Central Florida drivers try to find gas, restore utilities in Ian’s aftermath
ORLANDO, Fla. — Saturday is the first day of the state gas tax holiday. Read: Hurricane Ian: Video shows rough seas washing away part of Daytona Beach Sunglow PierRestoration efforts are still happening days after Ian hit downtown Orlando. VIDEO: Navigating alligators and debris, out-of-state linemen restore Central Florida’s power After Hurricane Ian blew through Central Florida, customers are waiting with various levels of patience for their services to be restored. Read: Riverdale Elementary floods after Hurricane Ian passes through Orange CountyThis is just an example of people who are doing what they can, when they can. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 55 Lake Ivanhoe An apparent washout happened near Lake Ivanhoe following Hurricane Ian.wftv.com
Early voting for the primary election starts Monday in Central Florida
Video: Early voting for the primary election starts Monday in Central Florida Early voting for the primary election starts Monday in Central Florida (WFTV)ORLANDO, Fla. — Early voting in the 2022 primary election starts Monday for Central Florida, and specifically for Orange County. Florida is a closed-primary state, which means only registered voters who identify with a political party are able to vote in the primary election. She said it’s important for people to cast their ballots early and plan ahead, especially when busy schedules can get in the way of Election Day. Early voting will last through Aug. 21. Other Central Florida counties start early voting later this week.wftv.com
Hundreds march across downtown Orlando for abortion rights
ORLANDO, Fla. — Hundreds of people marched across downtown Orlando in the name of women’s rights. It is the second-largest demonstration in Orlando since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. READ: Abortion debate continues after Florida judge rules state 15-week ban is unconstitutionalProtesters said they are going to keep doing so until something gets done. This all comes just a day before a Tallahassee judge is expected to publish his ruling, blocking the 15-week ban on abortion in Florida. READ: Judge rules 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional, but access will still be temporarily restricted“It’s more about being a mother and seeing this happen or being a friend to other people who deserve the right to health care regardless of religious belief,” she said.wftv.com
Upwards of 1,000 march for abortion rights in Orlando, shut down Orange Avenue
However, police were forced to block Orange Avenue, the city’s main road, as the block-long crowd turned and marched toward city hall. “It’s unimaginable.”Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 5 Abortion rally Pro-choice protesters at an abortion-related rally in Orlando, Florida. Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban is now before a circuit judge only four days before it’s set to take effect. On Monday, the judge heard arguments about the abortion restrictions state lawmakers passed this year. WATCH: Central Florida reacts to Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on abortion rightsVideo: Protesters rally for abortion rights at Orlando City Hall A group of protesters rallied for abortion rights Saturday in Orlando.wftv.com
Happening today: Judge set to hear arguments on Florida’s 15-week abortion law – WFTV
ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge is set to hear arguments over a possible hold on Florida’s 15-week abortion law. Those who want to put the new Florida law on hold argue that the differences come down to fetal development and the fetus’ and the mother’s ability to survive the pregnancy. READ: DeSantis signs nearly 3 dozen bills, including banning smoking and giving grandparents more rightsUnder current Florida law, the state allows abortions up to 24 weeks. “The people of Florida say they support abortion and they support privacy as well.”Gov. READ: Florida’s privacy measure protects abortion, providers argueThe state also argues that most abortions happen before 15 weeks.wftv.com
Florida leaders argue over holding special session to strengthen state abortion laws
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Republican who represents Lake County’s District 32 in the Florida House of Representatives, is calling for a special legislative session after the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion case was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court Friday.
