Friday April 30, 2021

Congratulations to the Clewiston High School Tigers as they announced that Kia Motors America is partnering with CHS, as part of their #acceleratethegood Program. The organization recently donated $50,000 to the Tiger football program. Clewiston High School is the only one out of ten programs in the country, to receive this donation.

Central Elementary School principal Melissa Carter is under investigation for reported use of corporal punishment on a Clewiston elementary school student. Details of the incident, said to be recorded by the student’s mother, are part of an active investigation, as the video depicts the student being disciplined, with a wooden paddle. Corporal punishment is prohibited in Hendry County School District, yet community members are divided on the issue. Many have a zero-tolerance stance on the issue, while others have proclaimed their solidarity, with the social media hashtag, #istandwithCarter.

Starting today, the Department of Children and Families will begin issuing pandemic EBT benefits for the 2020-2021 school year. The disbursement is for families with students who are distance learning and who would have received free or reduced-price meals had the student been physically on campus. The distribution will begin today and will continue over the next 6 weeks.

Some lawmakers have described what they’ve done as a starting point to improve community interactions with police, as the Florida Senate on gave final approval yesterday to a bill that includes new use-of-force training requirements for officers. After unanimous votes in the Senate and House, the bill HB 7051 is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The measure seeks to address aspects of policing that came under scrutiny after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin nearly a year ago. Chauvin, was found guilty by a jury last week of murdering Floyd. The only criticism of the bill from some lawmakers was that it doesn’t go far enough in seeking reforms to policing practices. One senator said the measure is something future legislatures could build on.

Florida added more than 5,600 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The Florida Department of Health reported an increase of 5,666 cases from the day before. The state also reported an uptick of 55 deaths from Wednesday. Florida has administered more than 14.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 8.6 million people have been vaccinated, and 5.9 million people have finished their series of vaccines.

State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory rescinding all of the previous ones, the latest from January. The Public Health Advisory expands vaccine access and eligibility to any individual in Florida who is present in Florida for the purpose of providing goods or services for the benefit of residents and visitors. It also encourages government offices to conduct in-person operations and services. Dr. Rivkees considered several factors while issuing this public health advisory:

  • Nearly nine million individuals have been vaccinated in Florida and scientific studies show that the COVID-19 vaccines protect individuals from COVID-19, and dramatically diminish hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus.
  • Continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with no end in sight, including the long-term use of face coverings and withdrawal from social and recreational gatherings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences.
  • Florida has a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines to provide an opportunity for every eligible Floridian who wants to be vaccinated.

Read the full Public Health Advisory here.