VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT
Florida governor orders investigation of unemployment system
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the state's inspector general to investigate how Florida spent nearly $78 million on an unemployment website that's been clearly flawed. The governor issued his request Monday, saying Floridians need an accounting of how a company was selected to create the system and why it's failing. Florida has had more than 1 million people file unemployment claims since March 15, but fewer than half have received a benefit check. The contract for the system was signed in 2011 when current Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott was governor.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA REOPENING
Florida takes hesitant step toward reopening amid outbreak
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida has partially reopened, allowing restaurants and shops in most of the state to open at 25% capacity in hopes of kick-starting the ailing economy after weeks of coronavirus-related shutdowns. The state implemented Phase One of the reopening on Monday, allowing museums and libraries to open at limited capacity and elective surgeries to resume. Sports teams were also allowed to resume play, but without spectators. The loosened restrictions at restaurants and stores don't apply to Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties, because the outbreak has been worse there and officials want more time to ensure it is under control.
Carnival to resume cruises in summer when virus order ends
MIAMI (AP) — Carnival Cruise Line is announcing it will start cruising again, from Florida and Texas, beginning August. The coronavirus pandemic forced a near total pause in the global cruise industry, and these journeys will be limited to domestic ports, with Miami, Cape Canaveral and Galveston, Texas selected because most guests can reach them by car. The company says ships will not be cruising from Alaska, Hawaii and Australia through Aug. 31. The State Department began warning against cruise travel on March 8, and the CDC issued a no-sail order on March 14. The order prompted several countries to reject cruise ships altogether.
Florida sheriff defends keeping childhood shooting a secret
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida sheriff appointed by the governor after the 2018 Parkland high school massacre is defending himself over allegations that he should have disclosed that he fatally shot another teenager when he was 14 in Philadelphia. Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony told reporters over the weekend that he didn’t see the need to disclose the 1993 killing to Gov. Ron DeSantis or on other applications during his law enforcement career because he was a juvenile and he was cleared because the shooting was in self-defense. The shooting came to light Saturday in an article published by the Florida Bulldog website.
Antsy businesses, residents prep for Florida reopening
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Businesses across much of Florida are busy preparing to reopen under new restrictions. Restaurants spaced out tables and salon owners begged to be considered in Monday’s cautious phase-one. At Buya Ramen restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg, beverage director Ryan Pines hopes the measures will boost the bottom line. Buya Ramen and other restaurants will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity Monday, and allow seating outside. Floridians are antsy to work, to live, to get back to normal — whatever that will look like. But Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s deliberately taking things slowly. The state had just over 36,000 cases, including some 600 new cases Sunday.
FATAL POLICE SHOOTING
Chief: 6 officers fatally shoot domestic violence suspect
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Officials say six police officers fatally shot a man who was involved in a domestic violence incident. The shooting happened Sunday night in Jacksonville. Jacksonville Sheriff's Chief T.K. Waters says the man battered his girlfriend and shot into the couch inside their apartment. The woman was able to get out and call 911. Waters says officers asked the man to come outside, and he eventually did. But as he approached them he reached into his back pocket where there was a gun. The officers shot him. An investigation continues.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA-DRIVE-THRU GRADUATIONS
Some 2020 grads will take victory lap at Daytona speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — School officials say graduates at two Florida high schools won't be taking the traditional walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. They'll drive across the finish line at the Daytona Beach International Speedway on May 31. The Flagler County School District announced Matanzas High will graduate at 11 a.m., followed by Flagler-Palm Coast High at 4. Each graduate will be allowed one car. The ceremony will be simulcast via radio inside the speedway and will be live-streamed on the district's website. The schools were originally scheduled to graduate on May 28.
MONEY ORDERS STOLEN-DEPUTY
Florida deputy accused of stealing money orders on patrol
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A deputy in Florida has been accused of cashing out blank money orders from a car he pulled over while on patrol. News outlets report the Escambia County Sheriff Office received a complaint Wednesday night from a woman who said the money orders were in the car her boyfriend was driving when he was arrested by Deputy William Christopher Henley on outstanding warrants. A sheriff’s spokeswoman told the Pensacola News Journal that the woman called Western Union to find out about the money orders and was informed they were cashed out by Henley. Henley has been booked into jail on multiple charges.
Carnival Cruise Line plans to sail again starting in August
Carnival Cruise Line says it plans to gradually resume cruising in North America in August, nearly five months after it halted operations due to the new coronavirus. Sailings will begin on Aug. 1 or soon after with eight ships setting off from Galveston, Texas; Miami; and Port Canaveral, Florida. The company noted that a majority of its customers can easily drive to those ports. Operations remain on hold at other North American ports and in Australia. Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line halted new cruises on March 13 after multiple ships reported cases of COVID-19 on board. Carnival Cruise Line the largest brand owned by Carnival Corp., which also owns Princess, Holland America Line and other brands.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-QUARANTINE-DISNEY ISLAND
Man arrested trying to quarantine on private Disney island