppard said after meeting with Beshears. Its just another three weeks, another four weeks, another week or two, -- (but) some breweries wont make it, Sheppard said. We need to stop this.At Fridays meeting, the owners offered ideas for online sales, beer deliveries and earlier closing times across the board.
Florida’s top regulator looking at how to open bars safely
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s top business regulator said Saturday that he planned to set up meetings with bar owners to discuss how they can reopen their businesses again safely, as the Sunshine State surpassed New York State in the total number of coronavirus cases. Next week starting Friday, I’m going to set meetings throughout Florida with breweries and bars to discuss ideas on how to reopen. The Florida Department of Health reported 12,199 new cases Saturday, bringing the state’s total since March 1 to 414,511 cases. By comparison, New York State has had more than 25,100 deaths. The state health department has recorded 892 COVID-19 deaths over the past week, an average of 127 per day.
Read the order halting on-site alcohol consumption at Florida bars
On Friday, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an executive order suspending on-site consumption of alcoholic beverages at bars statewide. Plan for Floridas Recovery;Whereas, on June 3, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-139 initiating Phase 2 of the Safe. All vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises who derive more than 50% of gross revenue from such sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. Such vendors may continue to sell alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for consumption off the premises in accordance with Executive Order 20-71, Sections 1 and 2. Executive this 26th day of June, 2020, in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida.
Mayor: City inspectors to join state in checking bars, restaurants
Ron DeSantis announced crackdowns on restaurants and bars that fail to follow coronavirus guidelines included in the governors executive order, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city has created a task force to handle enforcement locally. State Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco officers will check on bars and restaurants around the state between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., the DBPR secretary said. At least 13 employees and 28 patrons at The Knights Pub had tested positive for COVID-19. News4Jax made a request with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to find out if any Jacksonville-area restaurants or bars have received citations or complaints. The governor had warned Saturday that his administration would ramp up inspections by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Inspections lead to restaurant closures in Jacksonville area
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Inspectors' goal is to ensure your safety by making sure restaurants don't have violations that could make you sick. In this week's Restaurant Report, News4Jax spoke with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to find out what inspectors found that led to area restaurants shutting down. When health inspectors said they found two critical violations at Stan's Sandwich and Grill on Hendricks Avenue, it was immediately ordered to close. Inspectors said they found 22 lives roaches and 20 dead roaches on the kitchen floor. At last check, the business was still closed Monday when inspectors said more roaches were found.
More than 300 rodent droppings found in area restaurants
Last week, health hazards were found in four restaurants with emergency closures. According to state regulators' records, roaches and rodent droppings were the main issue, with more than two dozen droppings on the kitchen floor under the front counter, the cooler and kitchen baseboard. In Jacksonville Beach, health inspectors briefly shut down Ruby Beach Brewing on First Avenue. They said approximately 200 rodent droppings were in the kitchen and brewery. Inspectors said they found nearly 100 rodent droppings, a hole in the ceiling, mold in the ice machine and a sink lacking hot water.
More than 200 rodents droppings found in area restaurants
Roaches and rodent droppings were the main issue. A health inspector briefly shut down Ruby Beach Brewing on 1st Avenue in Jacksonville Beach. They say approximately 200 rodent droppings were in the kitchen and brewery. After some cleaning, Ruby Beach was approved to reopen the next day. Inspectors found nearly 100 rodent droppings, a hole in the ceiling, mold in the ice machine and a sink lacking hot water.