Thousands of mail-in ballots have been initially rejected in Florida. But there's still time to fix them
ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of mail-in ballots sent in by Florida residents have been initially rejected for signature errors and other mistakes, but election experts say there is still plenty of time to make those votes count.The problem is that millions of Floridians are voting by mail for the first time because of concerns about the coronavirus and election security in general.In a state where the margins for victory have been razor-thin for decades, rejected ballots could easily add up and be decisive in the race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.“(With) the histori...
Nation and world news briefs
Florida’s schools shouldn’t shut down because of COVID-19 infections, Gov. DeSantis saysFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Closing schools for months at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic was a mistake that won’t be repeated, and only students who develop symptoms should be isolated, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.During a visit to a charter school in Jacksonville, the governor said over 60% of the state’s 2.8 million students in pre-K to 12th grade are getting in-person instruction, and it’s an increasingly popular option because infection risks are low.“Going forward, whatever the future ma...
Tribune News Service
As Chicago proposes making Pilsen the city's largest landmark district, residents fear more displacement
CHICAGO — Nearly 45 years ago, Marcos Carbajal’s father opened a restaurant that would become a staple of the Pilsen neighborhood in the first building the Carbajal family was able to buy after migrating from Mexico.After aggressive gentrification in the area over the past two decades, Carnitas Uruapan is one of the few family-owned businesses left on 18th Street that recall the identity of one of Chicago’s largest Mexican American neighborhoods.In an attempt to preserve the character and culture of the area, including the Baroque-style building that’s home to Carnitas Uruapan, city officials ...
Marijuana companies seek disaster relief
Derek Wright had hoped his 120-acre marijuana farm in Southern Oregon would yield a $2.8 million crop this year. But he said the South Obenchain fire incinerated everything: his home on the property, the farm manager’s cabin, the processing facility for drying the plants and close to two-thirds of his crop. The plants that survived were too damaged to sell, so Wright and his team composted them.“Now it looks like the desert,” Wright said of the farm.Wright, like most marijuana growers nationwide, doesn’t have crop insurance. Because federal law defines marijuana as an illegal, dangerous drug, ...
900,000 Florida felons won't be voting for president because of court fines, fees
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida continues to lead the nation in the number of people unable to vote because of a felony conviction, despite the passage of a landmark 2018 constitutional amendment meant to restore their access to the ballot box, according to a study released Wednesday by a national nonprofit.Nearly 900,000 Floridians with felony convictions are unable to vote because of a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year that required them to pay all court fees fines or restitution before voting, according to the study. The report was released by the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit that ad...
Susan Tompor: College borrowers aren't always seeing COVID-19 relief. Here's why
When you know a tiny bit about something, you can walk around in a fog that throws your finances for a total loop.And so begins the story on coronavirus relief efforts and student loan debt.Increasingly, consumer advocates report hearing from student loan borrowers who haven’t paid a dime on their college loans since March and believe that they’re in perfectly fine shape. They’ve heard about all the student loan breaks that now run through the end of December.And the big money trip wire?Tucked in their basket of debt, they’re dealing with a hot mess of student loans that aren’t covered by coro...
Detroit Free Press
Miami-Dade is one storm away from a housing catastrophe. Nearly 1 million people are at risk
MIAMI — As the tail end of one of the most active hurricane seasons in history nears, Miami-Dade County appears once again poised to emerge unscathed. The region dodged hurricanes and tropical storms that posed a potential threat to South Florida. But what will happen when that luck runs out?Housing advocates have long feared that the city is one storm away from disaster; nearly a third of all housing structures in Miami-Dade County built before 1990 are at risk of wind damage, mold contamination and even complete devastation from a hurricane.According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, nearly 1 m...
Medicare fall enrollment opens Oct. 15. Here's what is new this year
Medicare’s fall enrollment period, which this year is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is a time for seniors to review their coverage and make changes for the coming year.Whether you have traditional Medicare with a supplement to cover out-of-pocket costs plus a stand-alone drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan that wraps coverage together in one package, there are always small tweaks to plans that are worth reviewing. Plans may change which brands of drugs are covered, or which doctors are in-network, and you don’t want to discover that next year when it’s too late to switch.Wading through the many ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
San Diego judge upholds state ban on private immigration detention centers
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego federal judge largely upheld California’s law banning private prisons in a ruling late Thursday, acknowledging that the state has the authority to ensure the health and welfare of federal detainees within its borders.Under the ruling, at least four immigration detention centers with the capacity to house approximately 5,000 people would be phased out over the coming years.However, the ruling carved out an exception when it comes to privately-operated facilities that house pretrial inmates charged with federal crimes who are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. U...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Racial justice push creates momentum to protect black-owned land
In May, three sisters in Chicago got a surprise phone call: They owned 35 acres in Mississippi with a stand of mature timber worth more than $40,000.“They’d never been to Louisville, Miss., so they had no idea they owned property,” recalled Frank Taylor, leader of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative in Mississippi, who called the sisters.Every year, the cooperative retrieves the county’s delinquent tax rolls and uses public records, local knowledge and a couple hundred phone calls to alert people who risk losing their land.The effort seeks to stem the loss of property among rural landowne...