Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida House attorneys next week will try to convince an appeals court that a former legislator should be shielded from a lawsuit filed by a one-time aide who alleges she was fired after reporting improper conduct.

WJCT News file photo

Federal prosecutors have asked an appeals court to uphold the conviction of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown on fraud and tax charges, pushing back against arguments that a juror was improperly replaced after he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty.

video screenshot
Rebekah Jones via Twitter

A fired Florida Department of Health data analyst who contends Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has manipulated COVID-19 statistics filed a lawsuit Sunday alleging state law-enforcement agents violated her rights when they searched her home and hauled away computer equipment.

mail-in ballot evelope
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

It will be a lot harder to put proposed constitutional amendments on the 2022 ballot in Florida.

Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust


The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is handing over at least some of its oversight of Florida’s wetlands to the state.

News Service of Florida

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. leaders Wednesday supported looking for ways to increase homeowners’ rates, as they try to stem a flood of new policies at the state-backed insurer.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

An appeals court has tossed out a challenge by the Leon County Republican Party chairman to a county requirement that people wear face masks to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Donald Smith
Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

More than seven years after an 8-year-old girl was abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart, raped and murdered, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether a man sentenced to death in the slaying should receive a new trial.

A FPL electric vehicle charging station is pictured.
FPL

State regulators Tuesday approved a Florida Power & Light pilot program aimed at adding electric-vehicle charging stations, while also signing off on an FPL plan that will offer help with electric bills to some small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On April 1, just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, 7,773 people in Florida had tested positive for the insidious disease. By July 1, that total was up to 158,997. On Oct. 1, it had leaped to 709,144.

Corrine Brown walks into the United States Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville on Oct. 6, 2020.
News4Jax

Saying judges should use “utmost caution” when disqualifying jurors based on religious beliefs, attorneys for former Jacksonville area Congresswoman Corrine Brown urged a federal appeals court Monday to order a new trial in her challenge to a conviction on fraud and tax charges.

LONESTARMIKE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A federal appeals court next week will wade into a battle about whether Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, violated antitrust laws by preventing agents from selling policies for a rival insurance company.

Orlando Bacallao waves a banner with the face of President Donald Trump outside of an early voting location at the John F. Kennedy Library, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Hialeah, Fla.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

A top Florida campaign strategist for President Donald Trump credited outreach to a broad swath of voters and sophisticated use of data as playing key roles in Trump’s win Tuesday over Democrat Joe Biden in the state.

Julio Cortez / Associated Press

As he defeated Democrat Joe Biden in Florida, President Donald Trump on Tuesday used a familiar Republican playbook for statewide races: dominate in rural and mid-sized counties and try to hold down losses in urban areas.

ST. LOUIS CIRCUIT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

In a legal fight that started after the 2018 mass shooting at a Parkland high school, attorneys for the state and the National Rifle Association this month detailed dueling arguments about the constitutionality of a Florida law that prevents people under age 21 from buying guns.

News Service of Florida

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said in a television interview aired Monday that he is bisexual, as he continues to re-enter the public spotlight after a March incident in which he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office exterior
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

As the possibility of another close presidential race looms in Florida, elections supervisors in eight large counties have gone to a state appeals court in a dispute about whether they should be required to preserve digital images generated when voters cast ballots.

News Service of Florida

State House members Kimberly Daniels and Mike Hill, who clashed with other members of their parties because of sometimes-controversial positions and statements, were unseated Tuesday, while Rep. Al Jacquet also appeared headed toward defeat.

Community organizer Angie Nixon easily defeated Daniels in the Democratic primary in Duval County’s House District 14. With only a write-in opponent on the November ballot, the primary win virtually assured that Nixon will become the district’s next representative.

Weighing privacy issues, a federal appeals court has sided with a transgender student who argued his constitutional rights were violated when the St. Johns County school district prevented him from using boys’ restrooms at his high school.

A custodian wipes down a desk in a classroom.
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

As school officials across Florida continue grappling with reopening classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a major group of pediatricians Wednesday released recommendations aimed at reducing risks to children and teachers.

Four months after Florida Power & Light received approval for a similar program, Duke Energy Florida is asking regulators to sign off on a $1 billion plan that would add 10 solar-power plants in the state.

Duke filed a proposal last week at the state Public Service Commission for what it has dubbed the “Clean Energy Connection” program, which would start operating two of the proposed plants in January 2022, four in January 2023 and four in January 2024.

VIA NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida’s COVID-19 cases have raced passed 200,000 with thousands of positive test results pouring in every day.

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed 28 bills into law, including a controversial measure that will prevent local governments from imposing bans on certain types of sunscreen.

The sunscreen bill (SB 172), spearheaded by Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, stems from a plan by Key West to enforce a ban on the sale of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Key West pointed to concerns that the chemicals could damage coral reefs.

TALLAHASSEE --- Continuing to gradually finish the work of this year’s legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday signed 21 bills, including measures aimed at improving school-bus safety and preventing bear poaching.

TALLAHASSEE --- The University of Florida Board of Trustees is asking a federal judge to toss out a potential class-action lawsuit that contends the school should be required to refund tuition and fees to students after closing its campus in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorneys for the trustees last week filed a 17-page motion to dismiss the case, which alleges breach of contract and “unjust enrichment” by the university after students were forced to take online classes to finish the spring semester.

UF Health Jacksonville hospital
UF Health

In the second similar ruling in recent months, a federal judge has rejected UF Health Jacksonville’s arguments in a case about whether it should be shielded from being required to turn over records to a patient in a medical-malpractice dispute.

State university system Chancellor Marshall Criser next week will present guidelines for reopening university campuses in the fall, after students were sent home in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the University of Florida Board of Trustees over the online classes.
Spohpatuf / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Alleging “inferior” online classes after campuses closed this spring because of the coronavirus, a Florida International University student has filed what is at least the third potential class-action lawsuit seeking refunds for students in the state university system.

Picture of greyhound racing
News Service of Florida

Turning down arguments about property rights, a federal judge has rejected a challenge to a 2018 constitutional amendment that will end greyhound racing in Florida.

Trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at courthouses across the state, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady on Monday extended a suspension of jury trials and many other in-person court proceedings through May.

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