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18 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a secret meeting on COVID-19. No reporters in the room mean no embarrassing questions about the rise in cases. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Democrats in the Legislature are piling on DeSantis. Sen. Annette Taddeo wants the Governor to declare a state of emergency and Sen. Audrey Gibson wants him to order the health department to return to daily reporting of COVID-19 stats. — Congressman Charlie Crist, who is running for Governor, says DeSantis is more concerned with a run for the White House than he is about the surge in COVID-19 cases. — And as long as the Governor is ignoring the issue, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — also running for Governor — decided to start holding her own news conferences on the COVID-19 crisis. — In Washington, the House holds its first hearing on the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, much to the dismay of Congressman Matt Gaetz. — Speaking of Gaetz, his future sister-in-law describes him as “weird and creepy.” Roxanne Luckey posted a video on social media describing how he encouraged a colleague in his mid-30s to ask her out when she was a 19-year-old Capitol intern. — And finally, a Florida man wanted to walk to New York in a water bubble.
10 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Florida’s Department of Health has disturbing news about COVID-19: The number of new cases went up by 60% last week, but don't worry. Ron DeSantis says those counts don't count. Also on today’s Sunrise: — The number of fatalities was also up by almost 44%. Those numbers do count. — Yet, DeSantis is still pursuing his strategy of downplaying the threat and inviting tourists to come on down because Florida is open for business. Except, of course, for those 38,670 Floridians who have been killed by COVID-19. — So, how do you encourage people to get vaccinated? FAMU President Larry Robinson is making a video appeal to students who are returning to campus. Just in case that doesn't work, FAMU will also be giving away a million dollars’ worth of merchandise for staff and students who get the shot. — In the aftermath of the Surfside tragedy, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the Legislature to update condo regs and create a statewide commission to hear complaints. — Florida’s Chief Financial Officer gets down to the business of reforming NICO (the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association). His appointment to the new board is a good sign. — And finally, two Florida Men: One is going to the federal pen for child pornography; the other went to the hospital after showing off with a gun.
19 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis draws a line in the sand — masks will not be mandated in schools. And if the feds try to force the issue, the Governor says he'll call the Legislature back into Session to do something about it. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Meanwhile, a group of doctors in Miami says DeSantis should less time attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci and more time talking up the vaccines. — A ceremonial signing for House Bill 3, the $200 million plan to provide free books to kids from kindergarten to the fifth grade who are having trouble reading at their grade level. — A conversation with two lawmakers on opposite sides of the aisle. First up is Republican Rep. Fiona McFarland of Tampa, followed by Democrat Sen. Shevrin Jones of Miami Gardens. — And finally, a Florida Man beat up his Uber driver and carjacked his SUV.
20 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
A COVID-19 vaccination task force is calling on the state and the feds to step up their outreach in minority communities. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — As hospitals in Jacksonville cope with a new wave of COVID-19 patients, Mayor Lenny Curry is calling on people to use a mask and get vaccinated, but there won't be any mandates or closings. — Curry joined health care executives who say deaths have increased dramatically this month and there are 800 COVID-19 patients in Jacksonville hospitals. Almost all are unvaccinated. — Pop quiz: The Governor held a news conference Wednesday. Did he talk about the 40,000 Floridians killed by COVID-19 … or fish killed by red tide? — When asked by reporters about the doubling of COVID-19 cases over the past week in Florida, Ron DeSantis said he doesn't care much about that particular statistic. — And finally, a Florida Man (and Baptist youth pastor) has been busted three times in the past two months for child pornography and video voyeurism.
20 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
This latest episode of Sunrise has a bit of a celebrity feel to it … starting with Britney Spears. Congressman Charlie Crist has filed a bill that would give new legal rights to people who end up having their lives controlled by a court-ordered guardian of conservatorship; he has a Republican co-sponsor. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Spears’ court battle against her dad inspired the "FREE" bill; it would affect more than a million Americans. — The Tampa Bay Bucs are honored at the White House for winning the Super Bowl. But President Joe Biden says this goes far beyond what they did on the football field. — Biden dropped a couple of jokes, but Bucs quarterback Tom Brady had the best lines. — Rep. Dotie Joseph talks about voter suppression in the Florida legislature. — A state Senator (who serves as chair of the Florida GOP) is investigated over allegations of sexually harassing a male aide. The party apparently concluded it did not happen. — And finally, authorities ordered a Florida Man not to toot his own horn on Fort Myers Beach.
