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News from around the region

Federal court rules in favor of cruise industry

After being largely sidelined for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida cruise industry is back online following a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit to reverse its own earlier decision regarding Centers for Disease Control (CDC) restrictions. The ...

Coronavirus resurgent in Lee County

In one month, Lee Health went from seeing its coronavirus cases plummet to the point where it stopped announcing COVID-19 hospitalizations to seeing a sharp resurgence in cases as the Delta variant has led to an uptick in cases in Lee County and statewide. Lee Health reported having 111 ...

Fried, DeSantis tussle over credit for school nutrition program funding

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Gov. Ron DeSantis are in a quarrel over credit for nutrition funding to schools after Fried announced that her department obtained $93.2 million in federal emergency relief funding to Florida schools impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the ...

M-CORES highway toll project quietly shelved

Proposed new highways stretching hundreds of miles, including some of which would potentially extend through the heart of the endangered panther's habitat between Polk County and Collier County, has hit a dead end. The controversial M-CORES (Multi-use corridors of regional economic ...

Small plane carrying flight instructor, student floats into Caloosahatchee

A small plane carrying a flight instructor and a student floated into a canal in the Caloosahatchee River nor far from McGregor Boulevard Thursday evening. No injuries were reported. The plane's parachute was deployed after a mid-air issue, according to the Iona McGregor Fire District which ...

County commissioners explore lower tax rate

Rising property values, a boost in tourism and higher sales tax revenues are expected to fill county coffers according to recent county budget talks. How that will affect tax rates is still yet to be seen though Lee County Board of County Commissioners Chairman (R-Sanibel) has expressed a ...

DeSantis announces deployment of state officers to Texas

The deployment of Florida law enforcement officers to Texas has begun to provide support in response to the request from Texas Governor Gregg Abbott to deal with its border issues. The announcement of the deployments was made Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis pledged last week to send ...

Pine Island resident assisting in Surfside collapse

Pine Islander Joe Hernandez, of Urban Search and Rescue responded to the call early Thursday morning from Miami, just after the Champlain Tower condo began to collapse. The death toll has reached four as the number of those unaccounted for continues to climb, he says, in part due to people ...

DeSantis signs education legislation

Speaking at Three Oaks Middle School in Fort Myers on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the signing of three new laws governing the teaching of civics and history in Florida classrooms. While two of the laws had unanimous backing in the state House and Senate, a third relating to ...

State bans critical race theory in public schools

Critical race theory, a controversial topic interpreted by its opponents to be distorting American history and deepening racial divide and supported by those who consider it necessary to teach about the country's racial divide, was banned in public schools by the Florida Board of Education on ...