Full-time teachers get $65K base salaries in Florida lawmaker’s new bill
The minimum base salary for full-time classroom teachers and certified prekindergarten teachers in Florida will be no less than $65,000 starting next July, subsidized by the state’s education department itself; that is, if a bill filed last month in the House were to reach past the governor’s desk.
Wildlife officials to boaters: Remember not to hit any manatees this holiday weekend
Memorial Day weekend is considered by some to be the unofficial start of summer and, by no coincidence, a great time to get back in the water. Unfortunately, according to conservationists and wildlife officials, manatees have similar plans.
Florida city fires top IT manager over legal medical marijuana use
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida city has fired a top information technology manager for smoking marijuana — even though he been authorized by his doctor to use it legally for medical reasons. Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2016. While Florida is one of numerous states that have legalized marijuana use partially or fully, it is still against federal law. In 2019, the city revised page 13 of its 15-page employee drug-use policy to read, “The use of marijuana by city employees, including medical marijuana, with or without a prescription, is prohibited." “He’s not trying to be a medical marijuana martyr,” Cormican said.
Nats OF Juan Soto leaves game early with right calf cramp
The Nationals slugger drew an 11-pitch walk from Sixto Sánchez with one out in the top of the first. He then was replaced in right field in the bottom half of the inning by Gerardo Parra. AdOpening day of the 2021 baseball season is a week away; Washington hosts the New York Mets at night on April 1. We can do some different things to keep them ready as far as the swing and things of that nature,” Martinez said. “But we want to make sure this doesn’t become a bigger issue.”___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Florida school district to pay $2 million after student dies while choking on chicken nugget
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The family of a 19-year-old student with autism will receive a $2 million settlement from a Florida school district a year and a half after he choked on a chicken nugget and died. AdKedar Williams was rushed to a hospital Aug. 13, 2019, after choking on the chicken nugget at William T. Dwyer High in Palm Beach Gardens. But video showed the aide was attending to another student when Williams choked. “Having your son wave goodbye to you in the morning, before school, and then never seeing him alive again is a mother’s worst nightmare. Our family has a gaping hole without Kedar in our lives,” his mother, Megan Williams, said in a statement.
McCullers agrees to $85M deal with Astros for 2022-26
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and the Houston Astros have agreed to an $85 million, five-year contract covering 2022-26, a deal awaiting announcement by the team. McCullers agreed on Jan. 15 to a $6.5 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. “Houston is where I want to be," he said at spring training on Feb. 28. who broke his left ring finger in his first spring training appearance. McCullers is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA over seven innings in three spring training games.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to COVID-19 outbreak
The security boat patrols near Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, has been partially closed after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. An email sent to members said that service had been temporarily suspended in the club’s dining room and at its beach club because some staff members had recently tested positive. A senior Brazilian official tested positive last year after spending time at Mar-a-Lago, where he posed for a photo next to Trump and attended a family birthday party. The club in Palm Beach has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks, hosting events and fundraisers, including one to benefit rescue dogs. AdIn January, Palm Beach County issued a warning to Mar-a-Lago’s management after a New Year’s Eve party that violated an ordinance requiring employees and guests to wear masks.
Strasburg leaves start early with leg issue; 'nothing major'
We’re in spring training. There’s no sense in pushing it.”Strasburg said he was looked at by a team doctor and had an ultrasound exam. “I didn’t really feel it at all except for that last pitch, where I kind of felt it simultaneously as I was finishing the pitch,” Strasburg said. “I’ve had my calves cramping up on me in the past and I’ve pitched through that," he said. Ad“If he wakes up tomorrow sore or something, he might be held back,” the manager said.
Springer, Bauer, Lindor lead list of big names on new teams
The reigning World Series champions already had a pair of Cy Young Award winners in Clayton Kershaw and David Price. Darvish has twice finished runner-up for a Cy Young Award, including last season when he was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts. Lester is a three-time World Series champion, winning twice with Boston and once with the Cubs. He’s part of a rotation led by three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and lefty Patrick Corbin. Bradley was a Gold Glove winner in 2018 when the Red Sox won the World Series.
Nats release Jeffress for unspecified 'personnel reasons'
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jeremy Jeffress was released by the Washington Nationals on Sunday for what general manager Mike Rizzo called unspecified “personnel reasons,” less than two weeks after the reliever agreed to terms on a minor league deal. The 33-year-old Jeffress was taken by Milwaukee in the first round pick of the 2006 amateur draft and has pitched for five teams over 11 years in the majors. Last season, Jeffress went 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA and eight saves in 10 chances for the Chicago Cubs. AdMore than a decade ago, Jeffress was suspended twice for violating the minor league drug treatment and prevention program. He has said he used marijuana to manage a severe case of anxiety and he was diagnosed with juvenile epilepsy in 2013.