Orange County residents fed up with rising rents, ask commissioners to declare ‘state of emergency’
VIDEO: OC Residents fed up with rising rents, ask commissioners to declare a “state of emergency" VIDEO: OC Residents fed up with rising rents, ask commissioners to declare a “state of emergency" (Angela Jacobs, WFTV.com/WFTV)ORNAGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County residents are concerned over skyrocketing rent, asking county leaders to reconsider declaring a “housing state of emergency” during Tuesday’s county commissioner meeting. County leaders told Channel 9 that they plan to look at more ways to combat the increase. County leaders said they’ll discuss a potential rent cap later this week, but the focus of today’s panel of legal experts was to investigate discrimination against those trying to find affordable housing. “Many victims of housing discrimination can feel helpless,” said Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani, who led today’s panel. Read: Central Florida man arrested after trying to entice young girl into car, police sayHousing advocates find housing discrimination against those with disabilities, who are the most prevalent.wftv.com
Remote workers causing strain on Orlando home prices, experts say
ORLANDO, Fla. — As housing prices climb higher, Central Florida workers are being met with increasingly fewer options as they seek a home with good schools and a short commute to work. READ: Orlando rent hikes fueled by more young adults moving to area, study saysThe reasons are obvious: sunshine, zero income taxes and lower property values – all on a Manhattan salary. READ: Orange County neighborhood hit by Charley, tornado struggling to get or keep insuranceThere are no signs this sudden onslaught is cooling down. READ: Orange County looks at rent control measure to ease skyrocketing living costsThe competition from would-be residents has current residents worried. “A good amount of companies and Florida, especially Orlando don’t want remote workers,” Lori Ellis said.wftv.com
Orange County looks at rent control measure to ease skyrocketing living costs
This would be the first time in recent Florida history a rent control measure passed, if it does. “If my mortgage had gone up by $400 I would be in a pickle,” said Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla. With Orange County renters facing extraordinary hikes in their monthly payments, local politicians are calling on the county to put a rent control measure on the November ballot. WATCH: Orange County politicians want voters to decide to limit rent hikesBonilla is confident she will have the votes. Under state law, rent control does not apply to apartment buildings where rent averaged $250 in 1977.wftv.com
FDOT ‘aggressively exploring’ how to speed up adding wrong-way detection system to I-4 Express lanes
In a statement to News 6 Tuesday afternoon, FDOT spokesperson Jessica Ottaviano said the state transportation agency is now "aggressively exploring avenues" to accelerate the installation of a wrong-way vehicle detection system on all direct-connect ramps that feed traffic to and from I-4 Express lanes to and from local roads.
Hundreds rally in Orlando against controversial bills in Tallahassee
ORLANDO, Fla. — A coalition, calling themselves Floridians Mobilizing Against Hate, held a “Rally for Our Collective Rights” at Orlando’s City Hall on Saturday to protest legislative proposals coming out of Tallahassee. “What we have is legislatures that are supposed to make a safer Florida and a more accepting Florida working against us,” said rally participant Joel Morales. “We will continue to support our LGBTQ+ community because Orlando is and will always continue to be a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Dyer. The rally was moderated by the director of communications for Equality Florida Brandon Wolf and Tatiana Quiroga, executive director of Come Out With Pride. Channel 9 will continue to follow the legislative session and let you know what the governor signs into law.wftv.com
‘Rally for Our Collective Rights’ being held on Saturday at Orlando City Hall
ORLANDO, Fla. — A coalition of progressive organizations is holding a rally to raise awareness against bills being passed by the Florida Legislature that they claim are attacking the rights of women, immigrants, people of color, trans youth and LGBTQ+ communities. The “Rally for Our Collective Rights” is being held at Orlando City Hall at noon on Saturday. Read: I-4 Express: New express lanes officially openSpeakers at Saturday’s rally will include Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan and State Rep. Anna Eskamani, as well as representatives from faith-based groups, activists and schools from around Central Florida. Read: Florida GOP ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill advances in HouseThe group expects hundreds of people to attend Saturday’s rally. ©2022 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
