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Today’s top Florida stories
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Locked Out: Low pay, soaring rents, pro-landlord laws set up Florida renters for eviction once COVID hit. “Housing experts argue Florida has some of the harshest eviction laws in the country, written so landlords can evict people as quickly as possible and without going to court. During the COVID-19 outbreak, those landlord-friendly laws, coupled with the state’s severe shortage of affordable homes, rising rents and years of stagnant wages, left thousands of suddenly jobless renters exposed. And even after the government ordered a halt to eviction proceedings and federal dollars were made available to help people pay rent, many tenants were not spared.”
• WUFT News: A Hidden Crisis Of The Pandemic: Violence Against Women Hasn’t Stopped. Neither Have the Women-Led Organizations Combating the Problem. “Despite the continuation and increase in violence against women during the world health crisis, another force has persevered during this time: those organizations dedicated to mitigating these tragedies. And now, even though they’re fighting an unseen battle that takes place behind closed doors, they’re fighting to win.”
• Associated Press: ‘Alcohol-To-Go’ Now Permanent In Florida After DeSantis Signs Bill. “DeSantis lifted restrictions on alcohol to go early in the coronavirus pandemic as a way to help restaurants when they were temporarily ordered to not seat customers. … DeSantis said the boost to restaurants worked well and he and lawmakers liked the idea of making it permanent.”
• Spectrum News: Gaetz ally Joel Greenberg’s change-of-plea hearing set for Monday. “A change-of-plea hearing has been set for Joel Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector and ally of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz who last month pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and sex trafficking of a child and is accused in an identity-theft scheme.”
• News Service of Florida: Conflict Of Interest Questions Raised In FSU Search. “A key higher-education accrediting organization is raising questions about a potential conflict of interest involving state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran as he seeks to become president of Florida State University.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Lawsuit settled in which 15 women alleged sexual abuse at Florida prison. “The lawsuit contended that Bureau of Prisons officers at Federal Correctional Complex Coleman in Sumter County sexually abused female inmates for years and threatened the women if they didn’t comply. The women feared that if they came forward they’d be sent to another federal facility far from their families, interrupting the education and work programs they had at Coleman, which is the largest federal prison in the U.S.”
• Miami Herald ($): Clerk in cash-strapped Opa-locka pocketed $266,784 in building fees, prosecutors say. “Investigators from the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Public Corruption Unit say that (Mary) Brown stole $266,784 in licensing fees using a simple but effective method: She failed to record receipts for the purchased building licenses, issued the permits and kept the cash payments.”
• WLRN: Want To Get Back Into The Keys After A Hurricane? You’ll Need A New Sticker. “Now the county has come up with a new hurricane re-entry sticker program. They have bar codes and are color-coded for different parts of the island chain, to allow for phased re-entry.”
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About today’s curator
I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to firstname.lastname@example.org.