The Latest: NHL's COVID-19 list at season-low three players
(Sarah Stier/Pool Photo via AP)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The list of players in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol dropped to a season-low three, despite the additions of Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Nashville’s Ryan Johansen. San Jose’s Tomas Hertl is the only other player on the list after entering his seventh day in the protocol. ___Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss Tuesday night’s game against Philadelphia after being placed on the COVID-19 protocol list. The news comes a day after the NHL had a season-low four players in the COVID-19 protocol. AdTuesday night’s game will be the first game with fans in attendance at PPG Paints Arena since last March.
In-game video returning to baseball for 2021
“You’d come back in the dugout and you’d say, ‘Hey where was that pitch at?’” Owings said Monday. “It would be like it is on the MLB app where it just shows where the pitch crossed the plate. But Major League Baseball has cleared the way for the return of in-game video on dugout iPads beginning on opening day, with catcher signals clipped when they are displayed on a computer. “I think the fact that they would have it in the dugout is a step in the right direction.”How much in-game video helps depends on the hitter. ___AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writers Pat Graham, Stephen Hawkins and Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.
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.
Gov. DeSantis talks election security legislation in South Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in West Palm Beach Friday morning to talk about election security legislation he plans to push when the next legislative session begins in March. The event, which resembled a campaign rally with a cheering crowd, was held at the Hilton Airport Palm Beach along Australian Avenue. “We should have no ballot harvesting at all in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “I think that you can take it, put it in the mail or take it to the elections office.
Watchdog probes if DOJ officials tried to overturn election
Former President Donald Trump waves to the members of the media on arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s inspector general is launching an investigation to examine whether any former or current department officials “engaged in an improper attempt” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Monday that the investigation will investigate allegations concerning the conduct of former and current Justice Department officials but will not extend to other government officials. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states won by Biden, also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which includes three justices nominated by Trump.
Florida company accused of steering vaccines to rich donors
(AP Photo/Cody Jackson)FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida launched an investigation Wednesday into an upscale nursing home amid reports that it administered coronavirus vaccines to wealthy donors and members of a country club along with its residents and employees. The newspapers reported that the vaccinations were organized by MorseLife CEO Keith Myers and New Jersey-based developer David Mack, who is a member of various MorseLife boards and chairman of the country club foundation's board. The vaccines were distributed at the Joseph L. Morse Health Center, which is on David S. Mack Drive. He denied that the distribution was targeted at Palm Beach Country Club members. The company on its website says, “our goal is to ensure that older adults enjoy full, rewarding lives in an atmosphere of luxury, outstanding service, and compassionate care.”The country club declined comment.
Texas judge dismisses suit aimed at overturning election
Pence, as president of the Senate, will oversee the session Wednesday and declare the winner of the White House race. The Electoral College this month cemented Biden’s 306-232 victory, and multiple legal efforts by President Donald Trump's campaign to challenge the results have failed. “A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” the department argued. But a range of nonpartisan election officials and Republicans has confirmed there was no fraud in the November contest that would change the results of the election. Trump and his allies have filed roughly 50 lawsuits challenging election results, and nearly all have been dismissed or dropped.
Trump extends visa ban; court clears health insurance rule
In April, Trump imposed a ban on green cards issued abroad that largely targets family members of people already in the United States. A temporary ban on non-essential travel across the Mexican and Canadian borders was also done for public health. In December, a federal judge in Oakland, California, prevented the green-card ban from taking effect against families of 181 U.S. citizens and legal residents who sued. A federal judge blocked the rule from taking effect almost immediately after it was announced in October 2019. The ruling “makes clear that the Biden administration must move swiftly to rescind all of President Trump’s xenophobic presidential proclamations, including this health care ban,” she said.
Florida teacher accused of insulting students suspended
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida middle school teacher accused of regularly insulting her students, often about their nationality or intelligence, has had her educator license suspended for six months by Florida education officials. The school district in Palm Beach County had moved to fire Susan Oyer in March, but her termination was never approved by the school board. Instead, she reached a settlement with the state Department of Education in which her license was suspended for six months, according to The Palm Beach Post. Records show Oyer, who taught at Boca Raton Middle School, is no longer employed by the school district. Oyer did not deny the allegations but was not required to admit fault as part of the settlement.