Florida lawmakers to consider change to controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida lawmakers will consider a change to a controversial bill dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The bill would limit discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in school. READ: Florida’s ‘Don’t say gay’ bill tweaked in an effort to appease criticsA change to the legislation would require schools to let parents know within six weeks if their child comes out as LGBTQ. POLL: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill could ban talk of sexual orientation, gender identity in Florida schoolsState Rep. Anna Eskamani filed an amendment in direct response. READ: White House denounces Florida GOP over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ billChannel 9′s Christy Turner emailed the lawmakers behind the original bill and the bill’s amendment for comment.wftv.com
Florida House passes bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A proposal to ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy has passed the Florida House. If it becomes law, women would have 15 weeks to terminate a pregnancy, instead of 24 weeks. READ: Girl missing since 2019 found aliveThe bill is one of the most hotly debated issues of the 2022 legislative session. Activists broke out into a chant inside the House gallery in Tallahassee, voicing their opposition of the bill. The Republican-controlled House passed the controversial bill in a 78 to 39 vote.wftv.com
Florida House panel gives initial nod to controversial abortion proposal
Despite fierce objections from Democrats who argued the proposal is unconstitutional, a Florida House panel on Wednesday approved a controversial bill that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Florida lawmakers to debate restrictive abortion bill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are set to go head-to-head Wednesday on a restrictive abortion bill. The measure seeks to shrink the window to get an abortion to 15 weeks. The bill, House Bill Five, mentions restricting when a doctor can perform an abortion, and under what conditions. READ: State legislatures in US poised to act on abortion rightsHouse Bill Five challenges the precedents set by the 1973 decision of Roe vs. Wade. Florida Voice for the Unborn Executive Director Andrew Shirvell said it’s a long time coming.wftv.com
For some Central Floridians, Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol still feels personal
“It’s not just Washington, it’s nationally.”In Washington, Democrats and some Republicans also took time to reflect. See photos below:Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 5 January 6 vigil Orlando People gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the attack “can’t be justified” and called on the people involved to be held accountable. However, he admonished Democrats for playing up the anniversary and comparing the attack to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. As of Jan. 6, 2022, more than 700 people faced an array of charges and prison sentences related to the attack.wftv.com
Florida’s property insurance mess cause isn’t being addressed, lawmaker says
ORLANDO, Fla. — Despite massively raising prices for homeowners over the past few decades, the 52 property insurance companies serving Florida are bleeding money, regulators and lobbyists said. Tenants are also affected because many landlords pass on property insurance costs through lease agreements. According to LendingTree, Florida’s property insurance costs rose three times faster than the national average between 2016 and today. Florida’s government offers assistance in the form of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a state-backed company that offers below-market rates to people who cannot afford private insurance. Read: Procter & Gamble to raise prices on household staplesThose proposals were opposed by insurance companies that didn’t want the competition, she said.wftv.com
Florida’s ‘vaccine passport’ ban will be enforced starting this month
ORLANDO, Fla — Florida’s headline-grabbing move to ban so-called “vaccine passports” is finally getting teeth. DeSantis’ original executive order, released in the spring, penalized any offenders with a $5,000 fine per violation. “The government’s role is to provide information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and to ensure that all eligible residents have access to the vaccines.”Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon. 33% said they’d be more likely to visit, while 35% responded that they didn’t care either way.wftv.com
Masks ordered for most Florida students, defying DeSantis
A majority of school board members in Orange County told the superintendent on Tuesday to require most students to wear masks, and agreed with her recommendation to keep the mandate through Oct. 30. At least 10 school boards making up some of the largest districts in Florida are now defying the governor's attempt to ban local mandates on masks in schools. State officials have threatened to withhold funding equal to school board salaries if a district doesn’t comply. “We will not be pressured by the governor or the state Board of Education when the safety and health of our students is involved. We have a constitutional duty to protect our students,” said Miami-Dade school board member Lucia Baez-Geller.wftv.com
