WFLA: New law creates Florida database for teacher firings, resignations over sexual misconduct

WFLA: New law creates Florida database for teacher firings, resignations over sexual misconduct. “HB 131 requires the Florida Department of Education to create and maintain a list of people who are disqualified from teaching in the state. Included in the database would be reasons for termination as well as a list of teachers who resigned rather than be fired for sexual misconduct.”

South Florida SunSentinel: Florida urges judge to reject tech industry arguments against crackdown on social media

South Florida SunSentinel: Florida urges judge to reject tech industry arguments against crackdown on social media. “Accusing social-media platforms of censorship, Florida attorneys late Monday pushed back against an attempt to block a new state law that would put restrictions on companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The state, in a 61-page court filing, argued that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle should reject a request by online-industry groups for a preliminary injunction against the law, a top priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

Editorial: DeSantis battles social-media giants for show (Palm Beach Post)

The Palm Beach Post: Editorial: DeSantis battles social-media giants for show. “As veteran Tallahassee reporter Bill Cotterell notes, Florida has a legal precedent that should have stopped DeSantis, a lawyer, from this cyber-censorship. Almost 50 years ago, this state had a ‘right to reply’ law requiring newspapers to print rebuttal essays from candidates they did not endorse on their editorial pages. The Miami Herald refused to run a rebuttal submitted by a spurned legislative candidate. He sued, and the Supreme Court threw out the 1913 statute. The ruling means the press cannot be forced to publish something, any more than it can be forbidden to publish something.”

Miami Herald: Undocumented immigrants in Florida getting shut out of access to COVID-19 vaccine

Miami Herald: Undocumented immigrants in Florida getting shut out of access to COVID-19 vaccine. “In the scorching heat, Doris Mejia slowly makes her way to the front of the vaccine line. For the fifth time in a month, a worker asks if she has a Florida ID. She shakes her head no. Without it, no COVID-19 vaccine site has been willing to inoculate Mejia—an undocumented Salvadoran migrant living in Homestead — against the deadly virus. For the single mother of four who makes ends meet as a farmworker and housekeeper, not being able to get the vaccine comes at a high price.”

AP: Nearly half of new US virus infections are in just 5 states

Associated Press: Nearly half of new US virus infections are in just 5 states. “New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the latest available seven-day period, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Total U.S. infections during the same week numbered more than 452,000.”

AP: A rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout backfired in some US states

AP: A rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout backfired in some US states. “A surprising new analysis found that states such as South Carolina and Florida that raced ahead of others to offer the vaccine to ever-larger groups of people have vaccinated smaller shares of their population than those that moved more slowly and methodically, such as Hawaii and Connecticut.”

WSVN: Miami Beach to enforce 8 p.m. curfew, block most eastbound traffic on causeways due to spring break crowds

WSVN: Miami Beach to enforce 8 p.m. curfew, block most eastbound traffic on causeways due to spring break crowds. “The City of Miami Beach will enforce an 8 p.m. curfew in South Beach’s entertainment district and block most eastbound traffic to the city starting at 10 p.m., officials said. Interim City Manager Raul Aguila, who announced the emergency measures alongside Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber at a press conference, Saturday afternoon, said they will go into effect Saturday night due to overwhelming spring break crowds.”

AP: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to COVID outbreak

AP: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to COVID outbreak. “Former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, club has been partially closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak. That’s according to several people familiar with the situation, including a club member who received a phone call informing them about the closure Friday. A receptionist at the Mar-a-Lago club confirmed the news, saying it was closed until further notice, but declined to comment further.”

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Sentinel sues Florida Department of Health to force release of COVID variant data

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Sentinel sues Florida Department of Health to force release of COVID variant data. “The Orlando Sentinel filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Florida Department of Health for allegedly violating the state’s public records law by refusing to release detailed information on the location of mutated strains of COVID-19, even as such cases rapidly multiplied.”

Bradenton Herald: Federal complaint accuses DeSantis, Lakewood Ranch vaccination site of discrimination

Bradenton Herald: Federal complaint accuses DeSantis, Lakewood Ranch vaccination site of discrimination. “Last month, a three-day event was held by the state at the Premier Sports Complex that only gave appointments to residents who live in two of Manatee County’s wealthiest ZIP codes, in Lakewood Ranch. The chosen ZIP codes had been impacted less than other parts of the county, according to the state’s own COVID-19 data. According to the complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the site inappropriately gave a wealthy developer who contributes to the governor’s campaign limited access to the vaccine. Matthew Issman, a retired law enforcement officer, filed the complaint on Feb. 18.”