State looks to scrutinize LGBTQ support guides at all Florida schools
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. on Wednesday gave his staff the go-ahead to "pull" LGBTQ support documents at all school districts, after a State Board of Education member asserted that some could violate a controversial new law.
Video shows women attacking worker at Florida Popeye’s drive-thru window
LANTANA, Fla. – A dramatic attack and robbery was captured on camera at a Popeyes restaurant in Palm Beach County, News 6 partner Local 10 reports. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office released the video as they try to track down the suspects. Two of the women in the car are accused of spitting on the worker and attacking her. Two other women got out of the car and began attacking other employees inside the restaurant. Deputies said one woman reached through the drive-thru window, grabbing cash from the register before the car took off.
Controversy swirls in Florida over lowering of flags for Rush Limbaugh
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Palm Beach County defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' Tuesday afternoon order directing its U.S. and Florida flags to be flown at half-staff. He also ordered the Town of Palm Beach and the State Capitol in Tallahassee to fly their flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday. Trump also lives in Palm Beach at his Mar-a-Lago club and he and Limbaugh were close friends. DeSantis called Limbaugh a legend during a news conference two days later and indicated he would direct flags to be flown at half-staff to honor him.
Publix expands COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all Central Florida counties
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Publix supermarkets have again expanded the counties where the grocer is offering coronavirus vaccine appointments and with the latest addition now all of Central Florida’s 10 counties have Publix pharmacies with shots. Publix updated its vaccine registration website Tuesday with an update saying beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, eligible residents would be able to make vaccine appointments. By 10 a.m. Wednesday all new appointments were filled at the new Central Florida locations. With the latest expansion, the supermarket based out of Lakeland is now vaccinating people in 41 out of Florida’s 67 counties at 593 Publix pharmacies throughout the state. In addition to Publix pharmacies, Winn-Dixie, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will also begin offering vaccine appointments in Central Florida soon.
1,000 COVID vaccine doses damaged in Florida county
MIAMI – More than 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were reported damaged last week in Palm Beach County, prompting Florida health officials on Wednesday to call for an audit into how the life-saving vaccines are being handled. Ron DeSantis said health officials wanted to inquire after receiving reports of doses that were spoiled because they were improperly stored. The Florida Department of Health has asked the Palm Beach County Health Care District to conduct a full accounting of all vaccine-related equipment and procedures to store and handle the vaccine. The audit must be completed by Feb. 12, and findings and actions must be reported to the health department. “Get it in someone’s arm, don’t let any of it go to waste, especially given how much demand there is for it.”
Governor announces new vaccine pod in South Florida Community
PAHOKEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new vaccine pod in Palm Beach County Wednesday afternoon. [TRENDING: How to get a vaccine in Fla. | Wanted: Man accused of shooting at detective | Cops: Fla. man decapitated hamster]The need for a vaccine pod in this community was brought to the governor’s attention by Boldin himself, according to the governor. Boldin, a Pahokee native, reached out to the Secretary of the Florida Lottery, John Davis, to discuss the need in the community. Eligible activities include acquisition of public property for public works facilities and sites; public improvements; business and microenterprise assistance; public services; project planning; and, broadband planning and public infrastructure.
Publix reopens portal for vaccine appointments in Florida
Publix reopened its online portal Wednesday morning for eligible people to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. The available appointments, which will take place later this week, were all booked in Brevard, Volusia, Flagler and Marion counties in less than 90 minutes. [TRENDING: How to get a vaccine in Fla. | Wanted: Man accused of shooting at detective | Cops: Fla. man decapitated hamster]The Publix portal next reopens at 7 a.m. Friday. “We’re happy to announce we’re expanding the program to include eight Publix pharmacies in Indian River County and 11 Publix pharmacies in St. Lucie County,” DeSantis said. To make an appointment when the portal reopens, click here.
Kenny Chesney group helps install artificial reef in Florida
Chesneys No Shoes Reefs organization is helping to have an artificial reef installed off of Floridas Atlantic Coast. The organization and other marine groups donated and installed 13 reef balls on the ocean floor off of Delray Beach in Palm Beach County. (Photo by Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP, File)DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Country music superstar Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Reefs organization is helping to install an artificial reef off of Florida's Atlantic coast. It will make up a 32-acre (13-hectare) underwater reef park known as No Shoes Reef 4. Delray Beach is located south of West Palm Beach.
