Dara Kam - News Service of Florida

Dara Kam is the Senior Reporter of The News Service Of Florida.

News Service of Florida

Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons in Florida.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

In a rebuke to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday unanimously rejected his selection of a circuit judge to serve on the Supreme Court and gave the governor until noon Monday to appoint another candidate from a list of nominees offered early this year.

News Service of Florida

Just one week after health officials signed off on guidelines for edible pot products, Florida’s largest medical marijuana operator on Wednesday began selling THC-infused candies in Tallahassee.

Photo of beer taps
News Service of Florida

Hot dogs, cold sandwiches and Hot Pockets admittedly aren’t fancy fare.

File photo of students returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Accusing the state of ignoring the Florida Constitution, a Leon County circuit judge on Monday sided with teachers unions that challenged a state order mandating that schools resume in-person instruction this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Corum/WJCT News

As children return to classrooms throughout Florida, local school officials, teachers and doctors are picking apart a state mandate requiring schools to resume in-person instruction this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

TALLAHASSEE --- With some students set to return to classrooms on Monday, state officials and Florida’s largest teachers union are locked in a legal battle over an order requiring schools to reopen this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florida Education Association last month filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other defendants, alleging that a July 6 order issued by Corcoran violates the state Constitution, which guarantees Floridians the right to “safe” and “secure” public education.

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.”

Miami-Dade County Department of Elections employee Elizabeth Prieto gathers vote-by-mail ballots for the August 18 primary election as the canvassing board meets to verify ballot signatures at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Thursday, July 30.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Floridians are flooding elections supervisors with requests for mail-in ballots as they seek a safer way to cast ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but some experts warn that absentee voting is not a panacea.

Two federal judges who formerly served on the Florida Supreme Court have refused to step aside from a voting-rights case that could determine whether hundreds of thousands of convicted felons are eligible to cast ballots in the November presidential election.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

With both sides claiming victory, a federal judge on Monday signed off on a settlement reached by the state and left-leaning groups over Florida’s vote-by-mail procedures.

In a win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, a federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to the state’s request for a rare full-court initial review of a voting rights ruling that could open the door for hundreds of thousands of Florida felons to participate in this year’s elections.

TALLAHASSEE --- Face shields, temperature checks and disposable pens are just some of the safeguards Florida officials plan to employ to combat COVID-19, as they brace for elections in August and November.

Collectively, Florida’s 67 county supervisors of elections have decades of experience responding to disasters. They’ve combatted hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and even the historic Bush v. Gore meltdown in 2000.

NELSON ANTOINE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

LGBTQ advocates are hailing Monday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that gay, lesbian and transgender workers are covered by federal anti-discrimination laws, but they say Florida needs to do more.

The court’s 6-3 opinion, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, found that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to workers’ gender identity and sexual orientation.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

A federal judge has refused to put on hold his decision allowing hundreds of thousands of Florida felons who have completed prison or jail sentences to register and vote in this year’s elections.

Highway Patrol Images / Wikimedia Commons

Keeping secret the identity of a police officer who shot a black crime suspect might seem anathema during a national time of reckoning about police brutality and racial disparity.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

More than two months after Florida received the money, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the state will start to release nearly $1.3 billion in federal funds to cash-strapped counties struggling amid a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to a question at a news conference at the Urban League of Broward County, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Since late March, Florida hotels have been allowed to operate without state restrictions, while rental properties across the street or even in the same building have gathered dust.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle decided more than six months ago that Florida cannot deny the right to vote to felons who have served their time behind bars and are genuinely unable to pay “legal financial obligations” as required by a controversial state law passed last year.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The vast majority of people convicted of felonies in Florida can’t afford to pay court-ordered fees, fines, costs and restitution, public defenders testified Tuesday during a high stakes voting-rights trial.

News Service of Florida

Will they or won’t they? And, if they do, when?

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes
News Service of Florida

As the stock marketed plummeted Monday morning, House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, indicated that fears about the novel coronavirus could affect the ongoing negotiations about a new state budget.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta is pictured.
News Service of Florida

Delivering a harsh rebuke to Gov. Ron DeSantis, an appeals court on Wednesday upheld a federal judge’s decision that the state cannot bar voting by felons who can’t afford to pay court-ordered fees and fines.

Tiffany Carr, then executive director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, speaks at a news conference held by Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Phil Coale / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida House on Thursday intensified an inquiry into Florida’s domestic violence agency, calling for additional investigations and issuing subpoenas over the former head of the taxpayer-backed organization’s compensation.

News Service of Florida

Midpoints can carry a split sensation of dread and relief.

News Service of Florida

Clifford Williams says he relied on his faith during more than four decades behind bars, including five years on Florida’s Death Row.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has heard from troubled teens struggling with depression, anguished homeowners whose dwellings were decimated by Hurricane Michael and first responders trying to remain stoic after horrific disasters.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pictured delivering his first State of the State address at the start of the 2019 legislative session.
The Florida Channel

Florida’s 60-day legislative session kicks off Tuesday, and while what’s known as “the process” has evolved over the years, some things remain the same.

Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. A Sebring bank. A yoga studio in Tallahassee. A naval air base in Pensacola.

As state lawmakers ponder how -- and if -- to respond to teens’ skyrocketing use of electronic cigarettes, one university student is influencing the Florida Senate leader’s stance on the issue.

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