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First Read: Puppy, Kitten Mills Blocked From Selling In Jax Beach

WJCT First Read

The city of Jacksonville Beach has banned the sale of cats and dogs that come from so-called puppy and kitten mills. The School Board is considering requiring Duval County elementary and middle-school to wear uniforms. The House and Senate are following different rhetorical paths in redrawing Florida’s congressional borders, but so far their proposals are pretty similar.

It’s Thursday, August 20, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

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Here are 8 stories you don’t want to miss.

Jacksonville Beach Bans Sales From Puppy, Kitten Mills

Jacksonville Beach is the second city in Northeast Florida, behind Fernandina Beach, to regulate pet shops’ sale of dogs and cats. “You can still sell dogs and cats in pet stores,” Jacksonville Beach City Manager George Forbes said. “It just requires that if you’re going to sell dogs and cats from pet stores, that they’ve got to be ones that are from a shelter or animal rescue organization.”

Uniforms May Be Required For All Duval County Middle, Elementary Students Next Year

The proposed mandatory uniform policy is for elementary and middle school students beginning the 2016-2017 school year. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti unveiled a plan Tuesday to engage people who would be affected.

Superintendent Vitti Says Certificates Of Completion Give ‘False Sense Of Accomplishment’

In Duval County, high school seniors are allowed to walk across the stage at graduation even if they haven't earned a diploma. Duval schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti wants to put a stop to the unearned ceremony participation.

Michael Dunn Appeals Murder Conviction Of Jordan Davis

Dunn was convicted of murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis after an argument over loud music. As the Florida Times-Union first reported, Dunn’s latest appeal says he didn’t get a fair trial because the case was so widely publicized in Jacksonville.

St. Johns River State College Receives $20,000 From Florida For Scholarships

As many as 30 St. Johns River State College students will have an easier time, thanks to a $22,000 check to the school from the Florida College System Foundation. State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says the money will go toward scholarships for students enrolled in health-care programs and for first generation students.

The Struggle Is Real For Florida Avocados

America may have fallen in love with avocado, but it has not fallen for Florida’s avocado just yet. The Sunshine State specializes in what’s called the green-skin avocado. It comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but generally speaking, green-skins are bigger, a brighter green and have smoother skin than the Hass variety of avocado.

House And Senate Following Different Paths To Similar Maps

The Florida House gathered Monday to discuss the staffer-drawn base congressional map before the entire body.  Meanwhile, the Senate’s redistricting committee met to consider a number of alternative proposals.

Preventing HIV In FL, One Condom At A Time

Jesse Dixon, a health educator with the nonprofit Hope and Help, is with a group of six health educators from Hope and Help. They walk the streets of Parramore, armed with backpacks stuffed with Ziploc bags of condoms. They talk safe sex with anyone who will listen.

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Ray Hollister can be reached at, 904-358-6341 or on Twitter at @rayhollister.