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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. 30, 2020 at 2:23 AM CDT
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VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA

Florida doctor: Infections will rise for weeks to come

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — As Florida enters the height of summer tourist season, the state’s largest cities and counties have halted business re-openings, closed beaches and mandated masks, hoping the measures will slow the blooming coronavirus outbreak. But a University of Florida epidemiologist warns that things are likely to get worse before they get better. Dr. Cindy Prins says Florida is likely to see an increase in cases in the short term, even though cities are now mandating masks and social distancing measures. She says Florida is unfortunately "a couple of weeks late to the game of really being able to get this under control.”

AP-US-CLIMATE-CHANGE-FLORIDA

New Florida laws address sea level, algae, pythons, iguanas

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is addressing sea level rise, iguanas, pythons and algae in a number of new Florida laws.  A bill he signed Tuesday attempts to rein in the blue-green algae blooms that have hurt tourism and wildlife. The day before he signed a bill requiring public coastal construction projects to first be reviewed for impacts on the state’s fragile seashore because of rising sea levels. He also signed bills allowing the state to use drones to hunt invasive pythons and to ban the breeding, trading, sale and possession of iguanas.

ABORTION-FLORIDA

Florida governor signs abortion parental consent bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Girls under the age of 18 will have to get a parent’s permission before having an abortion under a bill signed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis chose to sign the abortion bill with no fanfare and out of the public eye on Tuesday. DeSantis asked lawmakers to send him the bill during his State of the State speech that kicked off the legislative session in January. The bill was passed in February, but the legislative leaders didn’t send it to DeSantis until this month.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-FLORIDA

White Florida officer charged in shoving of Black woman

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors say a white Florida police officer is facing a battery charge for allegedly shoving a kneeling Black woman to the ground during a protest march last month. Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said Fort Lauderdale officer 29-year-old Steven Pohorence was seen “intentionally touching or striking” the 19-year-old woman during a civil rights protest march on May 31. The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Pohorence was previously suspended by the Fort Lauderdale police chief. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday if Pohorence has a lawyer to speak for him.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-MAILBOX

White man charged with pointing gun at Black homeowner

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say a white Florida man pointed a gun at a Black homeowner earlier this month and accused the other man of stealing a flyer from his own mailbox. The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that 58-year-old Joseph Max Fucheck faces two felony charges. Investigators say the victim was outside his Miami-area home on June 14 when Fucheck drove by in an SUV, placed a flyer in the victim’s mailbox and drove away. After the victim retrieved the card for Fucheck’s real estate business, Fucheck returned and accused of the victim of stealing the card. Investigators say Fucheck pulled a gun on the victim and used racial slurs before leaving.

AP-US-BANNING-SUNSCREEN-BANS

Florida gov chooses side in sunscreen debate: Slather away!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — When it comes to sunscreen, skin cancer and coral reefs, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is siding with sun worshipers who have gotten tacit approval to slather away. The Republican governor announced on Monday that he signed into law a measure that reverses a ban on sunscreen imposed by Key West. Advocates said the ban would help protect reefs and the fragile ecosystem they host, but DeSantis sided with opponents who argued that people’s health outweighed threats to the reefs. The bill was one of 28 that DeSantis signed into law Monday. Another measure officially made telegraph irrelevant by eliminating a chapter in the state code devoted to the technology.

DOORBELL CAMERA BIRTH

Doorbell camera catches parking lot birth in Florida

MARGATE, Fla. (AP) — This was not one of those delivery videos that some pregnant moms plan for. A Florida birthing center says an expectant mother was a few steps from entering the building but her baby couldn't wait. She gave birth while standing up outside, with a midwife catching the baby and a doorbell camera catching all the action. RING video shows the mother standing with her husband supporting her and a midwife crouching behind. Police arrive but the midwife tells them she's OK. Moments later, the slippery newborn pops out and the midwife catches her. Susan Anderson has named her baby girl Julia.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENT VANDALIZED

Confederate monument is vandalized in Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Police say a Confederate monument has been vandalized in Florida, weeks before officials decide on its possible removal. Pensacola police said the monument in the city’s downtown area was spray painted with the words “Your Confederate Dead,” and smeared with red paint. Police officers were examining the cameras of surrounding areas to identify suspects. The monument has been a subject of debate for several years with some seeking its removal in the wake of racial justice protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Pensacola City Council is set to vote on whether to remove it on July 16.

PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE

Judges question warrants in Kraft massage parlor sex case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida appeals court is questioning the legality of police video recording that show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft receiving massage parlor sex he allegedly paid for.  The Fourth District Court of Appeals panel repeatedly queried a prosecutor who said the 2019 recordings and the warrants that allowed them met constitutional standards. One said the prosecutor seemed to be ignoring several Supreme Court rulings that restrict electronic surveillance. Kraft and dozens of other men are charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. He has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. The massage parlor owners are charged with felonies.

GIRLFRIEND ARRESTED

Florida woman charged in ex-boyfriend's shooting death

SOUTH BAY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman is facing homicide charges in the shooting death of her ex-boyfriend. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says 29-year-old Roykeria Wiley was seen in surveillance camera footage running from a South Bay, Florida home moments after 43-year-old Estevan Rodriguez was shot from close range. The footage also captured a man running from the home and getting into the woman’s truck. Authorities say the couple broke up and Wiley had a violent outburst in that home three days before the killing. The Palm Beach Post reports a judge ordered Monday that Wiley remain jailed without the possibility of posting bail.

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