College baseball player’s body found in Florida apartment
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Police in Florida are investigating the shooting death of a 21-year-old college baseball player. The body of Derek Becker was found Sunday in an apartment near the Keiser University campus in West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Post reported. In a statement on posted Twitter, Keiser University CEO and Chancellor Arthur Keiser said Becker attended the school’s flagship campus and played on the Seahawk baseball team. School officials said in a statement that they are cooperating with West Palm Beach police. The shooting occurred at an off-campus apartment and officials said few students are on campus during the winter break.
Residents at Florida long-term care facilities could soon receive COVID-19 vaccine
We’ve got thousands of facilities in Florida, it’s not as easy as it would be in some smaller state,” DeSantis said. The state is also expected to receive an additional 20,000 doses to help with vaccination efforts in long-term care facilities. [RELATED: Getting consent for long-term care facility patients will slow COVID-19 vaccine distribution]Once those two target populations receive their first doses, the state will then shift to focusing on elderly residents who are not in long-term care facilities but who could still develop a severe COVID-19 infection. DeSantis thinks it won’t be until about February before the vaccine is available to the general public, although that depends on when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna, it’s only one dose... the Johnson & Johnson is just normal refrigeration and you take it one time.
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.
Brightline, Walt Disney World agree to build train station at Disney Springs
Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement Monday to build a train station at Disney Springs. The station would allow “convenient travel” between Walt Disney World and several Brightline planned stations at Orlando International Airport, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, a news release said. Brightline officials said that the expansion from West Palm Beach to OIA is on track and should be completed in 2022. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World Resort is a tremendous example of this.”Travelers can expect the proposed Disney Springs station to have a ground level lobby, passenger facilities and an upper level train platform. “We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
‘Imma shoot them:’ Florida woman accused of threatening DeSantis, Rubio, Scott
Karen Jones, 55, was arrested at her South Florida home last Saturday. She is facing three charges of making written threats to kill or do bodily harm to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, according to an arrest report. Jones posted on Twitter last week, “DeSantis, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio are looting my state. Imma shoot them," according to the arrest report.
Husband, wife, both 76, found dead in Florida canal
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The bodies of a husband and wife were discovered floating in a canal separating Palm Beach and Broward counties, authorities said. Officials on Sunday identified the couple as Archer James Adams III and his wife, Paula Adams. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agents discovered the bodies after responding to a report that there was an unoccupied boat floating at the south end of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The state agency didn’t say where the couple lived or whether foul play is suspected. “This an ongoing investigation,” said Carol Lyn Parrish, a public information director for the agency.
King tides could bring flooding to South Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The National Weather Service in Miami is issuing a coastal flood statement as the new moon’s proximity to Earth brings on another round of king tides. This may be the last round of king tide flooding this year with December’s new moon forecast to have less influence. The high tide flooding for South Florida typically begins in September. It's a combination of multiple factors, including a slower Gulf Stream current, warmer waters, lunar alignment and sea-level rise. National Weather Service meteorologist Paxton Fell said easterly winds of 5 to 7 mph shouldn’t be strong enough to exacerbate street flooding, but the flood alert could be upgraded to an advisory if tidal gauges show a considerable jump.
Principal in Holocaust controversy fired again in Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida high school principal was fired again on Monday over a comment he made to a student’s parent last year regarding the Holocaust. The Palm Beach County School Board's vote on Monday morning reversed an earlier decision to reinstate Spanish River High School Principal William Latson. He appealed his firing and an administrative law judge ruled in August that the school board had gone too far in firing him. The board initially agreed to fire Latson last year on ground of ethical misconduct and failure to carry out his job responsibilities. The official justification for his termination was failure to return messages from school district officials in the days after his comments made international news.
Pete Buttigieg campaigns for Biden in Brevard and Palm Beach
Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, Pete Buttigieg, is making stops in Melbourne and West Palm Beach Thursday on behalf of Joe Biden and to encourage early voting, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. According to a campaign release, Buttigieg will appear with retired Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper in Viera “emphasizing the importance of this election and urging supporters to utilize these final days of early voting.”A US Air Force biography says Lepper was commissioned in 1979 as a graduate of the US Air Force Academy. He became a judge advocate in 1984 and served several times as a Staff Judge Advocate. He rose to the position of Deputy Judge Advocate General at USAF headquarters in Washington D.C.[TRENDING: ‘Smell of rotting flesh’ leads to body in trunk | How to celebrate Halloween during pandemic | 98 ‘murder hornets’ removed]Lepper in a blistering op-ed for The Hill in June, criticized President Trump for threatening military force against demonstrators in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Later in the day Buttigieg will travel to West Palm Beach where he is expected to hold a press conference at a gold star memorial and “highlight the importance of our military and military families and honor their sacrifice.”