FAC News Clips - July 18, 2019 -


After emotional plea, Florida board approves mandate for CPR training for bus drivers

The Florida Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to require bus drivers and attendants to be certified in CPR and first aid, following an emotional plea from the parents of a teenager who died after a chaotic bus ride in Polk County. “She was just a joy,” said her mother, Denise Williams. “She could go into a room and smile and bring out the best in you. She was bigger than life.” Terissa Gautney, 14, had cerebral palsy.

Florida Today

Tobia strengthens proposed ordinance aimed at ensuring civility by county commissioners

Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia has beefed up his proposed civility ordinance aimed at keeping commissioners in check during their meetings. Under the proposal, commissioners who fail to comply with established rules of decorum would be subject to censure, by a majority vote of the County Commission. Additionally, a commissioner who is censured would be ineligible to be elected County Commission chair for one year. A second offense by a commissioner who "fails to come to order" could subject the offender to be reported to the governor, with a request that "the board member be suspended from office for malfeasance, misfeasance or neglect of duty."

Florida Phoenix

Remember that FL Constitutional amendment on public official ethics that voters approved last fall? Well…

A state ethics measure that would prohibit politicians and public employees from using their official positions for personal gain is hitting a wall of opposition from developers, cities, counties, sheriffs and other governmental organizations. More than six million Florida voters backed a state constitutional amendment last fall to prohibit officer-holders and public employees from using their government positions to provide themselves, their businesses or families with a “disproportionate benefit.” The amendment left it to the Florida Ethics Commission – an appointed board – to define what constitutes an improper benefit.

Pensacola News Journal

Stuff the Bus school supplies drive accepting donations for Santa Rosa County students

Volunteers throughout Santa Rosa County are "stuffing the bus" to ensure every child is prepared for the first day of school. Stuff the Bus, a donation drive dedicated to providing 3,000 backpacks full of supplies to students in Santa Rosa County, is hosting its main collection day July 24. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., volunteers will collect and sort donations at the Milton/Pace, Navarre and Tiger Point Walmart locations. Volunteers will give out supplies lists to customers, as well as collect pre-purchased donations, at each location during the designated time frame. "Education is such a priority in our community ... . On the first day of school, we want students to walk through our front doors feeling ready," said Karen Barber, Santa Rosa County School District's director of federal programs.

Spectrum News

St. Petersburg Could Get E-Scooters Soon

Rian Bradley works at Bella Brava on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg. All day long, he watches people pass by. “It’s a lot of walking and Ubers,” said Bradley. But soon, visitors and locals could have another way to explore the city. “It should be a good compliment to being able to walk and bike,” said Evan Mary, transportation director with the City of St. Petersburg. He’s talking about e-scooters. They’ve already been introduced in several cities in Florida, including in Tampa. 

Miami New Times

The Mysterious Disease Killing Florida's Coral Reefs

In fall 2014, it was discovered that a mysterious disease had begun affecting Miami's coral reefs. A few corals off Virginia Key displayed splotchy patches of white, exposed skeleton. The tissue was dying. Scientists were stumped. It's not uncommon for corals to be affected by diseases or bacterium, but nothing like this had ever been recorded before. The scale and mortality of what scientists now call Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) was unprecedented. "It's the most devastating coral-reef disease we've ever seen," says Dr. Andy Bruckner, a research coordinator for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and a coral reef expert.

Florida Politics

Martin County marina worker reports possible blue-green algae

A Martin County marina worker has spotted a possible blue-green algae bloom at a Rio marina along St. Lucie River. That’s according to a report from TCPalm. “You could see clouds of it coming in from the river,” said the marina worker, Dave Schwartz. “You could also see fish gulping for air, a couple of mullet and what looked like a black drum.” The report goes on to say it would be “surprising” to spot a bloom in the St. Lucie River, given the lack of recent discharges from Lake Okeechobee.