Cuban protests bring up questions about Florida’s anti-riot law
Orlando Cuba protests People gathered across Orlando to march in solidarity with the thousands of Cubans who marched through the streets of Havana on Sunday. The legislation protects First Amendment freedoms, while ensuring that law enforcement professionals are empowered to use their discretion to maintain public safety. Under pre-existing Florida law, blocking or obstructing a roadway without a proper permit has long been illegal. This provision did not change when Governor DeSantis signed HB 1. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state have discretion to enforce Florida law in a manner that ensures the safety of all motorists and pedestrians.wftv.com
Washington Post, New York Times and NBC News retract reports on FBI Giuliani briefing
The New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC News issued corrections on Saturday to clarify that Rudy Giuliani did not receive advance warning from the FBI that he was the target of a Russian influence campaign. Why it matters: The corrections, which follow extensive reporting from the outlets to outline Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine, come after federal investigators searched Giuliani's apartment last week as part of a probe on whether his Ukraine lobbying on behalf of former President Trump broke federal law.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeState of play: "An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation," read the Post's correction. "That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings."According to CNN, NBC said its story "was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani."The backdrop: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that Putin "had purview over" the activities of Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, a former associate of Giuliani — which included the two men meeting to discuss Biden's and his son Hunter's dealings in Ukraine. The FBI was made aware in late 2019 that Giuliani "was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead of last year’s election," per the Post, which first reported the story.Giuliani denied any wrongdoing in a statement and argued the search warrants demonstrated a “corrupt double standard” from the Justice Department, per the Times.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.news.yahoo.com
Florida House ready to pass bill effectively barring transgender girls, women from competing in high school, college sports
The Florida House is poised to pass a measure that would bar transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s high-school and college sports, amid...orlandoweekly.com
State partnering with faith-based community to bring vaccines into underserved areas
ORLANDO, Fla. – As part of an effort to get people in underserved communities access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. State Reps. Travaris McCurdy and Anna Eskamani worked with the state to get 600 people vaccinated on Saturday. “We’ve done dozens and dozens and dozens of vaccine sites at churches, predominantly African American churches, since the beginning of January,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday in Ocala. “We’re going to the people instead of putting the burden on people to go to these other sites,” McCurdy said. The state is hosting a vaccination event on Sunday at Shiloh Baptist Church Youth Life Center in Orlando.
Record budget, Big Tech regulation among big issues lawmakers will face during Florida’s legislative session
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida lawmakers are getting ready to descend on Tallahassee to debate policy, pass new laws and put together a state budget. Perhaps the biggest hurdle lawmakers will face during the 60-day legislative session is the record $96.6 billion budget put forth by Gov. News 6 political expert Dr. Jim Clark joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com” to break down what to expect over the next two months. State Rep. Anna Eskamani, (D) District 47, also appeared on the program to explain what her legislative priorities are this year and whether she’s considering a run for governor in 2022. Florida’s legislative session kicks off Tuesday, March 2.
Florida Republicans proposing changes to Bright Futures, student financial aid
Students whose majors aren’t on the list would receive less funding from the Bright Futures Scholarship. Bright Futures students are currently eligible for 100% or 75% of tuition but under this bill that would depend on their education track. “I went to UCF on Bright Futures and wouldn’t be here today without it,” said Eskamani. “We need to protect and enhance Bright Futures not cut it.”Along with the changes to Bright Futures, the proposal would also create two new financial aid programs. AdThe Florida Endeavor Scholarship would benefit students without a high school diploma who wish to enroll in a certificate or high school equivalency program.
