Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

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Jim Turner is a reporter for The News Service of Florida.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Apalachicola Bay oysters, sweet and salty mollusks best served raw on the half-shell with a little lemon juice, will be off the menu for up to five years in the latest effort to revive the oyster population in the Franklin County bay.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Planning continues for the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville, the host committee announced late Monday after Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, a Republican, warned the city isn’t ready for even a scaled-down event.

Aardwolf Brewing Company / Via Facebook

With no end in sight for bars across Florida that are prohibited from allowing drinking on premises, the state is making an example of at least one Jacksonville brewery, according to its owner.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

President Donald Trump pointed Tuesday to being “very flexible” when asked if increasing coronavirus cases could affect his desire for a big nominating convention next month in Jacksonville.

Gov. Ron DeSantis saw his net worth increase nearly 3 percent in his first year residing in the governor’s mansion.

DeSantis reported a net worth of $291,449 as of Dec. 31, 2019, up from $283,605 at the end of 2018, according to a new financial disclosure posted on the Florida Commission on Ethics website.

The St. Johns River
The University of North Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law measures that include bigger fines for dumping pollutants into waterways and new rules for septic tanks and agricultural runoff, though environmentalists said the rules don’t go far enough.

A bar near the University of Central Florida has had its state alcoholic beverage license suspended for violating reopening guidelines after 13 employees and at least 28 customers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

File photo of people voting
TONY DEJAK / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

As Democrats hope to dent Republican majorities in both legislative chambers, the major parties will clash in 96 of 120 state House seats and 17 of 20 Senate contests, according to data posted by the Florida Division of Elections after the qualifying ended Friday at noon.

Surrounded by sports standouts, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday put his signature on a bill intended to allow student-athletes at Florida colleges and universities to cash in on their names and likenesses.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Calling it a “big win,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said Friday he envisions the Republican convention in August as an opportunity to showcase the city and get people back to work following massive shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed 25 bills into law, including approving $2.15 million for a Jacksonville man wrongfully imprisoned for almost 43 years and two measures tied to a series of controversial highway plans.

News Service of Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried asserted Thursday the governor and state Cabinet members should have been jointly coordinating the response to the coronavirus pandemic, as a new report showed another 173,731 first-time unemployment claims were filed last week in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pictured at a March 30 news conference in Miami Gardens.
PBS NEWSHOUR

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday the political conventions for both major parties would be great for Florida's coronavirus-damaged economy as President Donald Trump has suggested moving the planned Republican convention out of North Carolina.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that most remaining unsettled claims in the state’s heavily criticized unemployment system are due to incomplete applications.

Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will announce Friday additional “phase one” measures to reopen the state’s economy, with the moves expected to include allowing more people to be seated in restaurants and allowing gyms to operate.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Florida’s next budget remains on hold pending another round of federal stimulus money, which could also dictate how state lawmakers readdress the spending plan.

TALLAHASSEE --- Coronavirus hair can soon be professionally snipped.

Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a video Friday featuring Orlando barbershop owner John Henry, who announced that starting Monday, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of the state after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A placard on a restaurant table reminds customers to use social distancing.
Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Servers and other employees won’t be counted toward limits on occupancy when restaurants reopen Monday under coronavirus guidelines, the state’s top business regulator said.

blue and red barber shop pole outside of storefront
Vicki Palombo / Special to WJCT News

Barber shops and hair salons are still on the sidelines as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening of select businesses during the coronavirus pandemic begins Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that reopening the state after coronavirus-caused shutdowns will be “very methodical” and “data-driven,” and some people might think it is too slow.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Florida's overwhelmed online unemployment-compensation system was continuing to show signs of stress Monday morning after being taken down over the weekend as the state scrambles to process applications and reduce a massive backlog of claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

David Zalubowski / Associated Press

Shop owners in rural counties without large reported outbreaks of COVID-19 are ready to reopen under new sanitation and physical distancing guidelines, the state’s top business regulator said Friday.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Expect “virtual” or expanded FastPass-style lines, staggered seating on rides, online food ordering and limited crowds when Florida’s major theme parks eventually reopen after being shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to get the state’s economy up and running from the crush of the coronavirus might require gradual steps.

A car stops to pick up reemployment forms.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Just over 6 percent of people who have filed jobless claims since mid-March had received checks as of Sunday, inching up from roughly 4 percent when Gov. Ron DeSantis revamped management of the overwhelmed unemployment-compensation system last week.

Associated Press file photo

Florida’s unemployment rate jumped in March, but it still remained a sign of better times.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday defended declaring professional wrestling an essential service and raised the possibility of holding other televised sporting events in empty venues as people shelter at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed seven bills into law late Wednesday, including measures that will place additional restrictions on ballot initiatives and provide sales-tax “holidays” around the start of hurricane season and the upcoming school year.

An employment application form.
Mike Groll / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis is focusing on improvements being made to the state’s overwhelmed unemployment-compensation system, rather than his embattled appointee overseeing the work. Meanwhile, paper applications are being made available across the state.

I-95 traffic backup
News4Jax

Travel in and out of Florida is getting tougher on both sides of the Florida/Georgia border.

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