Partly cloudy tonight. Look for a low in the mid 70′. Wednesday, the weatherman is calling for a slightly less chance of shower than had been called for previously . We’re expecting a 50-50 chance of showers with a high near 90. Thursday, only a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high once again near 90.

Teachers Union Call Reopening Schools Under Current Plan Reckless

 10 central Florida teacher’s unions, including the union in Marion County, say the opening of brick and mortar schools next month is reckless and purely political.  The unions represent 70,000 educators and they’re demanding local leaders work with health officials to come up with a plan to safely reopen schools. The letter states that there currently is no comprehensive plan to so.  The union leaders say because of decades of underfunding of schools, districts simply don’t have the funds allocated to properly keep students and staff safe under current COVID-19 health guidelines.

A judge in Marion County says a murder suspect will remain behind bars with no bond despite a plea from his lawyers to be released because of the Covid-19 virus.  Lawyers for now 17 year old Luis Ortega wanted the juvenile released with a GPS monitor.  Ortega was on probation for aggravated battery when he reportedly killed Brandon Hammett in October 2018.  The judge said Ortega was a threat to the community and wasn’t going anywhere except back to jail.

A judge in Marion County has told prosecutors that if they don’t  file charges against a man being held in the county jail by friday, the man will be freed.  Franky Leyva is charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman.  Since he was arrested Leyva contracted covid-19 while in jail and is being treated at the jail for the disease.   Leyva is one of 136 inmates who have now tested positive for the virus.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that there was an attempted escape at the no frills hotel in the last day.  investigators say an attempt to breach security at the jail was attempted from someone outside the facility but that that attempt fail.  Beyond that, the sheriff’s office isn’t saying anything other than the investigation is continuing.

Florida is setting more records with the covid-19 virus, 132 deaths yesterday, a new record.  Meanwhile, France and the UK have announced that they will now require everyone to wear a mask in public while Governor DeSantis waits.  The Governor is insisting that the spikes in Florida are due to an increase in testing and the slowness of getting results and that the problem will just get better.

Marion County jumped another 132 cases of the covid-19 virus since yesterday, now up to a total of 1774 cases since the pandemic began.  In Marion County, 97 people remain hospitalized because of the disease with more than a dozen in ICU.  Statewide there are more than 291,000 cases of the disease, 9200 being confirmed since yesterday.  Health officials say masks and social distancing are the only tools available right now to slow the spread of the virus.

The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday — as the shots are poised to begin key final testing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press  “No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

Today is the new April 15th.  It’s time to do your taxes — no more delays.  As the coronavirus pandemic took hold this spring, the federal government postponed the traditional April 15 filing deadline until July 15.  The move provided some economic and logistical relief for taxpayers dealing with the disruptions and uncertainty brought on by lockdowns, school closures and shuttered businesses. Taxpayers must file or seek an extension by today or face penalties. 

A mural in the Baker County Courthouse in MacClenny depicting three KKK members riding on horseback is the latest target of the politically correctness crowd.  A group of attorney’s have asked a judge to order the immediate removal of the 135 square foot mural saying it’s inappropriate and racially charged.  The artist who painted the mural nearly 20 years ago, says the painting simply illustrates significant events in the history of the small, rural county west of Jacksonville.

A woman whose car was left stranded along a Florida interstate when her tire blew out got a little unexpected help from former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal  . O’Neal, who lives in the Orlando area, was traveling on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Monday when he saw the woman pull onto the side of the road according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s office.  He stayed with the woman until deputies arrived at the scene.

Some 50 schools opened Monday for summer school.  More than 3300 students had been invited to attend summer school, which is generally regarded as a catch up session for students who need some extra help.  Less than a thousand actually showed up according to the district.  The district expects those numbers to increase over the next few days.

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