Rep. Eskamani files bill to repeal tax credit program exploited by Universal Orlando
click image Photo courtesy Universal Orlando/FacebookFlorida Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, has filed legislation to eliminate a corporate tax break regularly used — and abused — by big businesses including, in our own backyard, Universal Orlando.The bill, HB 6043 , would repeal the Urban High-Crime Area Job Tax Credit Program which has been on the books since 1997. The tax break was originally meant to draw businesses and investment to low-income urban areas in Florida. (Walmart has raked in millions from this program as well. )Some of the original sponsors of the bill have turned against what has essentially become a taxpayer handout for corporations. called Universal's use of this credit "an abuse of what we intended," way back in 2013 during a Sentinel interview .orlandoweekly.com
Police on Alert in Tallahassee as FBI Warns of "Armed Protests"
State and local law enforcement agencies in Tallahassee are bracing for potential protests at the Florida Capitol this weekend and early next week, although officials say there are no specific threats right now. Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil is one of the local law enforcement officials who requested the closures. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is “aware of the information regarding possible protests and violence at state capitols,” the state agency said in a prepared statement issued Tuesday. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that law enforcement “reinforcements” will be on hand if anyone plans to participate in armed protests at the state Capitol. DeSantis, however, has not asked the Florida National Guard to join other forces in Tallahassee, according to Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Caitlin Brown.flaglerlive.com
Frontyard Fest and CFCArts present ‘Noel: The Carols of Christmas’ next week with local celeb narrators
click image Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commonsclick image Photo courtesy CFCArts InstagramCFCArts Orchestra performing outdoors at Halloween this yearCFCArts is getting in on some Frontyard Festival action next week withan evening of holiday song and stories with some special guest narrators.A handful of local celebs are set to take part in, giving a dramatic read of the story of Christmas: Jason Guy from WESH, Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Rep. Anna Eskamani, Reverend Dr. Randolph Bracy Jr., Chad and Leslye from Magic 107.7-FM, and Jenny Castillo from RUMBA 100.3-FM.“We’re so honored and excited to have the participation of these highly respected community leaders,” said Joshua Vickery, executive director of CFCArts, in a press statement. “We will also have some surprise guests joining us in performance that night!”The music will come courtesy of the able hands and voices of members of the CFCArts Community Choir and Symphony Orchestra, and conductors Justin Muchoney and Vickery.All Frontyard Festival performances are outdoors in front of the Dr. Phillips Center in Downtown Orlando. Tickets are sold per socially distanced pod seating — each pod accommodates 2-5 people. 'Noel: The Carols of Christmas' takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15. Tickets are still available for purchase onlineorlandoweekly.com
Monthly Vegan Outlet outdoor market kicks off soon at Henao Center with guest Rep. Anna Eskamani
click image Photo courtesy Henao Center/FacebookThe Henao Center's new outdoor Sound Garden spaceA new monthly plant-based market, the Vegan Outlet, is launching this month at Orlando's Henao Center and there will be a special guest appearance by local Rep. Anna Eskamani to give the event that much more pizzazz.Set for the second Saturday of each month, the Vegan Outlet is debuting next weekend. The Outlet, the brainchild of Jeremy Santos ( Orlando Bearded Vegan ), will feature 30 local vendors proffering fine eats, but also arts and artisanal items. The Vegan Outlet happens on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Henao Center's outdoor Sound Garden space. Rep. Anna Eskamani will speak at noon.The event is free. Masks are required for vendors and attendees.orlandoweekly.com
Sweeping losses leave Florida Dems in shreds as they gear up for midterm elections in 2022
click to enlarge photo via NSFRep. Anna EskamaniForget purple state. We need a whole new direction for the @FlaDems,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, tweeted before 10 p.m. Tuesday. “We are losing too many incredible down ballot elected officials and candidates right now and it’s not ok. I know we have the potential to be better and do better. “I think all those things combine.”Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters, who also serves as a state senator from Sarasota, credited the GOP’s turnout machine, fundraising efforts by Gov.orlandoweekly.com
Flagler and Florida Democrats Face a Reckoning After Dismal Showing at Every Level
