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.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-YOUNG ORGANIZERS
Young novice protest leaders help drive US wave of dissent
Young organizers are helping drive the outpouring of protest against racism and police brutality around the U.S. Many have grown up seeing videos about deaths of people of color at the hands of police. The young organizers have native fluency with social media, and are showing how learning and communication can translate quickly into real-life action. In big cities and small towns, both conservative and liberal, they are taking matters into their own hands and bringing together hundreds or thousands of people. They say they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Pence cancels some political events because of virus spikes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona for this coming week as the states experience a surge in new coronavirus cases. The White House says Pence will still travel to those states to meet with their governors and health teams. Florida and Arizona have set records for new confirmed infections in recent days. Pence is traveling to Dallas on Sunday to attend a “Celebrate Freedom Rally” at First Baptist Church Dallas before meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. But political events in Arizona on Tuesday and Florida on Thursday have been pushed off.
Florida bans bar alcohol consumption as coronavirus spikes
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has banned alcohol consumption at its bars as the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases nears 9,000. The number is a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago. The Florida agency that governs bars announced the ban Friday after the Department of Health reported more than 8,900 new confirmed cases, topping the previous record of 5,500 set Wednesday. State officials have attributed much of the new outbreak to young adults flocking to bars after they reopened. On Friday night, Miami-Dade County’s mayor announced he would sign an executive order closing beaches in the county over the Fourth of July weekend.
NFL’s coaching summit highlights minority candidates
The biggest takeaway following the NFL’s two-day quarterback coaching summit is there’s no shortage of qualified minority candidates waiting for opportunities to be head coaches and coordinators. The league and the Black College Football Hall of Fame earlier this week held a virtual version of their summit, a third-year project aimed at improving the league’s diversity. Dozens of pro and college football coaches and assistants participated. Washington Redskins executive Doug Williams, who co-founded the Black College Football Hall of Fame, says the “pipeline is full.”
Isolate on arrival: NYC region is latest to try quarantine
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are the latest states to enact 14-day traveler quarantines to try to check the spread of the coronavirus. After being slammed by the outbreak this spring, the states’ governors hope they can preserve their tenuous recovery by making travelers from more than a half-dozen struggling states isolate themselves. There are few details on how the quarantine enacted Thursday will be enforced, but the playbooks from other states include everything from making new arrivals fill out forms to having National Guard members knock on doors.
Dolphins owner pledges $13 million to anti-racism initiative
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pledged an additional $13 million over four years to his anti-racism RISE initiative. Ross established RISE five years ago to promote unity and combat systemic racism. The organization says it has helped 12,000 students, athletes, coaches and staff at all levels to help champion social justice and improve race relations. He has now committed $30 million to RISE — the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. RISE says that over the next four years, it will continue to work with such organizations as NASCAR and USA Track and Field.
Starkville readvertises open parks director job
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — The City of Starkville is looking for a new leader of its Parks and Recreation department. Mayor Lynn Spruill told The Dispatch the city decided to reopen its search for a new executive director after the board of aldermen’s first choice declined the post. Gerry Logan, the previous parks director, left in March to take a sales position with a private company. David D’Aquilla, a member of the design team for Cornerstone Park, has been serving as part-time interim director since March 30.
Judge delays Roger Stone’s prison surrender for 2 weeks
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge is giving Trump ally Roger Stone an additional two weeks before he must report to serve his federal prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on Friday comes days after Stone asked the court to allow him to put off serving his more than 3-year sentence until September, citing coronavirus concerns. The judge says Stone will be on home confinement before beginning his prison sentence, in part because of “the strong medical recommendation” submitted by his defense lawyers. He would need to surrender at FCI Jesup, a federal prison in Georgia, on July 14.