18 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to appeal the latest ruling in the state's lawsuit to force the CDC to rescind its health and safety guidelines for cruise ships. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — The Governor has already signed a new state law prohibiting businesses (like cruise lines) from requiring proof of vaccination from their customers … and he says there's a reason why so many people won't get their shots. — The head of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection is in the Tampa Bay area today to meet with local officials dealing with a massive fish kill. — A celebration of the newly approved Florida Wildlife Corridor Act. It was championed by National Geographic nature photographer Carlton Ward. — And finally, a Florida Man gets eight months in prison for his role in The Capitol coup on Insurrection Day.
17 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis returned from his trip to Texas, where he met Florida officers sent to patrol the Mexican border. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — As the Governor was helping fuel the culture war out West, COVID-19 was doing a number back home. We set a new low last week in the number of vaccinations. So many Americans are refusing to get vaccinated, the U.S. Surgeon General says misinformation has become a threat to public health. — Florida had more than 45,000 new cases over the past week, which was responsible for more than 20% of all the new cases in America. — A setback for the Governor's plan to ban vaccine passports on cruise ships sailing from Florida. A federal appeals court overturned a lower-court ruling that said the CDC overstepped its bounds regulating the cruise industry. — Unemployment was up slightly in June … it was the third month in a row where the rate ticked up by one-tenth of one percent. But there was also a significant increase in the labor force. — Florida added more than 80,000 new jobs last month. That's good news, regardless of the higher unemployment rate. — And finally, two Florida Men: One broke into an airport and tried to hide in a Coast Guard plane; the other doused a store full of people with anti-bear bear spray to make his escape with some stolen candles.
16 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Florida’s COVID-19 spike continues. The latest report from the CDC says we've got one of the highest transmission rates in the country; it’s so bad that folks in Los Angeles are being advised not to vacation in Florida. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Floridians who are protesting on behalf of the people of Cuba to get out of the street. — The Governor is also facing some tough questions about selective enforcement of the state's new anti-protest law. Sen. Shevrin Jones tells Sunrise that DeSantis doesn't seem to mind a protest as long as he agrees with it. — Speaking of Cuba, the Governor is calling on the President to find some way to get the internet restored in Cuba so the protesters there can get their stories and pictures out to the rest of the world. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr says we have a way — all it takes is the will. — Two central Florida cops, a father and son, are now facing federal charges for their alleged involvement in the coup at The Capitol. — And finally, a Florida Man triple feature: One hired a hit man to kill his ex and blame it on Black Lives Matter, another is a former deputy going to prison for planting drugs on innocent drivers. The third left his kid in the car while he went drinking in a strip club.
18 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Florida’s education bureaucracy is putting pressure on Hillsborough County schools. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is furious that the local board voted not to renew the contracts of four charter schools. But supporters of the School Board say these charters didn't live up to their contracts and the commish is playing politics. Also on today’s Sunrise: — The state Board of Education has also approved new standards for civics, government and Holocaust education backed by the Governor. — If you've got kids under the age of 17, check your bank account. Today is the day the new child care tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan take effect. — Another batch of Floridians heads to Montana to help fight wildfires. More than 90 members of the Florida Forest Service are now deployed out West. — And finally, two Florida Man stories: A City Councilman accused of being a fugitive from Costa Rica and the other needed a double lung transplant because he kept putting off his COVID-19 shot.
19 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Florida's COVID-19 surge continues with more than 20,000 new cases over the past four days, but the Governor won't be changing policies or imposing any mask mandates. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Ron DeSantis wants the federal government to do something to help the demonstrators in Cuba; he supports their street protests against the Cuban government. Quite a change for the guy who wanted to lock up Black Lives Matter protesters in America. — DeSantis says one thing the U.S. can do to support the dissidents in Cuba is to provide satellite internet after their government pulled the plug on the net. — Florida will be spending more than $100 million to beef up civics education this year, including a new emphasis on debate in high school. — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking for your suggestions to help encourage what's known as “energy equity.” — Fried runs the state energy office and says studies have shown that Black, Hispanic and low-income families face an energy burden three times higher than other consumers. —And finally, a Florida Woman went to jail after refusing to wear a mask on an airplane, spitting on her fellow passengers as she was being removed from the plane.
