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Florida’s coronvirus stats dip: 77 deaths, 6,229 new cases

TALLAHASSEE — Florida saw a decline in coronavirus deaths and new cases on Sunday, with 77 reported fatalities and 6,229 reported new cases. That compares to 187 new deaths and 8,502 confirmed cases reported Saturday. Still, the average number of deaths reported over the last seven days is 158. And[…]

Sheriff: Kidnapping suspect killed in shootout with deputies

TAMPA — A Florida man suspected in kidnapping his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint was killed in a Thursday night shootout with sheriff’s deputies, officials said. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told reporters at the scene that deputies were searching for Nicholas Kocolis, 51, following a shooting at his ex-girlfriend’s home in[…]

Florida surpasses 8,000 COVID-19 deaths, patients decline

ORLANDO — Florida reported 180 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, raising the number of people who have died of the virus to more than 8,000. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a Friday news conference that hospitalizations, positivity rates and other indicators were improving. “Hospitalizations (have) a great movement[…]

With fewer layoffs, Florida jobless claims dropped last week

ORLANDO — The number of Floridians filing new jobless claims dropped last week by more than 17,500 from the previous week, according to figures released Thursday. There were 73,955 new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week in Florida, a drop from the previous week’s 91,462 claims. The report from[…]

US Coast Guard seized $26 million in cocaine, marijuana

FORT LAUDERDALE — The U.S. Coast Guard unloaded almost $26 million in cocaine and marijuana at Port Everglades, the agency said in a news release. The drugs were offloaded Wednesday by crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare, Winslow Griesser and Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Shamal. The agency said the[…]

Florida offers tax-free weekend for back-to-school items

FORT LAUDERDALE — It’s a tax-free weekend for Floridians searching for back-to-school bargains. But this year, in a pandemic, the priority may be on technology, as many Florida students will be returning to class via the internet. There may be less of a rush to buy school uniforms, with many[…]

Cops: Man spit in boy’s face after he refused to remove mask

TREASURE ISLAND — A Florida man was arrested after confronting a child wearing a mask at a restaurant and spitting in his face when the boy refused to take it off, police said. Jason Copenhaver approached the child’s table Sunday and asked the boy if he was wearing a mask,[…]

9-yr-old pulls dad to shore after fracturing neck in dive

PENSACOLA — A 9-year-old Florida boy is being hailed a hero for pulling his father from the water after the man fractured his neck in a diving accident. Young Asaih Williams said he always plays a game in his head when he’s diving with someone. If the other person doesn’t[…]

Florida rescinds quarantine mandate for New York travelers

ORLANDO — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rescinded an order requiring people traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to the Sunshine State to quarantine or isolate for 14 days. The order signed by DeSantis and made public Thursday also eliminated detailed requirements for when restaurant employees should be kept[…]

New cases of West Nile virus detected in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE — Health officials in the two South Florida counties have confirmed more cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. On Tuesday, two cases were confirmed in Miami-Dade County, bringing the total number of cases there to 26, the Florida Department of Health said. In neighboring Broward County, officials[…]