Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 1:23 AM EDT
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No record set, but new Florida COVID-19 cases stoke worry

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is reporting nearly 3,500 more new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, a dip from the record-breaking numbers of recent days. The rising number of new cases has prompted health officials to reissue advisories urging social distancing. Some businesses are also reevaluating their decisions to reopen. The latest numbers were a drop from the record high of 4,000 new cases reported the day before. To date, Florida has now head more than 97,000 Floridians infected with COVID-19. The number of deaths has now eclipsed 3,160, including the 17 additional deaths announced by health officials on Sunday.


In America's oldest city, a reckoning over confederate past

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In America’s oldest city, anguish over a monument memorializing confederate soldiers will come to a head Monday. That's when St. Augustine commissioners decide if they will authorize the removal of a structure from its historic central plaza. The memorial memorializes dozens of the city’s sons who died fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The memorial has stood at the city's historic Plaza de la Constitucion since 1879. Those who want it removed see it as disrespectful to the descendants of slavery. But those who want to keep it, say it's a remembrance of the area's fallen sons.


While Confederate statues come down, other symbols targeted

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Spectators in North Carolina’s capital cheered Sunday morning as work crews finished the job started by protesters Friday night and removed a Confederate statue from the top of a 75-foot monument. News outlets reported that work crews acting on the order of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper removed the statue Sunday morning and began taking down the obelisk on which it stood. Sunday’s work follows the removal of two other Confederate statues on the state Capitol grounds on Saturday. Meanwhile, the American Museum of Natural History in New York will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.


George Soros conspiracy theories surge as protests sweep US

A growing number of people on the far right are falsely claiming that liberal billionaire George Soros orchestrated the protests that have roiled the U.S. They allege without evidence that he's paid demonstrators and even arranged for piles of bricks to be left near protests. Researchers who study conspiracy theories say it's a way to delegitimize the demonstrations and the thousands who have gathered to protest racial injustice. While Soros' support for liberal causes has long made him the target of conspiracy theories, social media analysts say they've seen an unprecedented spike in online mentions of the investor and philanthropist since the protests began.


Florida governor stiffens penalties against bear poaching

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida bears are getting stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance. Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures. The bill was among a slate of 21 pieces of legislation the governor signed Saturday. The black bear population dwindled to the low hundreds back in the 1970s, but has since come roaring back with more than 4,000 of the creatures now roaming the state. New rules going into effect July 1 raises the minimum fine for bear poaching to $750 from $500.


Former Florida State football player wants stadium renamed

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida State football player is leading a drive to rename the university’s stadium, asserting in a petition that the man it is named for, Doak S. Campbell, was a segregationist. Kendrick Scott, who was a linebacker for the school from 1991 to 1994, wants Campbell’s name removed from the stadium. Campbell served as president of Florida State College for Women when he led its transition in 1947 to a coed campus renamed as Florida State University, now one of the state’s largest. With a capacity for more than 79,000 spectators, the stadium is said to be the largest structure constructed out of bricks in the United States.


Florida sheriff decries hanging mannequin in police uniform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, are investigating after motorists saw a startling scene Saturday morning as they drove along a Florida interstate: a mannequin dressed in a police uniform dangling from a rope at an overpass. Emergency crews in Jacksonville were called to investigate a possible suicide. But when they got there, they discovered a mannequin hanging from an Interstate 95 overpass wearing a pig mask and dressed in a New York City police uniform. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said the incident was “extremely disturbing” and a deliberate attempt to stoke anti-police sentiment.


Florida governor says younger people drive COVID-19 surge

MIAMI (AP) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is downplaying a continued rise in confirmed coronavirus cases after the state reopened by saying more younger people with no symptoms are being tested. He also hinted Friday that recent protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota might drive up positive tests, and said some people have started to disregard advice to wear masks, social distance and avoid large crowds. Florida has had nearly 90,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, resulting in more than 3,100 deaths. The state has allowed bars, restaurants and some theme parks to reopen, and since then cases have spiked.


Florida unemployment hits record high, but peak may be near

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s unemployment rate jumped higher in May, hitting a record 14.5% as the state continued reeling from the economic shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak. According to the U.S. Labor Department, Florida’s unemployment rate jumped slightly from 13.8% in April. Before the coronavirus hit and devastated the state’s tourism, retail and other industries, February’s unemployment rate had been 2.8%. Before April, the highest unemployment Florida had seen since World War II had been 11.3% in early 2010. Still there are glimmers of hope. Some people who quit seeking work have rejoined the labor market as some businesses begin rehiring.


Sheriff: Deputies shoot armed man outside rehab clinic

WILTON MANORS, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say an armed man was wounded Friday afternoon during a shootout with Florida deputies in a parking lot near a rehab center. The Broward Sheriff's Office says the shooting occurred near the Wilton Manors Health and Rehabilitation Center. Detectives had attempted to apprehend the man as part of a narcotics investigation. Two deputies fired their weapons, though it wasn’t known whether both hit the man. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting.