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News from around the region

State legislature passes bill aimed at violent protests

A controversial bill that would make it a third-degree felony to engage in a protest that is declared a riot and was one of the signature pieces of legislation backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in the current state legislative session, passed the State Senate 23-17 Thursday. The underpinnings of ...

DEP: untreated discharges have ceased at Piney Point Reservoir

More than 200 million gallons of wastewater loaded with high levels of nitrogen and phosphate, emptied into Port Manatee over the past week, at the entrance to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico due to the failure of the Piney Point Reservoir at a defunct phosphorus plant. In an update issued ...

Collier County Planning Commission approves development in panther habitat

Approximately 1,000 acres of land in eastern Collier County which the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has categorized as 100% prime habitat for the endangered Florida panther, was approved for a large-scale housing project by the Collier County Planning Commission Wednesday in a 5-1 vote ...

COVID-19 cases steadying, variant cases growing in Florida

The number of coronavirus cases documented by the Florida Department of Health rose over a seven-day period to 2,047,379 on data recorded Monday for about a 1.8 % increase over the previous week, when cases rose by a similar rate. On a separate track. the Centers for Disease Control and ...

DeSantis announces advancement of Everglades restoration project

Governor Ron DeSantis announced the advancement of an important Everglades restoration project to remove over five miles of roadbed from Old Tamiami Trail. Removing the roadbed improves the volume of water flowing south through the Everglades and supports reducing harmful discharges from Lake ...

CROW virtual series on bees

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) weekly Virtual Speaker Series presented by Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) continues on Monday, Feb. 15 with “Speaker for the Bees: Understanding and Protecting Wild and Managed Bees” by Mary Bammer, Instructional Designer for ...

Rooney receives Eagle Award

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has bestowed its highest honor, the Eagle Award, on retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney. The award recognizes Rooney’s work on science-based conservation priorities, including efforts to ensure continued funding of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration ...

Data scientist charged with unlawfully accessing state messaging system

Rebekah Jones, the Florida Department of Health data scientist who was fired last year over what she claimed was her refusal to manipulate COVID-19 statistics, faces a third-degree felony charge over allegations she illegally accessed a Florida Department of Health messaging system. Jones ...

Second dose of vaccine to be distributed next week

Those who received the COVID-19 vaccine through the Florida Department of Health at Lee County two weeks ago will begin receiving calls from the state's vendor Tidal Basin tomorrow for appointments next week to receive the second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Lee County Government made the ...