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Tag: FloridaNews

Florida launches ‘strong case’ for Space Force

TALLAHASSEE --- Space Florida leaders on Tuesday praised aerospace facilities and commercial operations in the state, as site selectors inspected Patrick Air Force Base as a finalist to be the permanent command headquarters of Space Force.

Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello told the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors that Florida has made a “very strong case” for the Brevard County military base south of Cape Canaveral, which is one of six finalists for U.S. Space Command headquarters.

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Challenge to mask mandate dismissed in court

TALLAHASSEE --- An appeals court has tossed out a challenge by the Leon County Republican Party chairman to a county requirement that people wear face masks to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by Leon County GOP Chairman Evan Power after a circuit judge rejected the challenge in July.

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COVID hospitalizations by county

TALLAHASSEE --- The state Agency for Health Care Administration reported Monday night that 4,495 people were hospitalized with “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19. Here are 14 counties that had more than 100 hospitalizations as of Monday night:

--- Miami-Dade County: 808 people hospitalized

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Florida tourism recovery still at least year away

TALLAHASSEE --- Effects of the coronavirus pandemic on state tourism decreased in October, but recovery for Florida’s vital revenue-generating industry is still at best a year away, according to an association study released Monday.

The Destinations Florida study indicated that businesses in October were having fewer problems finding supplies than in June. The research for Destinations Florida, an association of local tourism promotion organizations, also found a slight uptick in people planning Florida trips.

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Red light cameras targeted again in House

The repeated effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras is back in the Florida House.

Howey-in-the-Hills Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini is again sponsoring a measure (HB 6009) that calls for a repeal of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Program law. The 2010 law, named after a man killed by a motorist who ran a red light, authorized the use of red-light cameras throughout the state.

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Justices take up appeal in girl’s murder

TALLAHASSEE --- More than seven years after an 8-year-old girl was abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart, raped and murdered, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether a man sentenced to death in the slaying should receive a new trial.

The June 2013 murder of Cherish Perrywinkle drew huge amounts of news coverage and public attention in Jacksonville, with a jury in 2018 finding Donald James Smith guilty and a judge sending him to Death Row.

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Senate offers double shot of ‘alcohol to go’

TALLAHASSEE --- Two state senators have uncorked proposals to make permanent a coronavirus emergency order that allowed restaurants and other food establishments with liquor licenses to include alcohol with “to-go” orders.

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.

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Confederate holidays targeted by lawmaker

State Rep. Mike Grieco, D-Miami Beach, wants lawmakers to eliminate legal holidays honoring the birthdays of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, along with a Confederate Memorial Day.

Grieco on Thursday filed a bill (HB 6007) to remove the Lee, Davis and Confederate Memorial days from a list of legal holidays on the books in Florida. A similar effort in 2018 was approved by one Senate committee but did not pass the Legislature. It drew objections from people who argued the proposal would erase Southern history. Lee’s birthday, Jan. 19, and Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, have been legal holidays in Florida since 1895. Davis’ birthday, June 3, was added in 1905.

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