Northeast Florida gets over $54M for projects through resilient Florida grant program
Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Pinellas and Miami-Dade counties Tuesday to announce the award of grants totaling over $404 million for 113 environmental resilience projects across the state through the Resilient Florida Grant Program, which will help prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge.
Investigators trying to identify hundreds of bodies in Miami
Twenty-five years ago, a man feeding ducks with his nephew spotted a cardboard box wrapped in rope and duct tape floating down a Miami Lakes canal. Thinking it might be something valuable, they corralled the box, opened it and were immediately met with the smell of rotting flesh.
State Board of Education eyes 11 school districts over mask policies
Continuing to pressure school districts over their handling of COVID-19, the State Board of Education has scheduled a meeting next week to look at whether 11 districts have complied with rules aimed at preventing student mask mandates.
2 more large Florida school districts defy state over mask mandate
Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties have become the third and fourth school districts in Florida to adopt stricter mask mandates, a day after school boards in Broward and Alachua counties faced threats of severe penalties for defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, which says parents should decide whether their children wear masks.
Snook fishing reopens for some areas February 1st
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Snook is slated to reopen for recreational harvest on Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to carefully handle and release snook you are not going to keep, which helps them survive after being released and helps ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”For more information about snook, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”
Miami-Dade hits grim milestone: 200K virus cases
MIAMI – The Department of Health said Saturday that Florida logged 4,452 new coronavirus cases, with 3,151 current hospitalizations. Miami-Dade has the most number of cases, logging more than 200,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to state statistics. The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals have risen in recent weeks. The state’s online census of hospitals showed numbers hovering between 2,000 and 2,200 for most of last month. The state’s outbreak peaked over the summer, with nearly 10,000 patients being treated in late July.
Eta soaks South Florida, weakens as it moves away from Keys
Tropical Storm Eta caused severe flooding in South Florida in areas already saturated from previous downpours. The system made landfall in the Florida Keys and posed a serious threat across South Florida, which was already drenched from more than 14 inches of rain last month. The Hurricane Warning for the Florida Keys and Florida Bay have been replaced with a Tropical Storm Warning. The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for the Florida west coast from Englewood to Anna Maria Island. On the forecast track, the center of Eta will gradually pull away from the Florida Keys and south Florida today and be over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico tonight through Wednesday.
Facing state pressure, Miami schools OK reopening next week
MIAMI – Faced with a state ultimatum, the Miami-Dade school board agreed unanimously to reopen schools for classroom instruction next week despite looming fears that they're unprepared to prevent another spike in coronavirus infections. It was either share classroom air again or lose millions in state funding by scratching a reopening plan approved by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. He ordered the board in a letter last week to follow through on Monday, and said the state would allow only case-by-case exceptions for certain schools. Ron DeSantis have pushed for classroom instruction to begin again. In Miami-Dade, where schools have struggled to successfully implement remote instruction this school year, no school has more than four infections, the numbers show.
Teenager arrested in cyberattacks on Miami-Dade schools
District police said they also believe others were involved in the cyberattacks, which have plagued the Miami-Dade schools since they reopened Monday and students began receiving online instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We will not rest until every one of them is caught and brought to justice,” schools police chief Edwin Lopez said. Earlier, officials revealed that Carvalho had never signed a $15.3 million contract with the online platform at the center of the crisis. Ron Steiger, the Miami-Dade County school district's chief financial officer, made the announcement Wednesday during a school board meeting to discuss the failures of K12's online platform, My School Online, the Miami Herald reported. And the district could only measure one-time log-ins, not sustained participation, which is a feature offered by My School Online.
Florida passes 300,000 COVID-19 cases, averaging about 10,000 cases a day in July
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Florida reached yet another grim milestone Wednesday, passing 300,000 total cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began. According to data released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Health, the state has reported 301,810 confirmed COVID-19 cases. So far for the month of July, Florida has reported 149,376 cases in just over two weeks, averaging just over 9,958 cases a day. The state has now recorded 4,626 COVID-19 deaths with seven more deaths reported in the greater Jacksonville area. Health officials attributed most of the new cases reported Tuesday to infections in Columbia Correctional Institute.
7 more COVID-19 deaths in greater Jacksonville, 133 more statewide
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The number of new cases of coronvirus in both Florida and Duval County continued to decline in Tuesdays report from the Department of Health, but there were 133 more deaths from COVID-19 reported statewide -- a new daily record -- there were three additional deaths COVID-19 in Jacksonville, three more in Clay County and one more in Nassau County. While that was the smallest daily increase since last week, the rate of positive tests went up from 11.46% on Monday to 15.02% on Tuesday. St. Johns County added 114 cases -- one below its daily record set last week. Columbia County surged by 149 cases after an increase of 114 the day before. Clay County has now had 39 deaths from COVID-19.
Virus detours Florida drivers getting licenses
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Floridas newest drivers still need to take behind-the-wheel tests to get licenses, but they should expect some changes in the way tests are conducted, at least while the coronavirus is still around. State and local offices across Florida have been closed since March due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of teens and new drivers waiting to get their drivers licenses. In April, 65 drivers licenses were issued, compared to the 3,800 licenses issued last April, he said. As Bay County restarts road tests, drivers license offices in a number of Florida counties and state-operated offices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Volusia counties have not reopened. He said his instructors are taking precautions and wear a double mask, a face mask and a plastic shield, every time they conduct road tests with students.
FBI joins search for missing baby after deaths of 3 women
MIAMI, Fla. – The FBI has joined the search for a newborn baby who disappeared after his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were fatally shot in South Florida, official said. FBI spokesman Michael Leverock confirmed the agency is assisting in the case, the Miami Herald reported Monday. Andrew Caballeiro was a week old when his father, Ernesto Caballeiro, 49, kidnapped him last month, Miami-Dade police said. A short time later, police found the bodies of Arlety García Valdés, 40; Isabel Valdés González, 60; and Lina González Licor, 84. “Our detectives are still following all the leads they have in the case," Miami-Dade police Detective Ángel Rodríguez said.
Snook fishing reopens Feb 1st
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Snook is slated to reopen for recreational harvest on Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”The season will remain open through May 31. This program allows anglers to participate in the collection of data, such as the size, age, maturity and sex, of one of Florida's premier inshore fish. For a county-by-county list of drop-off locations, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook” under the heading “Saltwater Fish,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”Capt Don Dingman, of Hook The Future TV, releases a healthy snookFor more information about snook, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”
Miami-Dade to no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases
Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesMIAMI, Fla. - The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office will no longer prosecute minor cases involving marijuana, and police there will now be required to confirm suspected marijuana in felony cases with lab testing. Our sister station, Local10.com, reports the decision was announced Thursday in a memo sent to law enforcement agencies. Smelling or observing what officers suspect is cannabis will no longer be sufficient to establish probable cause of actually being cannabis, according to the memo. Hemp, which is similar to marijuana but does not contain THC, became legal in Florida in July. "There is no way to visually or microscopically distinguish hemp from marijuana."
How bad is crime where you live?
Some counties have a crime rate six times higher than other counties. In general, larger counties tend to have a higher crime rate, but there are many other factors that contribute to crime than more people. With 3,948 crimes per 100,000 residents, Duval County's overall crime rate is second only to Leon County (Tallahassee) among Florida counties. Alachua County's crime rate (3,706 per 100,000) has the fourth-highest crime rate in the state, one spot ahead of Miami-Dade, which has 10 times more people. Among Florida's metropolitan counties, Duval County clearly has the most murders per capita.