New Twist To Getting A Covid Vaccination – You Have To Show You’re A Florida Resident

Anyone who wants to receive a vaccine against COVID-19 in Florida must prove they are a resident of the state, according to a new emergency public health declaration signed Thursday by Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees. In the advisory, Rivkees said the “prioritization of Floridians for COVID-19 vaccine in Florida” is “necessary to protect public health and safety” due to limited vaccine availability in the state. The advisory would apply to “every vaccine provider,” the advisory said. The only cited exception to the new residency mandate is health care workers working directly with patients.

Marion County is looking to expand, it’s office space that is.  County officials are looking to possibly buy two properties adjacent to the courthouse totaling 1.3 acres.  You might recognize one of the properties as the old Post Office Tire Store.  The price tag, a mere 1.4 million dollars.  The county would use the property to expand county services. 

Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Summerfield man on charges of possession of child porn.  40 year old Dane Stevens is charged with 40 counts of possession of child porn images.  Investigators say they traced the illegal activity to a computer address traced to Steven’s home address.  Detectives obtained a search warrant and confiscated several computers and computer equipment on Thursday.  The 40 year old is being held at the no frills hotel on $100,000 bond.

Though higher than December of 2019, the unemployment rate in Marion County dropped slightly in December from November to 5.6%.   The rate in December of 2019 was 3.2%.  In raw numbers, that means that nearly 8000 people were unemployed during the month.  Economists believe that the numbers are slowly beginning to improve after the Covid pandemic played havoc with the economy.

Legendary baseball player Hank Arron, who began and ended is baseball career in Milwaukee, died Friday.  Former baseball commissioner Bud Selig called Arron a wonderfully decent human being.  Arron reportedly a stroke.  Player and later broadcaster Bob Uecker, who played ball with Arron, said this is really a very tough day.  Baseball legend Hank Aaron, dead at the age of 86. 

A couple of state representatives have introduced legislation that would allow for the purchase of recreational marijuana.  Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Carlos Smith have introduced matching bills that would allow the weed to be purchased by people over 21 with a limit of 2 ½ ounces.   Smoking in public would still be prohibited.  Even if the legislature rejects the measure, it could be a mute point.  A group called Make it Legal has already gathered more than a ½ million signatures of the 892,000 needed to place the issue on the next ballot in Florida which has wide public support.

The legislature is expected to consider a bill this year designed to woo television and movie producers back to the Sunshine state.  The Joe Gruters bill in the Senate would offer film, TV and digital media productions a rebate for the lesser of 20% or $2 million of production costs to do their productions in Florida.  There are rules which basically outline what percentage of production costs must be spent in Florida.

In March of last year, the Marion County School Board fired Belleview High School Dean Mike Hickam for using legally prescribed medial marijuana.  Hickam was prescribed the drug by a doctor to treat post-traumatic stress disorder which he incurred in the Marines.  Now a bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would prohibit public employers from firing employees who use legal medical marijuana.  In 2016, Florida voters approved an amendment legalizing marijuana for medical use.

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203 more people in Marion County have been confirmed with covid-19 according to the health department for a total now of 22,847.  Two more people have also died from the disease brining that total to 558.   As President Biden Thursday ordered mandatory masking up on federal property and on planes and trains, the state reported nearly 1,614,00 cases with the death toll now are more than 25,000.  Classic hits urges you to mask up anytime you’re out in public and observe social distancing guidelines.

Amid shortages of vaccines to protect against the coronavirus, Florida’s top health officer on Thursday advised counties across the state to prioritize available doses to residents, including so-called snowbirds who reside in the state part-time.  Uncertainty over the vaccine supply has prompted concern over medical tourism, particularly those coming from overseas who could prevent some Florida seniors from getting their turn for vaccination first. Health officials have discounted that such a problem exists but moved anyway to make it more explicit that the state’s supply of vaccines should be reserved for residents and others with strong ties to Florida.

Florida authorities arrested a 61-year-old Tallahassee man in connection with a bomb threat overnight that prompted the closure of the state Capitol.  The Tallahassee Police Department said the arrest was the result of collaborative investigation among Capitol Police, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Ok so you didn’t win the Powerball jackpot Wednesday night.  Not a big dead.  Tonight’s mega-millions jackpot is even bigger at $970 million dollars for a single winner.  You’re chances of winning are just about, well astronomical.  You have a much better chance of being struck by lightning.

U.S. regulators have approved the first long-acting drug combo for HIV, monthly shots that can replace the daily pills now used to control infection with the AIDS virus.Thursday’s approval of the two-shot combo is expected to make it easier for people to stay on track with their HIV medicines and to do so with more privacy.

Deep in the deadliest coronavirus wave and facing worrisome new mutations, President Joe Biden will kick off his national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that Americans mask up for travel.  The new president has vowed to take far more aggressive measures to contain the virus than his predecessor, starting with stringent adherence to public health guidance.

Florida state workers returned to work at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee Thursday morning after law enforcement authorities shut down the building “out of an abundance of caution” when a bomb threat was received overnight.  In a tweet Thursday morning, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the Capitol was closed to employees at least until 9 a.m. as an investigation continued.  Law enforcement officials have been on high alert since state capitols were targeted with threats of violence following an insurrection at the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6.

 As a solution to Miami’s notoriously congested traffic, Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk is proposing to dig tunnels with The Boring Company, one of his many business ventures. Experts say the idea would be costly and is fraught with engineering obstacles, but it’s not outright crazy.  Musk has spoken with Governor DeSantis about the possibility and the mayor of Miami says he would love to be a prototype city. 

The SunTran system is looking to change.  The Ocala/Marion County public bus system has begun a survey, mostly of riders, as to what they think of the service, and what is needed in the future.  The survey questions and responses will take into consideration coverage areas, span of service and frequency of service. Following the survey, the City of Ocala will implement route modifications that will yield the best benefits for residents and travelers within the city.

Just one person matched all of the numbers in the multi-state Powerball drawing last night taking all $730 million dollars.  The winner was from Maryland.  For those of us who didn’t win, there is still another few chances.  The mega-millions drawing is Friday night and the jackpot there for a single winner is $970 million.  And if that’s just too much money, there’s always the Florida lotto, which rolled over Wednesday night and now has a jackpot of 12 and ¾ million for Saturday’s drawing.

A pedestrian walking with a bicycle was killed in the predawn hours Wednesday on US 441 near SE 156th Street.  The victim was only identified as a 38 year old man.  The Florida Highway Patrol says the victim was walking in the roadway on the northbound inside lane when he was hit.  The area of road there was not lit. .

The federal government has launched a new website that will serve as a clearinghouse for records from former President Donald Trump’s administration.  The National Archives and Records Administration announced the website on Wednesday. Eventually, it will be a repository of archived Trump-era documents, including his White House website and social media accounts. It will also offer information about accessing other records from Trump’s tenure.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a chance to make history at Green Bay on Sunday. If they do, it might come with an asterisk.  No team has ever played a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Tom Brady and the underdog Bucs will try to become the first to do so by winning the NFC championship game against the Packers. The Super Bowl will take place two weeks later at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.