The only elected Black elected official serves on the Flagler Beach City Commission, one of whose five commission members is a Democrat. Even before Trump officially notched his win Tuesday night in Florida, some Democrats were calling for a state party shakeup. Eskamani, who is seen as a rising star in what’s known as the “back row” where Democrats sit in the Florida House chamber, said the state party needs a top-to-bottom makeover. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, acknowledged that Florida Democrats “suffered some hard losses” on election night. Democrats’ losses might be hardest felt in the state Senate, where they had hoped to pick up two open seats to chip away at the GOP’s 23-17 advantage.flaglerlive.com
Florida House Speaker denies coronavirus death toll; critics call it an attempt to 'downplay the pandemic'
click to enlarge Photo via NSFHouse Speaker Jose OlivaThe Florida House speaker on Tuesday called into question the state’s COVID-19 death toll, warning that it was based on compromised data and used a methodology that inflated death rates. Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, sent a memo Tuesday to all House members announcing the findings of an-in house analysis he ordered of the state’s COVID-19 death numbers and cautioned lawmakers against using the data for policy purposes. Information released Tuesday by the state Department of Health said 15,531 Florida residents have died of COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health provided 13,920 COVID-19 death certificates to House staff members for analysis. “Certifying the cause of death is an expression of a medical opinion, and clinicians can disagree about a diagnosis or a cause of death.orlandoweekly.com
GOP's jobless benefit plan could mean delays, states warn
A Republican proposal to slash the $600 weekly benefit boost for those left jobless because of the coronavirus shutdown could result in weeks or even months of delayed payments in some states. Washington was among the first states to implement the $600 benefit boost. John Bel Edwards said he doesn’t believe any states’ unemployment systems could handle a variable federal benefit tied to a person’s previous earnings. He has encouraged Louisiana’s congressional delegation to back a flat unemployment benefit instead. “The Republican proposal on unemployment benefits, simply put, is unworkable.
Single mom forced to leave son with family as her unemployment benefits stop amid COVID-19 pandemic
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Lindsey Bates lost her job as a server with an Orlando IHOP in early March and like thousands of other unemployed workers in Florida and across the country her chase for unemployment benefits has become a never-ending cycle of delays and disappointment. Her records show she has already received two payments from the PEUC but she told News 6 she received one payment on her debit card and nothing after that. Eskamani said she has helped people from the Panhandle to the Keyes and that it usually takes two to threes weeks to have the funds sent. If you would like to help Lindsey Bates and her son or you have an unemployment issue email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to file an escalation form through Rep. Eskamani, go to this link.
Florida announces new rent and mortgage assistance
Ron DeSantis announced last week that $240 million will go to rental assistance for affordable housing tenants, along with rent and mortgage assistance. Price said half of the funding, $120 million, will go toward helping tenants in their portfolio around the state, who have been struggling to make rent. Price told New 6, theres still a lot that needs to be worked out, like how far back the rental assistance will go, and how far forward it will go. The other $120 million, Price said, will go to local housing offices. But, as of now, he said they are still figuring out how the money for local governments will be distributed.
Outrage as Floridians navigate glitches on unemployment site
Many who filed on the state's outdated website in March have been waiting five or six weeks with their claim stuck in pending status. However, the state's website has a large disclaimer noting that requirement has been waived due to the pandemic. However, some of those rejected, if not most of them, will be eligible for $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. Under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, gig workers and other independent contractors like Uber drivers and massage therapists who may not be eligible for state unemployment benefits are nonetheless eligible for the federal benefits. She knows she doesn’t qualify for the state benefits, but meets the criteria for the federal virus assistance.
Drive-thru coronavirus testing site opens at UCF
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A drive-thru coronavirus testing site is now open at the University of Central Florida, according to school officials. UCF officials said the site is for members of the community who have an appointment. The testing site has 7,000 tests on hand, but Aventus CEO Oliver Dawoud said it only has the capacity to perform 250 tests per day. [RELATED: Coronavirus: Everything you need to know about UCF’s new drive-thru testing site]The site will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until 250 tests have been performed. UCF credits state Rep. Anna Eskamani for bringing together the public-private partnership to offer more access to COVID-19 testing in Central Florida.