The Point, June 4, 2020: Florida’s Coronavirus Cases Are Up, As Reopening Phase Two Begins Tomorrow

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• Florida Storms: Several Days of Rain Expected in Florida from Tropical Storm Cristobal. “While the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal is currently expected to stay west of Florida, the large circulation surrounding it will send waves of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico across the state, triggering numerous rounds of showers and some thunderstorms through at least Monday.”

• WUFT News: Locally Owned Businesses Work To Reopen According To Phase One Guidelines. “All employees at both Ichiban and Boca Fiesta are required to wear masks, both in the kitchen and the dining areas, and must wear gloves whenever handling food. Extra care is also being taken in sanitizing anything that might be passed back and forth between customers and employees.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Judge Tosses Environmental Lawsuit Brought By Children, Latest Loss In Climate Courtroom Strategy. “A Florida judge’s decision to dismiss a landmark environmental lawsuit from eight young plaintiffs tracks closely with decisions by courts in other states where such legal strategies have gained little traction. Is it a losing strategy? Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll complimented the activism of the young plaintiffs – who now range in age from 12 to 22 – but threw out their lawsuit this week alleging that state political leaders violated their constitutional rights over failed environmental public policies.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): County mask policy still on, following federal judge ruling. “A federal judge on Wednesday ruled on a second case involving Alachua County’s mask mandate and denied an injunction to end the policy.”

• The Alligator: Man accused of driving at protesters pleads not guilty. “The man accused of driving at a crowd of protesters and threatening them with a firearm Saturday pled not guilty to six counts of aggravated assault Tuesday afternoon, according to court documents.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Ocala names Sandra Wilson new city manager. “She is the first African American woman to hold the post… Wilson joined the city in 2000 as the head of human resources, and in 2008 she became the director of human resources and risk management.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: Dems: Klyap should drop from race. “Citrus County Democrats are calling on Mike Klyap Jr. to drop his campaign for sheriff after he referred to peaceful protesters in Marion County as ‘animals.'”


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Around the state today

• The Hill: Florida sees largest daily number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-April. “On Wednesday, Florida saw its largest number of new cases of the coronavirus since mid-April as the state works to reopen its economy… Testing has also steadily risen in Florida, which could contribute to the higher number of confirmed cases.”

• WUFT News: DeSantis: Phase Two Effective Friday To Reopen Florida. “Visitation to long-term care facilities will remain prohibited. The order officially recommends individuals avoid gatherings larger than 50 people. It also mandates that Florida public universities present a reopening strategy on June 23. DeSantis ended the conference hinting an imminent announcement involving collegiate sports in the state.”

• WMFE: Governor Ron DeSantis Says Orlando Would be “Obvious Place” for Republican National Convention. “He says cities like Jacksonville and Miami are in the running along with Orlando.”

• Miami Herald ($): Lauderdale officer suspended for shoving protester has history of using force, drawing weapons. “The Fort Lauderdale patrol officer who inflamed a tense demonstration on Sunday, knocking over a seated protester just before a peaceful protest against police abuse turned violent, has been reviewed by internal affairs for using force 79 times in his roughly three-and-half years on the force, according to department records.”

• WLRN: Events Back On In The Keys, Starting With The Fourth Of July. “Key West City Manager Greg Veliz brought the application from the Rotary Club of Key West to the commission at its Tuesday evening meeting. ‘Basically I wasn’t going to be the one that canceled Fourth of July,’ Veliz said.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): FGCU cuts summertime hours of 137 employees to save for the ‘uncertain’ fall semester. “With students not on campus, there are certain employees with nothing — or little — to do, (FGCU President Mike Martin) said. Among those impacted are people who work in residence halls, libraries and campus-run gyms.”

• WLRN: Statewide Teachers Union Demands A Halt To State Tests, School Grades Next Year. “The Florida Education Association has long been critical of the state’s two-decade-old accountability system, which uses student test scores and other measures to assign letter grades to schools and labels like ‘effective’ or ‘highly effective’ to teachers.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Judge ‘puzzled’ by suit aimed at lifting secrecy of Epstein grand jury records. “Rather than delve into explosive issues of how Jeffrey Epstein escaped child molestation charges nearly 15 years ago, a Palm Beach County judge on Wednesday focused on legal technicalities that could keep her from releasing grand jury records to the public.”

• WUWF: Rare Kemp’s Ridley Nest On Pensacola Beach. “Pensacola Beach now has a rare, endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nest. It marks the third nest this season on the Escambia County shoreline. The female came ashore to nest on Tuesday morning, giving some Pensacola Beach visitors an exciting – yet unusual – daytime sight.”


From NPR News

• National: Chauvin And 3 Former Officers Face New Charges Over George Floyd’s Death

• National: Ella Jones Elected First Black Mayor Of Ferguson, Mo.

• Health: Local Public Health Workers Report Hostile Threats And Fears About Contact Tracing

• Health: College Athletes Return To Campuses For Voluntary Training Despite Safety Concerns

• World: After Reopening Schools, Israel Orders Them To Shut If COVID-19 Cases Are Discovered

• World: In George Floyd Protests, China Sees A Powerful Propaganda Opportunity

• Politics: Former Defense Secretary Mattis Issues Stunning Rebuke Of Trump

• Politics: Obama Urges Young People To Keep Up Their Protests To Bring Change

• Business: Former Facebook Employees Blast Zuckerberg’s ‘Do-Nothing’ Stance On Trump

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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