14 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
About every Florida politician in sight is condemning the Cuban government's crackdown on protesters and expressing solidarity with the people of Cuba. Sen. Marco Rubio is warning this could trigger the next Mariel boatlift. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — The next Speaker of the Florida House says he doesn't see the need for any immediate action by the Legislature to address the condo collapse in Surfside. Paul Renner says the code works … the problem here appears to have been the condo association. — Renner also warned against seeking legislative remedies before figuring out the actual cause of the disaster. — The Governor hits the road to announce $30 million in grants for some of the least populated areas of the state. They're called Small City Community Development Block Grants. That money will pay for everything from sidewalks and sewers to downtown revitalizations. — Starting next month, Carnival Cruise Lines says anyone who wants to set sail on one of their ships from a Florida port will have to be vaccinated … or buy a special travel insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related expenses. — And finally, authorities are accusing a Florida Man of trying to smuggle crystal meth into the Orange County jail — by concealing it in his foreskin.
13 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Florida’s latest COVID-19 stats are showing another surge is underway. The state Department of Health is reporting a 51% increase in new cases last week compared to the previous week and the delta variant is now the dominant strain in Florida. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Vaccinations are the key to beating the pandemic; 55% of Floridians are at least partially vaccinated. But you don't hear much about it from the Governor anymore. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for Governor next year, says Ron DeSantis should be doing everything he can to encourage people to get their shots. — During a speech to the Democratic Club of The Villages, Fried also accused DeSantis of trying to rewrite the history of Florida's COVID-19 response to make himself look better. — It's back to Zoom for employees at the Miami-Dade Courthouse. In the aftermath of the Champlain Tower condo collapse in Surfside, engineers recommended emergency repairs at the courthouse, so employees are back to working at home. — And finally, a Florida Man walks the beach with a loaded gun on his back just hoping to be stopped by police.
16 minutes | Jul 9, 2021
Two weeks after the collapse of the condo in Surfside, the search for survivors has become a search for remains. The focus is now on the survivors, to help them deal with the trauma. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — The Governor is also promising survivors they won't have to pay property taxes on the rubble that used to be their home. — If you lost power after Elsa blew through, Public Service Commission Chairman Gary Clark says it should be restored today. He made the announcement Thursday. — Storm damages were minimal, but there was one fatality: a sailor stationed in Jacksonville died when a tree branch fell to the street and tore the top off his car. — Senate Democrats want Gov. Ron DeSantis to do a better job convincing reluctant Floridians to get vaccinated. — Two South Florida men are suspects in the assassination of the President of Haiti. — The Florida Man who created a charity called "We Build the Wall,” accused of keeping the money for himself, has been indicted again. — Florida Realtors bank big bucks for their constitutional amendment drive. — And finally, a Florida Man sues a Florida Couple in a dispute over dogs, a stolen fence, peeping neighbors, high-intensity lights aimed next door and signs accusing the neighbor of being a perv. In other words, just your average day in the land of Florida Man.
21 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Elsa moves on; it's time to clean up. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — If you plan to post any pictures of the damage on social media, the state Emergency Management director says tag him … they may be able to use those pictures when filing a claim with the feds. — As the search continues in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, the Governor refuses to say whether Florida should do anything to encourage more inspections of aging condo towers. — The tower may have been 40 years old, but Ron DeSantis says it had problems from the start. — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling on the state's highest court to hear an appeal over Florida's law that preempts the authority of city and county commissions to pass gun laws. It also threatens big fines and even removal from office for any official who dares to try. — Fried was joined by a host of local officials from South Florida who say that preemption law is a violation of their First Amendment rights and prevents them from protecting their own citizens. — A South Florida lawmaker holds a workshop on community violence. Rep. Kevin Chambliss says they're looking for solutions. — And finally, a Florida Man found a million dollars when cleaning up his house.
16 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Officials are trying to assess the damage from Elsa as it moves across the state. The Governor is worried about floods. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Good news on the economic front: Florida's tax collections in May beat the official estimate by $574 million, much of which came from increased sales taxes. — Speaking of sales taxes, this is the final day of the sales tax holiday for live events or outdoor gear. — Gov. Ron DeSantis may have won the first round of his fight with the feds over cruise ships, but the battle isn't over. The Justice Department has filed a formal notice of appeal and they're raising questions about Florida's new law banning vaccine passports. — The COVID-19 crisis took a huge financial bite out of the program that provides free and reduced prices on breakfast and lunch at Florida schools. — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says the Governor had federal money to fill the gaps in the school nutrition program but chose to spend it elsewhere. So, she bypassed him and got the money directly from the USDA. — And finally, two Florida Man stories: A professional wrestler who needs to hire a chauffeur; and a guy who punched a 74-year-old woman at Home Depot before stabbing another associate with a screwdriver. Talk about the wrong tool for the job.
