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Florida Argues Case Challenging DeSantis School Mask Order Should Be Tossed

Aug 17, 2021

Arguing that the case raises a “political” question, attorneys for the state say a circuit judge should dismiss a lawsuit challenging moves by Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration that seek to prevent school districts from requiring students to wear masks.

The attorneys for DeSantis, the State Board of Education, the state Department of Education and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran filed a 38-page motion Monday urging Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper to toss out the case filed by parents from various parts of Florida amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

North Florida Land Trust

The North Florida Land Trust has canceled its upcoming fundraising event in historic American Beach due to concerns over the rising cases of COVID-19.

News4Jax

A former finance director for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has been sentenced to seven years behind bars for embezzling well over a half million dollars from the department.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Duval County Public Schools board members met Tuesday to consider whether to reconsider the district’s face mask rules, as the district’s coronavirus dashboard shows 222 cases in the first four days of school. 

These MOSH interior concept renderings were released Tuesday.
MOSH

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) said Tuesday it has selected DLR Group as the lead architect for its planned Northbank location. DLR Group will work with kasper architects + associates, a Jacksonville architecture firm, and SCAPE, a New York-based landscape architecture firm.

DIA Committee Approves Fuqua's Proposal For Former Times-Union Site

Aug 17, 2021
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The proposed $182.2 million redevelopment of the former Florida Times-Union campus along Riverside Avenue is moving forward.

Amy Donofrio

Duval County Public Schools is paying $300,000 dollars to terminated employee Amy Donofrio, according to a settlement agreement. In exchange, Donofrio agrees to release her charges against the district. 

Sydney Boles / WJCT News

The Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment site at the Downtown Jacksonville Main Library opened Tuesday morning, offering a COVID-19 treatment option with no doctor referral needed. 

Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

Gov Ron DeSantis on Monday announced the opening of a state-supported site at Camping World Stadium in Orlando where up to 320 people a day can receive monoclonal antibody treatment to help fight COVID-19 infections.

Tim Tebow Released By Jacksonville Jaguars

Aug 17, 2021
Jacksonville Jaguars / Via Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released Northeast Florida native and former Florida Gators standout quarterback Tim Tebow as a tight end, the Jaguars announced Tuesday.

Friends of James Weldon Park

James Weldon Johnson Park supporters have raised enough to money to keep two local sculptures in the park for years to come.

Groups Set Stage For Lawsuit Over Manatee Protections

Aug 16, 2021
FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION

With more than 900 manatee deaths this year in Florida, conservation groups signaled Monday that they plan to file a lawsuit against the federal government over “critical habitat” areas for the sea cows.

Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The PARC Group announced Aug. 16 that Publix Super Markets Inc., with a drive-thru pharmacy, will open in early 2023 to anchor a new shopping center in Exchange East in the eTown Village Center. 

River City Science Academy Teacher With COVID-19 Has Died

Aug 16, 2021
News4Jax

A third-grade teacher at River City Science Academy died Saturday of COVID-19.

Toll Brothers Buys Land For San Marco Town House Project

Aug 16, 2021
Jacksonville Daily Record

The developer building the Publix-anchored East San Marco shopping center sold an adjacent 1.03-acre property Aug. 12 to homebuilder Toll Brothers for $2 million.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Florida attracted 31.7 million visitors in the second quarter of this year, as the state continued to expand tourism-marketing efforts and COVID-19 vaccinations became readily available.

Tropical Depression Fred remained disorganized Friday, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says forecast confidence continues to be "lower-than-normal".

Fla. Education Board To Meet Over Compliance With Mask Rule

Aug 13, 2021
Parents and relatives wearing protective masks walk children to class before the first day of school at Sessums Elementary School Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Riverview, Fla.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press


Gov. Ron DeSantis and top state education officials are continuing to pursue a crackdown on school districts that don’t comply with a new Department of Health rule requiring that parents be allowed to opt out of student mask mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

35 COVID Cases in 3 Days At Duval Schools

Aug 13, 2021
A teacher and his students wear masks in a Texas class room on Dec. 3, 2020.
LM Otero / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Duval County Public School system is reporting 35 coronavirus cases in the first three days of school. That’s a faster spread than last year, when there were 27 reported cases in the first 2 weeks. 

a filter pocket on a mask
NPR

When shopping for a face mask for yourself or your kids, keep in mind that not all masks are created equal.

That’s especially important as transmission levels are very high in the Jacksonville area and kids are returning to school.

Agustin Cortez, 13, gets a COVID-19 test Thursday, July 15, 2021,
Marta Lavandier / ASSOCIATED PRESS

St. Johns County is asking residents to pre-register for appointments at its COVID-19 testing site, which is opening Monday, Aug. 16. 

Jacksonville Area Added 260K People as Area Grew More Diverse, U.S. Census Says

Aug 13, 2021
Aerial view of downtown Jacksonville.
John Raoux / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Jacksonville area gained about 260,000 people over the past decade, pushing the population to 1.6 million as people of increasingly varied colors and backgrounds made homes in Northeast Florida, census data released Thursday showed.

6 Takeaways About Tropical Cyclones And Hurricanes From The New IPCC Report

Aug 13, 2021
NOAA captured this image of Hurricane Irma's eye over the Florida Keys on the morning of September 10, 2017.
NOAA

With climate change helping produce a global horror film of extreme weather disasters this summer, and the peak Atlantic hurricane and Western fire seasons just arriving, a new landmark United Nations climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change offers the most thorough evaluation of the physical science associated with global warming so far, including the climate science of tropical cyclones.

Update:

As of 5 AM Friday morning, Fred remains a tropical depression with winds up to 35 mph. The system is off the northern coast of Cuba, and about 370 miles east southeast of Key West. The forecast remains on track for some strengthening Friday as it approaches the Straits of Florida and moves into the far eastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

The Tropical Storm Watch over the Keys and the Straits of Florida has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning. A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect from Bonita Beach to Blackwater Sound.

Palm Beach County, Fla., has asked 440 students to quarantine just two days into the school year, after 51 students and faculty had confirmed cases on COVID-19.

Councilman Ron Salem speaking to firefighters and JSO officers ahead of his election.
Ron Salem's City Council Facebook page

The Jacksonville City Council began the budget process for the upcoming fiscal year Thursday, with the Finance Committee meeting for its first of seven scheduled budget hearings. 

News4Jax

Jacksonville hospitals are preparing for more COVID-19 cases, with some requesting ventilators.

Swisher's manufacturing plant at 459 E. 16th Street in Jacksonville is pictured.
Swisher.com

Swisher, the Jacksonville-based company best known for its Swisher Sweets cigars, has announced a new initiative to fund experiential and emerging brands in adult lifestyle product categories.

For rent sign
RICH PEDRONCELLI / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

A new analysis released Thursday forecasts that housing in Jacksonville will continue to get less affordable through the end of the year.

St. Simons Pier closures illustration
Glynn County

The St. Simons Pier is getting a makeover that is resulting in some closures.

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