Florida to set up more checkpoints to quarantine travelers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints to deter travelers from New York from arriving in the state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday the screening of travelers on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana. The checkpoints are to require travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days. Republican Gov. DeSantis said President Donald Trump also talked to him about a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut amid concerns that their residents have infected people in other regions, such as Florida.
DOUBLE HOMICIDE ARREST
Sheriff: Man kills girlfriend, her lover after leaving jail
DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials say a man killed his girlfriend and her lover when he found them having sex in his house after he bonded out of jail, where he spent one year behind bars. The Polk County Sheriff's Office says 50-year-old Kenyatta Bellamy faces two counts of murder, arson and other charges. Officials say he set the bedroom on fire after killing the couple. Sheriff Grady Judd said he doesn't know why Bellamy was let out of jail. Bellamy told deputies he didn't know another man had moved into his Davenport, Florida, home, where he allowed his girlfriend to stay.
Officials: Florida boy, 15, plays with gun, shoots teen dead
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Florida sheriff deputies have detained a 15-year-old boy who they say shot a teenager dead as he played with a handgun. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office says charges against the teen are pending for the fatal shooting but he was wanted on other charges. Deputies say the 15-year-old was sitting in a car listening to music with an 18-year-old and another man in a driveway in Bradenton, Florida, early Friday. The other man told deputies the 15-year-old started playing with a handgun, when the weapon went off and struck the 18-year-old in the head. Deputies say the 15-year-old fled the scene but was detained Saturday.
K-9-DETECTING CHILD PORN
Electronics sniffing K-9 assists in man's child porn arrest
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Investigators say a K-9 capable of detecting electronic storage devices assisted Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents in finding 30 images of child pornography at a Pensacola home. The dog named Maple found a box containing a storage device with child porn images. The FDLE arrested 41-year-old Jason Winn Wednesday. He's charged with 30 counts of possession of obscene material and one count of promoting sexual performance of a child. Winn was booked into jail, where he remained Thursday. Agents were alerted to Winn by an officer in Texas who learned child porn images were associated with a Florida address.
OLD MISSING PERSONS CASE
Police look for new evidence in case of missing Florida boy
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Beach police have reopened what is being called the oldest missing persons case in Florida in hopes of finding out what happened to a 3-year-old boy almost 52 years ago. Little Jonathan “Jon Jon" Hagans went missing while on a family trip to the beach on June 11, 1968. The police force is teaming up with the Bringing the Lost Home Task Force to gather new evidence in the case. Initially investigators thought the child drowned. His younger brother, Joel Hagens of Tallahassee, has helped the police force there get a bloodhound, named Jon Jon, to help look for missing persons.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GENEROUS TIP
Mystery diner leaves $10,000 tip at Naples restaurant
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — The owner of a Florida restaurant is trying to figure out who left the very generous $10,000 tip just before the state's restaurants were ordered to close their dining rooms due to the coronavirus pandemic. The man's generosity meant 20 staffers at the Pavillion restaurant in Naples each got an extra $500 just before they were laid off. Owner Ross Edlund says the man who handed the stack of cash to a manager is a regular customer. They know the table he prefers on the patio where he frequently dines. But they want to know his name to thank him.
Texts, not door-knocks: Census outreach shifts amid virus
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The coronavirus has waylaid efforts to get as many people as possible to take part in the census. The outbreak and subsequent orders by states and cities to stay home and avoid other people came just as the census ramped up for most Americans two weeks ago. Nonprofits and civic organizations leading census outreach efforts are now pivoting from in-person activities to digital strategies. Texting campaigns and social media are replacing knocking on doors and rallies. The coronavirus has pushed back the deadline to wrap up the once-a-decade count, which determines how much federal money goes to communities.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TARGETING NEW YORKERS
States impose new restrictions on travelers from New York
BOSTON (AP) — States are pulling back the welcome mat for travelers from the New York area, which is the epicenter for the nation's outbreak. Governors in Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina this week ordered people arriving from the New York area to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Connecticut officials have pleaded to New Yorkers not to visit unless absolutely necessary. But the most dramatic steps taken to date come from Rhode Island, where state police are pulling over drivers with New York plates to collect their contact information and the National Guard is enforcing the order at bus stations, train stations and airports.
What's in store: Groceries installing barriers amid outbreak
QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — Grocery stores across the U.S. are installing protective plastic shields at checkouts to help keep cashiers and shoppers from infecting one another with the coronavirus. The see-through barriers are going up this week at supermarket chains including Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Walmart and Publix. Grocers say they're trying to protect employees and consumers, since bagging and paying for food takes place well within the minimum 6-foot distance public health experts are urging people to maintain. Some grocery stores in France also installed similar barriers last week when that country went into lockdown.
Florida's number of coronavirus cases jumps sharply