Some Black communities in Florida have no vaccine access
Ron DeSantis has given the chain sole distribution rights for the coronavirus vaccine in Palm Beach County. “I don't understand.”Publix declined comment Wednesday on vaccine distribution in the Belle Glade area, referring questions to the governor’s office. There are 67 Palm Beach County Publix stores distributing the vaccine — but it does not have any stores in the county's northwest corner. But vaccine access has been a concern among advocates for the poor and communities of color statewide. Some say the Belle Glade issue should cause state officials to re-examine whether all Florida residents 65 and older have easy access to the vaccine.
Every county in Florida has access to a COVID-19 vaccine, governor says
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – All of Florida’s 67 counties now have at least one site offering a coronavirus vaccine. This will be the first large county where Publix pharmacies will be rolling out its vaccination program since partnering with the state. The governor spoke again in Brevard County on Tuesday afternoon, announcing that 22 Publix pharmacies there would also be administering shots starting on Thursday. With the inclusion of Brevard County, the governor said 242 Publix pharmacies statewide would now be providing the vaccine to people 65 and older. With plans to gain access to the next vaccine approved for use, DeSantis said, for now, Florida will stay the course and increase access to the vaccine as best as possible.
700,000 seniors in Florida have received vaccine, Gov. DeSantis says
Florida is now approaching 1.6 million confirmed cases, with nearly 10,000 new cases and about 160 additional deaths reported Tuesday. Ron DeSantis said he wanted more Floridians vaccinated but the state was constrained by limited vaccine supplies of the federal government. So far, some 700,000 senior citizens have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, he said. In all, nearly 1.1 million shots have been administered in Florida, state officials said. DeSantis said 67 of the grocer's stores in Palm Beach County — the largest Florida county to take part in the program — would begin offering vaccinations by appointment.
Coronavirus: Florida reports 31,000 cases, 220 deaths
Frustration grows for people in South Florida trying to get COVID-19 vaccineORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health released new coronavirus data following the holiday Saturday. Martin County is north of Palm Beach County, which along with Miami-Dade and Broward counties have been the state’s hardest hit region in dealing with coronavirus cases. The Florida health statement said the agency is working with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on investigating the case. [READ PREVIOUS REPORT: Florida reports 16,000 new COVID-19 cases on New Year’s Eve]Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 2:CasesThe Florida Department of Health reported 31,518 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,354,833 cases since March. This means at least 22,210 people have died in relation to the coronavirus across the state, including 320 non-residents who died in Florida.
Women plead guilty in sex sting involving Patriots owner
Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.
Salt Life founder facing manslaughter charge in Florida teen’s death
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A founder of the Salt Life clothing brand is facing a manslaughter charge in the death of an 18-year-old woman at a Florida hotel. Investigators have not said how they believe Hutto is connected to Duncan’s death or if they had a relationship. Duncan was from Lake City, a town 60 miles west of Jacksonville. Hutto and some friends started Salt Life in 2003, its brand aimed at boaters, surfers and fishermen who spend time on the ocean. He will be transferred to Palm Beach County, where he will face an initial court hearing and more details will be released.
Suspected carjacker shot, killed after lunging at Florida deputies, sheriff says
LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. – Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a suspected carjacker who came at deputies with a filet knife during a traffic stop Tuesday night in Palm Beach County, the sheriff said in a late night news conference. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the white man in his 20s had carjacked and stabbed an Uber driver earlier Tuesday evening in neighboring Broward County. Deputies stopped the vehicle around 8 p.m. and the man got out holding the knife, Bradshaw said. The sheriff did not identify or say how many deputies fired at the man. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office will investigate.
Florida worker suspended for flying Trump flag from government truck
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida municipal worker was suspended without pay for flying a flag supporting President Donald Trump’s re-election from his government truck. Palm Beach County suspended construction project specialist Randall Williams for five days for violating its rules against engaging in political activity during work hours. Trump's official residence, Mar-a-Lago, is in Palm Beach County. The resident who spotted the truck told the Post in an email that Williams can support the president or any other candidate, but not by using a taxpayer-funded truck. “But on a county vehicle, I think it’s trying to do some provocation.”Want more news like this?
