The Point, April 19, 2022: Judge in Florida rules against travel mask mandate


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Today’s top Florida stories

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis will ask legislators to hold a special session on property insurance. “DeSantis said the special session could address other issues that did not get resolved during the regular legislative session, which ended March 14. Among the high-profile issues that did not pass were a plan to put additional requirements on condominium buildings after the deadly collapse last year of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.”

• NPR News: TSA will no longer enforce travel mask mandate after a federal judge strikes it down. “The federal travel mask mandate will not be implemented as the Biden administration reviews a Florida federal judge’s ruling against it.”

• Fresh Take Florida: FBI investigating whether Florida prisoner sent threatening letter to US judge. “A federal grand jury has indicted a self-described gang member with a violent criminal history in a Florida prison, accusing him of mailing a ruthless threat to a senior federal judge in Jacksonville – and trying to frame one of his fellow prisoners, according to court records.”

• Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida still won’t explain why it rejected math textbooks. “Days after rejecting dozens of math textbooks for including what the state Department of Education claimed were ‘indoctrinating concepts,’ Florida officials on Monday continued to refuse requests for examples.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida’s jobless rate dips to 3.2 percent as workers have unprecedented opportunities. “Florida’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.2 percent in March, as workers shift away from gigs at hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues for higher-paying jobs in manufacturing, warehousing and logistics.”

• News4Jax: Relief at the pump: Florida gas prices continue to drop. “The state average has now declined nearly 25 cents per gallon over the course of a little more than two weeks. The average price in the state is now $4.01 for a gallon of regular gas. That’s 27 cents less than a month ago, and the lowest price since Russia invaded Ukraine.”

• WFSU: Gadsden County residents voice opposition to likely removal of Rep. Lawson’s district. “Florida lawmakers are meeting in Tallahassee this week to pass a new congressional map as part of the once-a-decade reapportionment process. Republican legislative leaders have said that they plan to pass a map that the governor will sign and that can stand up in court.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Gov. Ron DeSantis approves $80 million for new trauma center at UF Health Jacksonville. “Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday in Jacksonville he will keep $80 million in the budget approved by the state Legislature for a new UF Health Jacksonville trauma center that will be named in honor of the late Leon Haley Jr., who died a year ago while serving as the hospital CEO.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Judge overseeing Nikolas Cruz death penalty trial sheds anonymity for national spotlight. “Elizabeth Scherer has been a Broward County circuit court judge since 2012, but her tenure had been mostly unnoteworthy until she was randomly selected to oversee the trial of Nikolas Cruz.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): What is going on with Florida’s first 3D printed house? Find out why it’s still not completed. “The three-bedroom, two-bath house, which will have a listing price of $225,000, still needs electric wiring, appliances, paint, flooring and kitchen furnishings before being ready for its first open house.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Over 700 license plates banned in Florida. “According to FLHSMV, license plates with ‘obscene or objectionable words’ are rejected. If a plate is issued that is later found to be obscene or objectionable, the plate will be recalled. Staff in the tax collectors’ offices or FLHSMV offices screen vanity plates for potentially obscene options.”

• The Alligator: Hawks plunge at pedestrians in the Norman Hall area. “The hawks are back for their annual mating season, ready to dive-bomb anyone near their babies. This is the third year that the same set of hawks has nested, UF’s Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services Mark Helms said. They come every spring for six weeks and leave once they have their babies.”

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From NPR News

• World: Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (April 18)

• World: A charity kitchen in Ukraine linked to chef José Andrés was destroyed by a missile

• Health: Some major U.S. airlines are dropping mask mandates for travelers

• Business: InfoWars files for bankruptcy in the face of lawsuits over Sandy Hook shooting denial

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