Florida educators say pandemic “is not over and it’s not going anywhere in the near future”

CBS News is chronicling what has changed in the lives of residents of some of the biggest battleground states in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s been six weeks since Rocky Hannah, Leon County Schools superintendent in North Florida, reopened schools after abruptly closing in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The county allowed children to return to schools on August 31 in order to avoid potential financial penalties from Florida for not offering in-person options. Forty-four percent came back to in-person classrooms while 55% opted to start the school year remotely.  

“There were a lot of our parents that needed to get back to work, that needed their children in school, and by us giving families those options, I think we absolutely did the right thing,” said Hannah.  

When CBS News spoke with Hannah in July, the county had made an $11 million investment to purchase 32,500 laptops

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States that reopened sooner, such as Texas, Arizona and Florida, experienced summer surges, report says — ScienceDaily

For every two deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S., a third American dies as a result of the pandemic, according to new data publishing Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, shows that deaths between March 1 and Aug. 1 increased 20% compared to previous years — maybe not surprising in a pandemic. But deaths attributed to COVID-19 only accounted for 67% of those deaths.

“Contrary to skeptics who claim that COVID-19 deaths are fake or that the numbers are much smaller than we hear on the news, our research and many other studies on the same subject show quite the opposite,” said lead author Steven Woolf, M.D., director emeritus of VCU’s Center on Society and Health.

The study also contains suggestive evidence that state policies on reopening early in April and May may have fueled the

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Recap and analysis of the week in Florida government and politics

Dara Kam
 |  News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s election system suffered yet another black eye this week, after the state’s online voter-registration system repeatedly crashed before Monday’s deadline to sign up for the November presidential election.

The Sunshine State’s seemingly perpetual election-related snafus are the subject of ridicule, scorn and embarrassment, and a federal judge on Friday excoriated state officials for this week’s meltdown.

“Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science,” Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker wrote in a 29-page order issued early Friday morning.

Secretary of State Laurel Lee extended the registration deadline until 7 p.m. Tuesday, after tens of thousands of users were unable to submit voter-registration applications through the online system in the hours

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Tensions and insults in the battle for Florida lay bare America’s divisions | World news

If you wanted a symbol for Donald Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican party, you could do little better than a nondescript shopping mall on the outskirts of Largo in west Florida.

This is a usually quiet intersection in Florida’s quintessential bellwether county, Pinellas, which has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1980 (bar the disputed 2000 race won by George W Bush).

But eight months ago Cliff Gephart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter and local entrepreneur, transformed a vacant lot – formerly a strip club – into a thriving coffee shop devoted to the president. Business at Conservative Grounds is roaring, despite the pandemic, with hundreds and, they claim, occasionally over a thousand customers, dropping by each day for a cup of coffee, a chat about politics and to purchase from a plethora of Trump themed merchandise. No-one is social distancing or wearing a facemask.


Troubled
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Launch of spy satellite from Florida postponed again

Astronauts make round trip to space station from U.S. soil

NASA astronaut Douglas Hurley (C) waves to onlookers as he boards a plane at Naval Air Station Pensacola to return him and NASA astronaut Robert Behnken home to Houston a few hours after the duo landed in their SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft off the coast of Pensacola, Fla,, on August 2, 2020. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA | License Photo

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George Maul, former Florida Tech department head, tsunami expert, had passions for the sea and science

The ocean always beckoned him, sometimes with foreboding.



George Maul, professor of oceanography, marine & environmental systems, is stepping down.


© MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY
George Maul, professor of oceanography, marine & environmental systems, is stepping down.

George August Maul warned for years that a killer wave in Florida was inevitable. A powerful tsunami traveling as fast as a jetliner will strike our coast, the Virgin Islands, or elsewhere in the Caribbean. He was convinced: It’s just a matter of time.

He would not live to see the tragedy he often warned of and worked tirelessly to prevent. 

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Maul, an oceanographer and educator with “a disarming smile and limitless curiosity who made a profound impact on marine and environmental science programs at Florida Tech as a department head, advocate, fundraiser and speaker,” succumbed to cancer Wednesday, Florida Institute of Technology officials announced Thursday. 

He was 82.

Maul, 

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