19 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Florida’s Emergency Operations Center is on alert as Elsa makes a run at the Sunshine State. The Governor says your best advice is NOT to bug out. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — Elsa didn't do much in Miami-Dade, but the threat of high winds and excess water was enough to convince officials to order the demolition of the remains of the Surfside Condo before the storm made things worse. — They found more bodies after the demolition, but more than 100 people are still missing. — Another lawsuit has been filed against the state's new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe. The company that owns Miami’s Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room claims it violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. — Part-time Florida Man Donald Trump got an early start on Independence Day when he held a rally in Sarasota Saturday night. It was his first rally in Florida since losing the election — which he still won't admit. — Trump spent most of his time spinning the big lie about a rigged election; he also suggested lynching might be appropriate for The Capitol cop who shot and killed a MAGA rioter on Insurrection Day. — And finally, stories of two Florida Men, with one accused of illegal dumping in a residential neighborhood, including 3,700 pounds of wet concrete.
22 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Florida’s usual political follies are taking a back seat to the tragedy in Miami-Dade where a condo collapsed. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett says the building literally pancaked and calls it a horrific catastrophe. Also on today’s Sunrise: — Emergency crews from across Miami-Dade have converged on the site and the Governor went to see for himself. “It's bad.” — It's going to be a while before they figure out exactly why this happened. — Before Gov. Ron DeSantis flew to Miami-Dade, he held a news conference in Tampa to sign bills rebooting the state's vocational education and training system. He says that makes more sense for some people when compared to the price of a university degree. — 150,000 Floridians who are receiving federal unemployment benefits during the pandemic will be cut off early. DeSantis is taking Florida out of the program 10 weeks early … which means those $300 weekly checks end Saturday. — And finally, part-time Florida Man Donald Trump will be returning to the Sunshine State on July 3 for his first Florida rally since the election. There will be fireworks … both figuratively and literally. Also, the story of a Florida woman with a bad case of road rage — and a gun.
24 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Florida gets an assist from First Lady Jill Biden, who is holding two events in the state to encourage people to get vaccinated. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — College kids can say adios to Zoom. The head of the Florida Board of Governors says the state university system is ready to return to full-time face-to-face instruction. — The board also approved the appointment of two new university presidents … including the first full-time female president at New College of Florida. Don't let her looks deceive you: Dr. Patricia Okker can probably kick your butt … and outrun it too. — The board also approved a new president for Florida State University and the reappointment of the presidents of Florida Poly and Florida International. — House Speaker Chris Sprowls is asking the people who run the universities to produce innovative ideas to make sure conservative students and faculty members aren't silenced on campus. — Congressman Matt Gaetz claims the military stand-down to address White supremacy and extremist behavior that is hurting the service … but the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says they need to know. — And finally, police are accusing a Florida Woman of battering her boyfriend — with a plate full of chicken.
15 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Florida’s education system is getting serious about civics. Gov. Ron DeSantis approved three bills to revamp civics instruction in Florida schools. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — One bill orders the department of education to revamp the entire civics curriculum from kindergarten till the end of high school … and more. — Another bill prohibits colleges and universities from excluding speakers with unpopular viewpoints. It's the Florida GOP's response to longstanding claims that liberal professors cancel conservatives; House Speaker Chris Sprowls says it's more than just political posturing. — Senate President Wilton Simpson shares that concern. During a speech to members of the Board of Governors, Simpson said universities are out of step with the rest of the state. — On a lighter note, Wilton also recommended that members of the board not kill their annoying teenagers. — And finally, a Florida Man is fined $2,500 because he cut the wrong nut.
26 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis is still basking in the warm glow of a favorable court ruling in his fight with the feds over getting cruise ships back in business. The Governor says there are limits to what the government can do to protect you from the pandemic. Also, on today’s Sunrise: — DeSantis made his first public comments about the court ruling during a news conference in Jacksonville about the state's financial commitment to support people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. — For Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood, this is personal. Plakon says the state is spending more money on victims of Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. — Officials at the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council are hoping the Governor will be just as generous with their clients. They're asking DeSantis to draw down $300 million in Medicaid money to help pay for home care services. — Big changes are coming to Florida Politics. Publisher Peter Schorsch talks about upcoming projects, including a new Florida-centric podcast, hiring new reporters to beef up coverage in Miami Dade and creating a new repository of all of the vilest political ads out there. — And finally, the stories of two Florida men: One has a tattoo of the state on his forehead, the other is accused of pulling a gun during a dispute over cream cheese. The victim's mom is the chief of police.
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