Florida governor says unemployment system now up to speed
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state’s heavily criticized unemployment system should now be able to handle the crush of applicants it is receiving as workers lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. He said Monday that the computer system’s capacity has been increased to handle 120,000 simultaneous connections, about double the peak usage in recent weeks. More than 520,000 Floridians have applied for unemployment since March 15, compared to 326,000 in all of last year. State statistics show that more than 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 253 have died since the outbreak began.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CRUISE SHIPS
US travelers wait days to leave cruise ship with virus cases
MIAMI (AP) — Dozens of Americans aboard a cruise ship that recently docked in Miami with coronavirus cases are still waiting to disembark because of new federal rules requiring cruise companies to bring them directly home to avoid more infections. Two passengers died before the Coral Princess ship docked Saturday in Miami and a third died at a hospital. At least 17 passengers have been taken to hospitals. The Miami-Dade mayor said many foreign passengers have disembarked and been taken to the Miami airport where charter planes were ready to fly them abroad. But many of the 250 Americans on board continued to wait, two days after docking.
ACLU seeks release of federal prison inmates where 5 died
A new class-action lawsuit demands the release of hundreds of high-risk inmates at a federal prison in Louisiana where the coronavirus has claimed the lives of five prisoners and infected nearly two dozen others. The American Civil Liberties Union says authorities are not acting quickly enough to release medically vulnerable prisoners to home confinement. A coronavirus outbreak at the low-security facility already has killed five inmates and infected nearly two dozen others. The federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment. The lawsuit says Attorney General William Barr's instructions to federal prisons last week did not offer specific details or a timeline.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CRUISE SHIPS
Florida mayor: 1 more death tied to virus-stricken cruise
MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say 14 people have been taken to hospitals from a cruise ship that docked in Florida with coronavirus victims aboard and one of them has died at a hospital. Two fatalities were reported earlier aboard the Coral Princess, which docked Saturday in Miami. The Coral Princess had more than 1,000 passengers and nearly 900 crew members. It began disembarking fit passengers Sunday. Any with symptoms of COVID-19 or recovering were being kept on ship until medically cleared. Authorities did not immediately disclose whether the 14 people removed for immediate medical attention had a confirmed coronavirus link.
Police: Florida man fatally shoots wife, 2 sons and self
HAINES CITY, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man fatally shot his wife and two teenage sons before turning the gun on himself over the weekend. Haines city police say officers found four people dead after responding to a 911 call at the family’s home Sunday morning. Police say 43-year-old Mark Joseph had called 911 and told dispatchers that he had shot his wife and children. Police say he then told the dispatcher that he intended to shoot himself and that the door would be unlocked. Responding officers found all four family members dead from gunshot wounds to the head.
SeaWorld CEO resigns five months into job, cites board
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld Entertainment’s chief executive has resigned only five months into his job. He becomes the third leader of the theme park company to depart in just over two years. A Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Sergio Rivera cited his disagreement with the board's involvement in decision-making at the company. His predecessor, Gustavo “Gus” Antorcha, cited a similar reason for his leaving last September. Rivera handed in his resignation on Saturday. The spreading novel coronavirus has paralyzed the theme park industry and SeaWorld has furloughed 90% of its workers.
Catch this week's supermoon, biggest and brightest of year
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A supermoon rises in the sky this week, looking to be the biggest and brightest of the year. Not only will the moon be closer to Earth than usual, it will also be a full moon. Scientists call this cosmic combo a supermoon. NASA is encouraging everyone to look skyward, whether it's outside or through a living room window. The moon will be 221,855 miles away at its fullest Tuesday night. There's a string of supermoons this spring. So if you miss this lunar show, catch the next one in May.
Sheriff: 3 arrested for probation violation after car crash
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida say three people were arrested for violating probation after their vehicle crashed into a home. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 42-year-old Sarena Stokes was driving with two other passengers Sunday morning when her car left the roadway and crashed into a house. No one inside the house was injured. Stokes was treated for a broken arm. Stokes and her passenger, 47-year-old Donald Reams, pushed past residents and fled the scene but later returned. The third occupant, 51-year-old John Sumner, remained. All three were charged with violating their probation. Stokes was also charged with leaving the scene. Reams also faces battery charges. It’s unclear whether the trio have attorneys.
Officer fatally shoots dog that attacked someone in Miami
MIAMI (AP) — Police say an officer fatally shot a dog that was possibly attacking a person in Miami. The shooting happened Sunday in Miami's Brickell neighborhood. Police spokeswoman Kiara Delva says the officer was forced to discharge his firearm, killing the dog. A witness told WSVN that he was walking behind the dog and its owner when he saw it attack someone. Police say there were no further details about the attack, which is under investigation. The name of the dog owner wasn't available.
SANITATION WORKER-WOMAN SAVED
Florida sanitation worker saves woman from medical episode