Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hendry County Jail Officials have received notification that one inmate that has tested positive for COVID-19.  The agency released a statement that said, “we are continuing to follow all CDC guidelines and isolating new inmates as they come in and have quarantined all inmates. All inmates that have been housed and within close proximity of the inmate have been tested and we are currently awaiting the results”.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 641, Funds for the Operation of Schools, and announced the approval of $500 million in the state’s budget, dedicated to raising teacher salaries in Florida. $400 million is invested to raise the minimum base pay for full-time classroom teachers, and $100 million is to raise the salaries of Florida’s veteran teachers and other instructional personnel. According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, this historic increase puts Florida among the best states in the nation for minimum teacher pay, a bold step in alleviating the teacher shortage and elevating the teaching profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. The state is still offering free certification testing for new teachers.

The Florida Department of Health issued an additional Public Health Advisory in response to COVID-19. The Public Health Advisory provides the following recommendations: All individuals in Florida should wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible, unless: You’re a child under 2, medical conditions or disabilities prevent such, you’re receiving a service that involves the nose or face and temporary removal is necessary, it prevents you from doing your job, or if you work outside and social distancing is in place. All individuals over the age of 65 and all individuals of any age with high-risk health conditions should limit personal interactions outside of the home. All individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 50 people. For all gatherings of fewer than 50 people, individuals should practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other and wearing a face covering.

An affiliate news source reports, the city manager of Pahokee must repay the city more than $5,000 after an investigation found he used a city credit card for personal expenses. The Office of Inspector General found Chandler Williamson made inappropriate purchases with a city credit card between June 2015 and May 2019. According to the report, the inappropriate expenses totaled $5,840.92. The report said Williamson used the card 21 times on rental cars; to book 16 flights; and to help cover expenses on four trips to Columbia, South Carolina, for his alumni homecoming weekends at Benedict College. He also used it during a trip to Las Vegas for the International Council of Shopping Centers. The OIG report stated the expenses were not related to official city business and “lacked required travel request forms or supporting documentation;” that Williamson did not use “the most economic means of transportation;” and that some expenses “lacked receipts;” and some of the purchases were for “unallowable expenses.” Investigators also made note of $15,941.08 worth of questionable charges without sufficient documentation. Last year, the OIG found Williamson violated policy for unauthorized bonuses and days off.