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The top stories near you
• News Service of Florida: DeSantis Announces Stay At Home Order. “DeSantis did not go into great detail during a news conference Wednesday afternoon but said the order will take effect Thursday night. He said it will be directed at individuals and not businesses.”
• WUFT News: Utilities Suspending Service Disconnection, Waiving Late Fees During Pandemic. “Following a Gainesville City Commission meeting on March 12, GRU management decided to suspend disconnection of services for residential customers and late fees for all customers starting March 16 until April 30, when it will re-evaluate.”
• Associated Press: What You Need To Do To Get Your Government Stimulus Check. “Most people don’t need to do anything to get the money. But some — including senior citizens and low-income people who might not traditionally file tax returns — do need to take action. People behind on filing their taxes might also want to get caught up. The IRS and Treasury have provided more details on how to ensure you get paid. Here are the basics.”
• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “Assistant Atlanta Regional Census Manager Marilyn Stephens spoke with us about some of the challenges of conducting the 2020 Census during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Subscribe here for more episodes.)
• Orlando Sentinel ($): UF doctor invents new type of mask to help offset coronavirus shortage. “A 4 x 4-foot sheet of Halyard 600 can produce three dozen masks. (Dr. Bruce) Spiess said the goal in Gainesville is to produce 1,000 masks a day as the network of volunteers continues to grow.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): What’s to eat? Alachua County restaurants open for takeout, delivery. “Here is a list of restaurants and cafes that continue to offer services in the area. Many offer free or reduced price delivery in addition to carryout options.”
• Florida Politics: Latest census estimate calls The Villages America’s fastest growing metro. “According to new estimates released by the bureau, the sprawling retirement community in Sumter, Lake, and Marion counties grew by 42% between 2010 and 2019, reaching 132,000 population. No other metro area in America came close to such growth.”
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Around the state today
• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Background Checks Reflecting Gun Sales Break New Records In Florida, Nationally. “Background checks for new gun purchases in Florida during March – when the coronavirus pandemic worsened dramatically – surged to set records, according to the latest figures the FBI released Wednesday.”
• Miami Herald: Initially spared, adult daycare centers in Miami-Dade ordered closed by the weekend. “Daycare centers catering to people with Alzheimer’s and other intense needs must close by the weekend under a new emergency order by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.”
• Tampa Bay Times: Coronavirus has warped our sense of time. “On a normal day, time transitions in step with routine. Work begins when people enter a warehouse, or office, or sit behind the wheel of a truck. People go from professional to personal when they unlock the front door at home, pat the dog or water the plants. The day slots into neat compartments. Forced inside, the scaffolding that contains our lives has come down.”
• Panama City News Herald ($): Florida teen making masks using 3D printer. “Using a 3D printer and a design he found online, Michael began making plastic face shields. They are the type typically worn by dentists, and with his current setup he can make one an hour at a cost of roughly 60 cents per mask.”
• Pensacola News Journal: How to protect yourself from scammers during the COVID-19 crisis. “The organization warns that some scammers have initiated cons imitating government administrators, grant forms or websites to take advantage of the federal stimulus package. Here are tips to avoid these common scams.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): One benefit from coronavirus closing beaches? There’s hope for a strong turtle nesting season. “And now in South Florida, the shutdown of beaches could give sea turtles some of the best nesting conditions in the coming weeks as the season picks up, turtle experts say. The coronavirus-related closure of beaches has led to few, if any, people on the sands, so turtles won’t be disrupted by them as they come ashore to place their eggs.”
• Florida Politics: Farmworkers to continue clocking in, with permission slips. “Florida farmworkers and suppliers who have been deemed essential are getting permission slips so they can keep showing up for work, U.S. Sugar announced in a news release.”
• WLRN: Audits Repeatedly Warned Florida Unemployment System Needed Fixing. “Since the system was launched in 2013, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has repeatedly come under fire from state auditors who warned the system was plagued by glitches that tripped up applicants and operators. Last March, auditors issued a warning about a problem that seems particularly important now: An error message prevented applicants from filing claims for disaster assistance, like pandemics.”
• Bay News 9: Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office Taking Tips in “Tiger King” Cold Case. “Now, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is asking the public for tips regarding the lingering mystery raised in the show: What happened to Carole Baskin’s husband?”
From NPR News
• National: Second Federal Inmate Dies From COVID-19