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September 10, 2021

Pointing to what it called “serious doubts” about the lawsuit, an appeals court today (Friday) put on hold a circuit judge’s ruling that said Governor Ron DeSantis overstepped his constitutional authority in a July 30 executive order aimed at preventing school mask mandates. The DeSantis administration had filed an emergency motion to reinstate the stay on a ruling that allows school districts to keep their mask mandates. The appeals court decision was a reaction to a Leon County judge who lifted the stay on his own ruling that effectively said the state has to allow districts to defend their mask policies before they can be punished. Lynn Hatter has more.

Former Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox was sentenced yesterday [Thursday] to five years in federal prison for accepting bribes from local companies while holding office. His business associate Paige Carter-Smith was sentenced to two years behind bars for her part in facilitating the payments through their joint-lobbying firms. As Valerie Crowder reports, the sentencing has sparked calls for reform from residents and at least one city leader.

With pandemic lockdowns long over, businesses have largely reopened. But many are working with skeleton crews. Additional federal support for unemployed workers has ended, but Gina Jordan reports the labor shortage is still a problem in Florida.

It’s been about 18 months since Florida officials announced the state’s first coronavirus cases. All this time later, doctors are seeing some of the highest caseloads they’ve seen since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, debates are raging about vaccine and mask requirements. It can be a lot for anyone to handle. Regan McCarthy spoke with a mental health professional about how people are handling the pandemic stress and what to do if they feel like they need some help.

Florida’s medical marijuana market has more than doubled in the past 2 years -- there are nearly 600,000 registered patients now … By state law, medical marijuana growers are required to handle all aspects of the business –– from seed to sale. One of those growers is a family business with roots -- in law enforcement -- and the military. WLRN’s Chris Remington tells us about why they got into the marijuana business and how they’re trying to compete with bigger growers.

As the nation observes the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, WUSF's Lisa Peakes talks with a member of our team who was a young reporter in New York City at that time. From WUSF, Kerry Sheridan followed a group of firefighters who played bagpipes at hundreds of funerals long after the towers fell and wrote a book about that difficult year.