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August 5, 2022

The furor escalated today (Friday) over Governor Ron DeSantis's decision to suspend the Tampa area state attorney from office. A court fight appears likely, as Steve Bousquet reports.

Florida’s new restrictions on discussions of race, diversity, and LGBTQ issues in classrooms have some teachers and school districts worried that partisan politics are seeping over into schools. As Sarah Mueller reports, critics of those new policies say they’re contributing to a massive increase in teacher vacancies.

Two G-O-P candidates are vying to represent Bay County in the Florida Legislature. Political newcomer Brian Clowdus is running against County Commissioner Griff Griffitts for the House District 6 seat. No other candidate is running, meaning whoever wins this month’s primary will represent the district. As Valerie Crowder reports, the two candidates explained how they’d tackle the issues of property insurance, affordable housing and abortion during their final forum last night [Thursday night]. Last night’s [Thursday] debate between the two Bay County candidates for state House was hosted by the League of Women Voters of Bay County. The debate took place at Gulf Coast State College and streamed live via Commodore Productions T-V.

It’s coming up on Election Day in Leon County, and the battles are being fought as much online as in person. At the center are the virtual publications that support competing candidates -- and some are fighting as hard as the candidates themselves. Margie Menzel reports.

For the past three weeks, jurors who will decide the fate of the Parkland school shooter have HEARD about the massacre that left 17 people dead more than four years ago. Yesterday [THURSDAY 8/4], they SAW where it happened. Under the court's supervision, 22 jurors toured Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's 1200 [twelve hundred] building. A few reporters were allowed to accompany the jury. WLRN’s Gerard Albert the third spoke with Sun Sentinel reporter Rafael Olmeda [ol-MEH-dah] hours after he toured the building.

Back-to-school time is rapidly approaching. Florida, like a number of other states, is facing a pretty bad teacher and school staff shortage. According to the Florida Education Association, there are nearly 4,500 teacher vacancies in school districts across the state. Lawrence Drake is interim president and dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Bethune Cookman University. WMFE's Talia Blake spoke with Drake about how the current economy is affecting education.