How the pandemic changed the way South Florida does business
Pawn shops, for example, saw business increase in Broward and Miami-Dade but drop in Palm Beach County, according to the data. Sales increased at Delaware Chicken & Seafood as “people went crazy stocking up on meat and eggs and all that,” manager Linda Cenko said. - Skilled crafts flourished in Palm Beach County as sales increased in numerous categories of home and business services. - Paint, wallpaper and hardware dealers in Palm Beach County were also hard at work. Pawn, which has nine stores in Broward County, said families came in to the company’s nine Broward County stores looking for anything that would keep the kids occupied.
Florida deputy on leave after video shows him shoving Black man
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. A white Florida sheriff's deputy has been placed on administrative leave after he was caught on camera shoving a handcuffed 19-year-old Black man against a wall outside a fast food restaurant. In the cellphone video, which was tweeted by Florida-based civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Kevin Wygant asserts his First Amendment right to the Palm Beach County deputy, asking, I don't have the freedom of speech to you?" The deputy, identified by news outlets as Deputy Charles Rhoads, responds, not to us you don't," and pushes him face first against a wall and uses an expletive. The deputy turns and tells them to leave before the video stops. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradhaw said on Twitter than he's ordered an internal affairs investigation.
Police: Florida man arrested for making 26 bombs
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. Florida police arrested a man after finding more than two dozen pipe bombs, including some that contained nails, screws and metal pellets. Gregory Haasze, 34, is facing 26 felony counts of making, possessing and placing a destructive device after his arrest Wednesday night in Palm Beach County. They sealed off the area and the Palm Beach County sheriff's bomb squad disabled the devices. He was being held Thursday at the Palm Beach County jail on $26,000 bond. The Palm Beach County Public Defenders Office had no immediate comment.
Distance learning leads to furloughs for some Florida school nurses
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. School nurses are being furloughed in Palm Beach County as the district prepares to open the school year with remote learning for all students. The Palm Beach Health Care District informed the 223 school heath employees on Monday of the difficult decision" to furlough them, the Palm Beach Post reported. The reason cited was the school district's decision to go with distance learning when school resumes next month. Last week, the health care district told employees that 60 of the most senior nurses and supervisors will be offered buyouts. Once the school district releases its plan to return to school, the Health Care District will respond accordingly, including plans to staff the same number of public schools, nearly 170, with a full-time registered nurse, the Health Care District said in a statement.
Vice President Pence, Gov. DeSantis meet as Florida hits 10,000 daily virus cases
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Florida reported more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time Thursday, an unwanted milestone eclipsed hours before Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. The Health Department also tallied 325 new coronavirus hospitalizations Thursday, one of the biggest 24-hour jumps since the pandemic began. Before June 11, the states worst day for reported cases had been 1,601, set in mid-May. The outbreak also forced Pence and DeSantis to curtail their visit, which was supposed to be part of the vice president's now-canceled Faith In America campaign tour. Pence and DeSantis encouraged everyone, especially young adults, to wear masks in public spaces and avoid large gatherings.
Trump golf course seeks lower rent because of virus shutdown
Trump International Golf Club asked Palm Beach County to defer an unspecified amount of its $88,338 monthly rent, something the county has done for other tenants at properties it owns. Palm Beach County ordered the closure of golf courses in March as part of its pandemic response. The request was first reported by the Palm Beach Post. Officials at the golf club and Trump International headquarters in New York did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment. Trump usually spends about five hours at the course most days he is at Mar-a-Lago, which is about five miles (eight kilometers) from the course.
Two Central Florida Zika cases reported
Two Central Florida Zika virus cases were reported by the Florida Department of Health on Tuesday. Two cases were reported in Orange County and three involving pregnant women. In addition, cases were reported in Polk County, Broward, Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade counties also had cases reported. This brings the total non-travel related to reported today to 16. Infection Type Infection Count Travel-Related Infections of Zika 558 Non-Travel Related Infections of Zika 46 Infections Involving Pregnant Women 78