WJCT News

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of the regular 2021 legislative session on April 30.
WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

DeSantis Pushes Through Pardon For All Florida COVID-19 Violators

With Gov. Ron DeSantis saying lockdown restrictions and mask mandates meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 did more harm than good, the state clemency board on Wednesday pardoned all Floridians who were arrested or fined for violating local-government requirements about wearing masks or social distancing.

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Pictured from left: Nick Smith, SmartStream Executive VP; Haytham Kaddoura, SmartStream CEO; Mayor Lenny Curry; Bharat Malesha, SmartStream Executive VP
JaxChamber

SmartStream, a financial technology company that's headquartered in London and owned by the government of Dubai, opened a Jacksonville office this week.

A home is pictured for sale in the Secret Woods subdivision on Jacksonville's Southside.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Home value appreciation continued to break records nationwide in May, online real estate company Zillow said on Wednesday. In the Jacksonville metro area, home values shot up 13.7%, year over year, to a median price of $271,909.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry speaks to campers at the Carpenter's Shop Center on June 15, 2021.
Tristan Wood / WJCT News

After being halted or reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacksonville-sponsored summer camps are returning to normal operations.

Barge Bridgeport Response

Marine salvage crews are continuing to work on a 400-foot-long cargo ship carrying coal ash that ran aground near Jacksonville in March. 

Orange Park Mall's Owner Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Jun 15, 2021
Orange Park Mall
Jacksonville Daily Record

Washington Prime Group Inc., owner of the Orange Park Mall and 100 other retail properties, filed a “prearranged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition June 13.

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State News

A dozen stingrays that were found dead at Zoo Tampa last month likely died from a lack of oxygen due to a malfunction in the touch tank.

Zoo officials released the findings of their investigation Tuesday.

It shows the 12 stingrays died on May 27 from what officials describe as a super saturation event that caused "gas bubble disease" — or fatal gas embolisms in the rays. That's when gas bubbles enter the blood stream, similar to the "bends" that scuba divers can contract.

University of South Florida officials have announced that a men's basketball coach who was accused of making inappropriate comments to players will not return to the team.

Associate head coach Tom Herrion had been placed on administrative leave in March while he was being investigated for making what was termed at that time as "racially charged" comments.

Pinellas County officials say they are beginning to clear their beaches of marine life apparently killed by red tide.

A statement released Tuesday afternoon says satellite imagery shows a patchy bloom of red tide off the Pinellas coast. Forecasts expect it to move north for the next seven to 10 days.

The deadline for residents recovering from Hurricane Michael to apply for money from a state program that helps cover the cost of housing repairs, reconstruction or replacement is fast approaching.

Low-to-moderate income homeowners and rental owners have until June 16 to begin an application for state and federal housing assistance through the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program. After residents have started an application, they have until June 30 to submit it.

1000 Friends of Florida says a 2019 state law is blocking them from doing their job. The growth management group tries to work with residents, local governments, and developers to promote sustainable development policy that protects the environment and quality of life. That can often mean filing lawsuits. But the new law requires the losing party in lawsuits about development to pay all attorney fees for the prevailing party.

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NPR News

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday easily approved legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, the national remembrance of the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

Memorial Day. Thanksgiving. Labor Day.

You may be used to seeing your calendar punctuated by the various holidays that occur throughout the year.

But on one New Jersey school district's calendar, each one of these days will be listed, simply, as "day off."

It all started when the school board in Randolph Township voted to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Some residents were outraged, so the board said that instead it would wipe holiday names from the school calendar altogether while still observing the days off.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 6:51 PM ET

Survivors of domestic and gang violence have better odds of getting asylum in the U.S. as the Justice Department reverses controversial rulings from the Trump administration.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM ET

The Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into the economy despite a sharp jump in consumer prices.

The central bank said Wednesday it would leave interest rates near zero and maintain its aggressive program of bond purchases in hopes of encouraging a faster rebound from the pandemic recession.

"We at the Fed will do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery," Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday.

Your Pricey Peloton Has Another Problem For You To Sweat Over

10 hours ago

Peloton users have something new to worry about.

In a new report, security company McAfee says hackers can gain remote access to a Peloton bike's camera and microphone and can monitor users. The attackers can also add apps disguised as Netflix and Spotify to encourage users to input login credentials for later malicious use.

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