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News Service of Florida

Florida Can Thank 'Luck' As Hurricane Season Ends

As the most-active hurricane season on record officially ends on Monday, Nov. 30, Florida overall has been relatively lucky.

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Documents Indicate DIA Wants Final Jacksonville Landing Park Design By August

21 hours ago
Jacksonville Daily Record

Draft documents from the Downtown Investment Authority show the city plans to spend up to $300,000 to solicit designs for a minimum 4.5-acre riverfront “park/plaza” at the former Jacksonville Landing site.

Black Firefighters Sue Over Jacksonville Policy Requiring Them To Be Cleanshaven

21 hours ago
Florida Times-Union file photo

Thirty Black Jacksonville firefighters are suing the city over its requirement to be cleanshaven, saying unreasonable standards are making them choose between painful skin problems and losing their careers.

Patricia is one of the dogs available for adoption at the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Jacksonville Humane Society

Beginning on Black Friday, Nov. 27, and running through Sunday, Nov. 29, all adoptions at the Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) and city-run Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS) will be free. 

ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Flagler Hospital COVID-19 testing site in St. Augustine will be closed Friday, Nov. 27.

Black Lives Matter flag in front of a clear sky.
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Attorneys for a Jacksonville man who was told to take down a Black Lives Matter flag in his front yard are filing a federal suit, alleging discrimination and suppression of the First Amendment right of free speech.

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State News

DeSantis Extends Order Blocking Business Shutdowns During Pandemic

21 hours ago

Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a September executive order aimed at preventing business shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two storm systems could affect outdoor plans across the Sunshine State this holiday weekend, with the latter potentially being more disruptive to those with travel plans Sunday or Monday.

While holiday travel is expected to decline this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Highway Patrol is out in force this week on interstates and major highways, focusing on speeders, seat-belt violations and impaired drivers.

Last year, Florida had more than 10,000 traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period, which starts on the Friday before Thanksgiving and continues through the Sunday after the holiday. Those crashes led to 392 serious bodily injuries and 98 deaths.

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida has seen a spike in Medicaid enrollment since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the agency responsible for enrolling and disenrolling people in the health-care program is swamped.

Mark Mahoney, a 16-year veteran at the Department of Children and Families and director of revenue management, told state economists last week that processing Medicaid applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as applications for other social service programs, has been an enormous undertaking.

An appeals court in Tallahassee this week heard arguments in a mask mandate challenge, after an Alachua County man’s case had been rejected by lower courts.

The attorney for an Alachua man fighting a local mask ordinance, in a test of mask mandates statewide, argued required wearing goes against rights provided by the U.S. and state constitutions.

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NPR News

Germany is extending its current coronavirus lockdown measures through mid-December, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced this week.

The country will remain under measures introduced in early November that include limits on private gatherings and it will keep bars, restaurants, and museums closed.

Residents will be given some leeway around the Christmas holiday. Members of one household can meet up with 10 people between Dec. 23 to Jan. 1. Children under 14 are exempt.

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to name a second high-level climate position in the White House, a counterpart to his diplomatic climate envoy John Kerry, to ramp up action dramatically at home.

Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister has died of COVID-19-related complications, his party announced early Thursday.

Sadiq al-Mahdi was 84.

He died in hospital in the United Arab Emirates, where he was receiving treatment after becoming infected with the coronavirus, the National Umma Party, which he led until his death, announced Thursday.

Updated at 2:21 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas designated coronavirus hot spots, in a decision released late Wednesday.

The court ruled that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order violated the First Amendment's "free exercise" clause, and actively discriminated against religious institutions.

A federal court in Washington, D.C., has tossed out a lawsuit filed against President Trump's efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from a key set of census numbers.

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