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
Hundreds line up for tests as Florida cities close beaches
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of people lined up at coronavirus testing sites around Florida as the state remained in the virus’s grip. St. Petersburg Police said on Twitter that a testing site located at Tropicana Field — where the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team normally plays — closed early because it was at capacity, shortly after 8 a.m. In Jacksonville, more than 300 cars lined up for testing at the TIAA Bank Field, where the NFL Jaguars play. Beaches and bars in South Florida are closing, just days before the normally busy Fourth of July weekend. Monroe County, which comprises the Florida Keys, said Monday it would close beaches. Fireworks shows have also been canceled in several cities, and some attractions are closing their doors as well.
1 killed, 2 hurt in shooting outside Florida Amazon facility
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida say a targeted shooting outside an Amazon facility left one person killed and two others slightly wounded. Jacksonville investigators say the 20-year-old man who was fatally shot Monday afternoon was waiting in line outside the Amazon warehouse to apply for a job. Officials say two men got out of a silver car, ran up to the victim and started firing handguns before driving away. Two bystanders were grazed by bullets but did not require hospitalization. Authorities say the shooting on the city’s north side does not appear to have been a case of workplace violence.
Florida governor signs $92.2B budget after slashing $1B
TALLAHASSEE, Fa. (AP) — Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is cutting more than $1 billion from the budget the Legislature approved in March. He signed the now $92.2 billion budget Monday, two days before the fiscal year starts. He said the cuts were deeper than he wanted because revenue is dropping because of the coronavirus. But he said he still preserved teacher and state worker raises, a boost for child welfare and $625 million for environmental projects.
Jacksonville, host of summer GOP convention, requires masks
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The city of Jacksonville is where President Donald Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination in August in his bid for re-election. But the city on Monday enacted a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations and places where social distancing isn't possile. The requirement takes effect at 5 p.m. The Republican National Committee picked Jacksonville for the political spectacle after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wouldn’t give in to the president’s insistence that the large gathering be held without social distancing measures.
RETIREMENT COMMUNITY-TRUMP TWEET
'White power' flare-up in retirement haven reveals tensions
THE VILLAGES, Fla. (AP) — There has always been a low-boil tension between a much smaller cohort of Democrats and the Republican majority in The Villages retirement community in Florida. A veneer of good manners in the largest retirement community in the U.S. mostly prevailed on golf courses and at bridge tables. But residents said Monday those good manners have been put to a test over the past several months. Those tensions got international attention last weekend when President Donald Trump tweeted approvingly of a video showing one of his supporters at the retirement community chanting “white power,” a racist slogan associated with white supremacists.
Florida governor signs into law bill to speed up recounts
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that allows local elections officials across the state to use a secondary system to speed up recounts and verify the accuracy of results. DeSantis approved the voting systems measure to employ a statewide network used for recounts. The law gives the supervisors of elections in the state's 67 counties the option of employing auditing systems that are separate from the machines and software used for the initial ballot counts. Critics said the new system had risks because it relies on digital images of the original paper ballots for recounts.
PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE
Patriots owner's prostitution case heads to appellate court
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes are trying to save their case. They will argue before a Florida appellate court on Tuesday that police legally made secret video recordings of Kraft having paid sex at a massage parlor in January 2019. A lower court judge ruled that prosecutors could not use the recordings. He said the warrant allowing police to install secret cameras inside the Orchids of Asia spa violated constitutional standards. Kraft is charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. He has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology.
Florida sees another rise in COVID-19 cases after huge spike
MIAMI (AP) — The state of Florida has set another record in daily confirmed coronavirus cases. Florida health officials said Saturday that more than 9,500 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, surpassing the previous day's total. The Department of Health said 24 more Floridians had died with COVID-19, raising the death toll to 3,390. Miami-Dade County announced late Friday it would reclose beaches from July 3 to July 7 to prevent large gatherings and the spread of the new virus during Fourth of July celebrations. Earlier Friday, state officials said they would ban alcohol consumption at bars.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA ECONOMY
Florida revenues plummet after the coronavirus shutdown
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s economy is taking a huge hit because of the coronavirus, according to a revenue report released by the state Senate president. Republican Senate President Bill Galvano sent a memo to senators Friday saying the state’s revenue in the month of April was down about $780 million from what was originally predicted. That includes sales taxes that were about $695 million below predictions. The Legislature approved a $93 billion budget in March. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has until Tuesday to sign the budget for the fiscal year that begins Wednesday, and it’s expected he’s going to heavily use his power to veto individual items in the spending plan.
Trump tweets video with 'white power' chant, then deletes it
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tweeted approvingly of a video showing one of his supporters chanting “white power,” a racist slogan associated with white supremacists. He later deleted the tweet and the White House said the president had not heard “the one statement” on the video. The video appears to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community. It shows dueling demonstrations between Trump supporters and opponents. Trump tweeted: “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott told CNN that “there’s no question “ that Trump should not have retweeted the video and ”should just take it down.” Scott is the only Black Republican in the Senate.