Judge says Florida migrant flights lawsuit needs changes
A Leon County circuit judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a South Florida senator challenging the use of state funds to transport migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, but advised how to revamp the legal complaint so the case can move forward.
Florida girl, 16, not ‘mature’ enough for abortion, court rules
An appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that a parentless 16-year-old girl in the Florida Panhandle is not “sufficiently mature” to end her pregnancy while seeking a waiver from a state law requiring minors to get parental consent for an abortion.
Florida House passes bill to limit race-related instruction in schools, workplaces
Overriding objections from Democrats who called the measure “wrong on all levels,” the Republican-controlled Florida House on Thursday passed a bill that would limit how race-related concepts are taught in schools and in workplace training sessions.
Court refuses to hear case against Florida over ‘medically fragile’ children
Nearly a decade after concerns emerged about “medically fragile” children being placed in nursing homes, a federal appeals court will not reconsider a decision that allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue a lawsuit against Florida.
Florida special legislative session to address vaccine mandates this week
When Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature kicks off its special session Monday, lawmakers will consider several bills aimed at banning vaccine mandates and empowering parents to challenge vaccine and mask mandates in schools.
Judge signs order giving Florida school boards power to issue mask mandates to combat COVID
Florida school districts can legally require their students to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper filed his decision he made during a ruling last week.
‘It’s a great victory:’ Orange County School Board Chair, teacher’s union praises ruling on masks
Orange County Schools was the only school district in Central Florida to join 9 others, in enacting mask mandates despite the Governor's executive order banning school districts from doing so. However, after a Leon County judge ruled districts actually can enact masks mandates, Orange County School Board Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs felt relief.
Pressure is mounting for Orange County Public Schools as parents, teachers call for mask mandate
Outside of the Orange County Public School headquarters, pressure is mounting for the school board to enact mask mandates with no option of opting out as parents, teachers and educators call for a mask mandate.
DeSantis signs COVID-19 liability bill, promises action against vaccine passports
Ron DeSantis signed a new bill into law, protecting businesses, schools and other institutions from liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic during a somewhat unconventional news conference Monday in Tallahassee. Before the governor spoke, Highway 85, a band based in Tallahassee, performed a rendition of The Beatles’ “With a little help from my friends.”When The Governor’s calls and wants Highway 85, they get Highway 85! Tune in to The Florida Channel at 12:55 for the press conference 😎😎😎 Posted by Highway 85 on Monday, March 29, 2021Following the song, the governor spoke about SB 72. “What this bill does, it says if you’re doing the right things, you’re protected,” Sprowls said. Ad“I also think that this particular vaccine would be totally inappropriate to mandate for kids, given how low of a risk kids are to COVID-19,” DeSantis said.
Florida activists released from jail after rally over police shootings
Leon County jail records showed most were taken into custody for resisting officers and assembling unlawfully. They were met by a phalanx of law officers from the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, as well officers from the nearby Capitol and Florida State University. For months, activists have staged rallies in Tallahassee to bring attention to police killings they say were unjustified. The incident led Leon County to put in place a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. While the grand jury declined to hand down indictments against the police officers, it found areas of concern.
‘Parental choice works:’ Florida governor, White House task force doctor tout reopening schools
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida education leaders joined the governor and medical professionals Monday to reinforce the state’s stance on reopening schools and allowing in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Do the virtual, and really not fall far behind,” DeSantis said about the enhanced virtual opportunities available to students. Atlas was making at least three stops with DeSantis around the state Monday, including in Tampa and The Villages. “If you have a cough you’re three times as likely to spread than if you don’t have a cough,” he said. “We have the data, there’s extraordinarily low risk in children, there’s extraordinarily very low risk in everybody else in the school.
Judge sides with Florida teachers, rejects putting schools ruling on hold
Siding with teachers unions, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday lifted a stay of his earlier ruling that a state order requiring schools to reopen in August is unconstitutional. Under law, that notice of appeal automatically placed a stay on Dodson’s ruling --- effectively putting it on hold until the Tallahassee-based appeals court can resolve the case. Late Tuesday, attorneys for the Florida Education Association and the Orange County teachers union asked Dodson to lift the stay. In Thursday’s order, Dodson scolded the state for misrepresenting his temporary injunction. What the order did, for the reasons stated, is require that local school districts be given authority under their individual circumstances to open or close the local schools, based on local conditions,” the judge wrote.
Judge weighs future of Florida unemployment lawsuit
After four hours of arguments Monday, a Leon County circuit judge will decide whether to move forward with a potential class-action lawsuit stemming from massive problems in Florida’s unemployment-compensation system. Attorneys for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting, a contractor that helped put the online system in place in 2013, argued that Judge John Cooper should dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed after a crush of coronavirus-caused unemployment claims overwhelmed the system this spring. Cooper last month rejected a preliminary injunction that plaintiffs sought to force the Department of Economic Opportunity to “fix” the system. Department of Economic Opportunity attorney Daniel Nordby argued Monday, in part, that the lawsuit should be dismissed because of the constitutional separation of powers between judges and the executive branch. The plaintiffs’ attorneys filed the lawsuit in April after major problems with Florida’s CONNECT online unemployment system, which even Gov.
Mother, boyfriend at center of Apopka Amber Alert booked into Orange County Jail
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The couple at the center of an Amber Alert for a 3-year-old Apopka girl was transferred Thursday from Leon County to Orange County to face charges. Officers said Madeline Meija was taken Monday morning without force by her biological mother Tania Duarte, 19, and her mothers’ boyfriend Kevin Smith Olmedo-Velis, 19. Both 19-year-old suspects were booked into the Orange County Jail Thursday at 2:50 p.m.Police said Madeline’s father mislead officers at first, saying his daughter abducted by strangers from the front yard. Investigators said Lester Mejia was contacted by a relative while at work and informed him Duarte had taken the child. Officers said Mejia called 911 but authorities said Mejia was allegedly told by an unknown dispatcher there was no crime if the mother has the child.