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Robbie Gaffney

Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.  

  • The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) says of the jobs initially lost during the pandemic, nearly 80% have been recovered. In addition, the agency's Deputy Secretary Adrienne Johnston says there are more people in the labor force now than in February of last year. But Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) says issues remain with the state's unemployment assistance system.
  • From January to June of this year, Airbnb saw more bookings for long-term stays in Florida than any other time in the company’s history. Tomas Martinelli is the company’s public policy director for Florida. He says people are choosing Florida because it has a lot to offer.
  • The federal government has sent Florida more than $7 billion through the American Rescue Plan. But the state says it has the next three years to use up that money. And while officials are deciding who should get what, and what programs get funding, Democrats are urging the state to release that money now.
  • With Florida at the epicenter of a nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 infections, some local governments are defying Republican Governor Ron DeSantis with new mask and vaccine mandates. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried plans to begin providing daily COVID-19 data to the media after the state switched to only providing weekly data in June. Lee Health and NCH hospitals report 600% and 800% increases in COVID-19 patients who are mostly unvaccinated. High levels of community spread and low vaccination rates are putting many nursing homes in Florida at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. Some facilities are taking extra precautions.
  • Part of the panhandle is on track to have one of the worst sea turtle nesting seasons in recent history. That's according to a volunteer group that monitors turtle nesting.
  • We are all connected by the environment we share. The Earth is our home. This is the space where we share the environmental stories that caught our attention this week in Florida and beyond.
  • Starting in July, local governments won't be able to limit what fuels utilities use. That's under a new law signed Monday by Governor Ron DeSantis.
  • Former Florida data analyst Rebekah Jones has announced via Instagram that she plans to challenge U.S House Representative Matt Gaetz during the 2022 election cycle. This comes a day after her Twitter account was suspended.
  • Despite a nationwide decrease in COVID-19 cases over the last week, a USA Today Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data finds that in the week ending June 6, Florida experienced a 14.9% increase in new cases compared to the prior week. Florida has documented more than 2.3 million COVID-19 infections and more than 37,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.More than 19 million total vaccine doses have been administered in Florida so far. Last week, the Florida Hospital Association reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are at their lowest level in more than a year and down nearly 20% from the peak reached in July 2020.The American Federal of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations are urging Governor Ron DeSantis to reverse coarse on a plan to prematurely end Florida’s participation in a federal program that provides an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits to jobless Floridians.A federal judge will hear arguments, Thursday, in Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC over its rules for how the cruise industry can resume sailings. One way the CDC will allow cruise ships to resume operating is if staff and passengers are fully vaccinated, but a new Florida law set to take effect July 1, bars businesses from requiring vaccine passports. Meanwhile, the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines have recently announced plans to resume cruises from Florida portsState health officials are no longer providing daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic through the Florida Department of Health's online COVID-19 dashboard, and instead are updating information on a weekly basis.Florida courts can lift mask-wearing and social distancing requirements for in-person proceedings starting June 21.
  • Federal officials have declared an unusual mortality event for the state's manatees. An investigation is underway as to why they're dying off so quickly. More than 700 manatees have died in Florida so far this year. That's more than double the average.