Mayor Lenny Curry tells Elon Musk that Jacksonville would make perfect headquarters for Twitter
A day after it was announced that Elon Musk had purchased Twitter for $44 billion, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry joined a chorus of elected officials looking to convince Musk to move Twitter headquarters to their state.
Jacksonville insurance agent accused of writing 98 fraudulent life policies
An insurance agent was arrested and charged with fraud after state investigators said he submitted fraudulent life insurance policy applications without the knowledge or consent of the named policyholders in order to obtain commissions.
Who are the people shifting through the rubble at the Surfside building collapse?
The disaster in Surfside has drawn emergency crews from across Florida. The number on the ground is equal to what was deployed in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 hurricane that devastated the Panhandle in 2018, the state fire marshal said.news.yahoo.com
Death toll hits 11 in Champlain condo collapse on fifth day of search for 150 missing
The fifth day of an unprecedented international rescue effort brought only grim news: Two more bodies were pulled from the twisted metal-and-concrete ruins of Champlain Towers South, raising the death toll on Monday to 11 and dimming prospects of finding survivors.news.yahoo.com
Heartbreaking task of recovering bodies underway at condo site. Four deaths confirmed
The arduous and heartbreaking task of recovering the bodies of victims at the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo began overnight and continued into a somber Friday morning in Surfside.news.yahoo.com
Florida’s DeSantis signs COVID-19 lawsuit protection bill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida businesses, governments and healthcare providers will be protected from coronavirus lawsuits if they made a good effort to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under a bill signed by Republican Gov. The legislation was the first bill to go to the governor during the 60-day legislative session that began March 2. In order for a lawsuit to move ahead, a plaintiff would have to show that the defendant deliberately ignored guidelines. DeSantis had a live band playing a cover version of The Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends” in the Cabinet meeting room before he signed the bill. They said the language in the bill and need to prove gross negligence will make it difficult to bring a case forward.
Insurance, K9s and weed among Cabinet legislative priorities
The Associated Press interviewed each of the Cabinet members to discuss their 2021 legislative priorities:CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER JIMMY PATRONISOne of Patronis's top priorities reflects an issue supported by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican legislative leaders: Passing a bill to shield businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19. He said he was inspired by a California law that went into affect last year in that state. A wide ranging food insecurity bill would create a tax credit of up to $5,000 for farmers who donate food to charities. “It makes sure that we can go after those folks like guardians and other fiduciaries that are exceeding their scope and taking advantage and exploiting seniors,” Moody said.
Florida’s 2021 legislative session; governor’s State of the State address; UNF research polls
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On this edition of “This Week in Jacksonville,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis weighs in on what can be accomplished during Florida’s 2021 legislative session. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried shares her thoughts on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ State of the State address. And University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab Director Dr. Michael Binder explains recent poll results.
COVID-19 protections sought for Florida workers
Members of House and Senate panels have expressed concerns that workers who allege they contracted COVID-19 on the job aren’t getting workers’ compensation benefits. A state report shows that 29,400 coronavirus-related workers’ compensation claims were filed as of Dec. 31, including 13,409 claims filed by health care workers and educators. Claims related to COVID-19 accounted for 31 percent of the 93,228 workers’ compensation claims filed in 2020. Bill Herrle, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Florida, said it’s insurers, not employers, that determine whether workers’ compensation claims lead to payments. “Insurers licensed to provide workers’ compensation coverage in Florida are reminded of this statutory requirement, which must be applied on a non-discriminatory basis,” Altmaier’s memo said.
Olympic dream? CFO urges Summer Games to move from Tokyo to Florida
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee on Monday encouraging them to consider relocating the 2021 Olympics from Tokyo to the United States and, more specifically, to Florida. “The state of Florida has successfully allowed sports to take place during the pandemic,” Patronis wrote to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee. Additionally, our international tourist destinations, like Disney parks have been open and operating safely in Florida for some time. Japan was awarded the 2020 Summer Games in 2013 and has spent at least $25 billion preparing for the Olympics. Publicly, the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan are adamant that the games will happen and are planning for the four-month torch relay across Japan to begin March 25.
