WJCT News

Empty pedestal in Hemming Park where the Confederate monument once stood. Building and trees in the background
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Curry Weighs In On Hemming Park, Provides Update On Confederate Monuments Removal

During Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s COVID-19 media briefing Wednesday afternoon, he weighed in on the renaming of Downtown’s Hemming Park and provided some context on the city’s removal of Confederate monuments and markers.

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Baker County mural, with a bunch of different, smaller pictures inside of it.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

After agreeing to explore relocation of the controversial mural that hangs in the Baker County Courthouse in July, some of the commissioners backpedaled on their previous assertions Tuesday night. 

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

An agreement between the Duval Teachers United (DTU) union, Duval County Public Schools, and five other employee representative groups would give teachers and other district employees a new COVID-19 related health benefit. It’s also expected to improve the district’s responsiveness to potential COVID-19 cases in schools, the groups and the district said in a joint release.

Duval School Board To Consider Renaming Jackson, Ribault High Schools, Ribault Middle

14 hours ago
Bruce Lipsky / The Florida Times-Union

The Duval County School Board will launch the process to consider renaming three additional schools, the namesakes of which are tied to the marginalization of Native Americans.

Synergy Technologies To Add 300 Jobs In Jacksonville

15 hours ago
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Synergy Technologies LLC, which was code-named project Skateboard, will add 300 jobs to its Jacksonville operation, according to an Aug. 4 JAXUSA Partnership news release.

Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The proposed Exchange at Jacksonville mixed-use retail project near St. Johns Town Center apparently won’t be developed, at least anytime soon.

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State News

Following guidance from federal, state and local health experts, Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at the Fort Pickens Campground next week.

The park is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida Department of Health and others to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, along with using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. 

Medicaid Enrollment Expected To Top 4.3 Million

16 hours ago

Medicaid enrollment will balloon by more than 14 percent during the state’s current fiscal year, with economists predicting an average monthly enrollment of 4.36 million people.

The economists, who met last week to discuss the enrollment trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic, did not estimate the costs associated with the surge in enrollment. They will meet Thursday to look at the financial impact.

TALLAHASSEE --- After condemning mail-in voting for months, President Donald Trump is now encouraging Floridians to cast their ballots by mail, assuring in a social media post Tuesday that the state’s election system “is Safe and Secure.”

Florida Back-To-School Tax Holiday Offers Breaks On Clothing And Computers

16 hours ago

Retailers reeling from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic hope Floridians will indulge in a chance to save some money this weekend as students prepare for the new school year, whether it be in traditional classrooms or online.

The state will hold a sales-tax “holiday” from Friday through Sunday, allowing back-to-school shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes costing $60 or less and school supplies costing $15 or less.

State Representative Randy Fine has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Republican lawmaker, who represents southern Brevard County, tested positive for the coronavirus about two weeks ago. His wife and two sons also tested positive, but he says they have already recovered.

Fine spoke with me by telephone on Monday.

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NPR News

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Wednesday that he is authorizing the city to shut off water and power service to properties hosting large house parties, which he said had "essentially become nightclubs in the hills."

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that the state's economy will remain paused in Phase 2 for five more weeks, keeping bars, gyms and indoor entertainment venues closed until at least Sept. 11.

He said that the state's coronavirus numbers show promising signs of stabilization, and the start of the school year later this month means it is the time to "double down" on safety.

Both Twitter and Facebook have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are "almost immune from this disease."

Florida's elections system, which has been the butt of political jokes for almost two full decades, got a reprieve this week, as President Trump seemed to indicate it was the only state he felt confident could run a vote-by-mail system.

"Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!"

A Louisiana man will continue to spend his life in prison for stealing a pair of hedge clippers, after the state's Supreme Court denied his request to review a lower court's sentence.

Fair Wayne Bryant was convicted in 1997 of stealing the hedge clippers. Prosecutors pursued and won a life sentence in the case, a penalty permissible under the state's habitual offender law. Bryant appealed the life sentence as too severe.

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