Orange County

Florida environmentalists seek legal rights for water and wildlife through constitutional amendments

BY: - July 20, 2021

A network of environmentalist underdogs who proved last year they could beat the system at the local level is taking its pro-nature campaign in Florida to voters statewide for 2022. The network, through a political action committee called FL5.org, is petitioning to have five proposed constitutional amendments placed on the 2022 general ballot. Four of […]

Congress approved Juneteenth as a federal holiday, but FL Legislature failed to act on the issue

BY: - June 17, 2021

President Joe Biden signed a new bill into law Thursday, establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday to recognize the ending of slavery. But Florida still has not established Juneteenth as a legal state holiday, following the death of George Floyd and other issues surrounding racism and injustices against African Americans. Black state lawmakers and advocates […]

Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and other Central Florida contenders want to unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

BY: - May 21, 2021

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat once on the shortlist for vice president and a tough adversary during the U.S. House impeachment inquiry into then-President Donald Trump, is signaling that she’ll take on U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022. Media outlets earlier this week posted stories about a Demings v. Rubio race, and Demings tweeted: […]

Ocoee massacre of 1920: College scholarships and a feature film in recognition of Black history in FL

BY: - May 5, 2021

More than 100 years ago, a two-day riot took place in the small town of Ocoee in Orange County, where Blacks were killed and forced to flee their homes for daring to exercise their right to vote. During the 2021 legislative session, raising awareness of Black history and culture in Florida was a priority for […]

DeSantis allows age 50 and older to get vaccines starting Monday; Orange County launching 40 and older, going against the governor

BY: - March 19, 2021

Though Gov. Ron DeSantis had been floating as low as age 55 and older for residents who want vaccines, the governor Friday morning pushed the age group down to age 50 and older, expanding who can get vaccines in Florida. “I think the demand has softened enough that we can open it up (for age […]

Teacher in her classroom

DeSantis moving to expand vaccinations for 50-and-older teachers and sworn law enforcement

BY: - February 23, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he wants to allow teachers and sworn law enforcement officers to be vaccinated soon as part of federally-supported COVID vaccination sites in major urban areas. “We’ll start probably 50 and up for the police and classroom teachers,” DeSantis at a news conference in Miami-Dade County. DeSantis also mentioned “fire” […]

COMMENTARY

Ignoring Legislature, Central Florida voters say clean water is a right

BY: - November 12, 2020

Not a lot of people noticed it, but something pretty interesting happened in Florida during last week’s election. No, I don’t mean the fact that the state most vulnerable to climate change somehow decided to cast more votes for the presidential candidate who has claimed climate change is a hoax (a claim lacking any evidence […]

high school classroom, school, education

Nearly 3,000 more COVID-19 cases related to FL schools; at least 100 infections in each of eight counties

BY: - November 11, 2020

Eight Florida counties had 100 or more COVID-19 infections related to public and private K-12 schools last week, new data show, with two counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — reporting more than 250 cases. The figures include students, teachers, staff, and other cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. The eight counties are: Pinellas […]

Lawsuit on reopening FL public schools will continue

BY: - August 14, 2020

A judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit over the reopening of public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue. Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials — defendants in the case — had hoped to get the lawsuit dismissed, but that didn’t happen. The Florida Education Association filed the lawsuit in late July, saying that […]

FL’s Ed Commissioner and local boards clash over who’s in charge of reopening schools during pandemic

BY: - July 17, 2020

With the new academic year looming in Florida, it’s not clear who has the authority to get thousands of children and teens back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty in recent days surrounds a clash between state-level education directives and the powers of local school boards granted in Florida’s Constitution, according to public […]

Ocoee massacre education bill did not include reparations and may not be in school curriculum for awhile

BY: - June 26, 2020

In frank comments about African-American legislation in Florida, State Sen. Randolph Bracy, who is a Black man, said he thinks that some Republicans  “have a concern with having their names attached to reparations for African Americans.” “Some people are concerned about the political fallout,” Bracy said in a phone interview Friday with the Florida Phoenix. […]