COVID-19 business protections clear first hurdle
Bill sponsor Lawrence McClure, R-Dover, said “fewer than 10” lawsuits have been filed against business owners related to COVID-19. The other proposed amendments were offered by Rep. Ben Diamond, a St. Petersburg Democrat who is an attorney. “I think that idea, candidly, jeopardizes the bill,” Diamond said. The committee shot down the two amendments by Diamond, including one that would have deleted the provision from the bill. Diamond called the withdrawn amendment “a first attempt at this issue” of providing greater protections to employees.
New fireworks law helps ring in new year
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, whose job includes the role of state fire marshal, cautioned Floridians to follow fire-safety guidelines ahead of the first New Year’s holiday with a law bolstering the availability of fireworks. Ron DeSantis signed a measure (SB 140) that allows people 18 and older to buy fireworks to use on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Independence Day. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, called the state’s prior fireworks rules “one of the craziest laws we have on the books.” The old fireworks law prohibited explosives, such as firecrackers, torpedoes and roman candles, while allowing relatively innocuous devices such as sparklers. “You’re basically perjuring yourself every time you purchase fireworks, because you’re signing a paper that most people, I would say everyone, doesn’t use for that purpose,” Rodriguez said in February. The new law eliminated the need for people to declare why they are buying fireworks if they use the fireworks during the three holidays listed in the bill.
Democrats attack DeSantis as first-time unemployment claims tick up
Ron DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, as first-time unemployment claims in Florida were up last week from the holiday-shortened previous week. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 25,012 initial jobless claims were submitted in Florida during the week that ended Dec. 5, up from 23,063 claims during the previous week, which included Thanksgiving. Last week’s Florida total was among the lowest for a seven-day period since pandemic-related unemployment exploded across the state and nation in March. Since the start of November, the state has averaged just over 26,000 new claims a week. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has paid out nearly $19.1 billion, mostly in federal money, to almost 2.13 million unemployment claimants since March 15.
Push for Jacksonville firefighters to be among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Florida prepares for the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed, there’s a push to get firefighters who deal with medical calls to the front of the line. Right now firefighters who are also EMTs are not in Phase 1 of the vaccine plan like hospital workers are. All we’re saying is treat them the same way you treat our doctors and nurses.”News4Jax also reached out to Randy Wyse with the Jacksonville Firefighter’s Union. He said all Jacksonville firefighters who are on the street are trained EMTs. A CDC spokeswoman issued an emailed statement:“ACIP, CDC’s independent vaccine advisory committee, traditionally develops vaccine recommendations that go to the CDC director for approval before becoming official CDC policy.
Florida AG backs Texas challenge to election results in 4 states
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday joined 16 other states in backing a last-chance effort by Texas to get the U.S. Supreme Court to block election results in four swing states where the vote went in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. “The integrity and resolution of the 2020 election is of paramount importance,” Moody wrote in a statement as Florida joined a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to allow Texas to move forward with the case. The other states are Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear a challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results. Also, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis backed Trump’s efforts in an interview Wednesday with The News Service of Florida.
Lauren Verno answers your questions about the Holiday Money Hunt
News4Jax teamed up with the Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ office to find people that money. Twenty-four hours after the Holiday Money Hunt began, 3,441 people in Jacksonville had claimed $610,587.92. In News4Jax’s original story on the Holiday Money Hunt, we broke down how much money was available in more than 100 ZIP codes across Northeast Florida. The message says “Notification of Required Maintenace.” The CFO’s office says the website performs routine maintenance at different times of the day. Finally, if you don’t find any money for yourself, make sure to check for friends, family and neighbors.
How to protect yourself from Black Friday scams
As more Floridians than ever turn to online shopping, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from fraud and scams. 4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Black Friday ScamsIf it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be careful of unfamiliar merchants and be extra wary of items listed at prices well below those of other shops. Credit cards offer consumer protection if things go wrong with a purchase. To report fraud or learn about ways to protect yourself from scams, visit FraudFreeFlorida.com.