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Downtown library to offer passport services, AT&T workers strike in Orlando, and other news you may have missed

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Local Democratic representative files ambitious renewable energy bill in the state legislature. Thirty years from now, maybe, just maybe, Florida will be operating with 100 percent clean energy. That's the goal of two lawmakers who are trying for the second time to push legislation calling for all renewable energy by 2050. Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, filed HB 97 last week, basically refiling a bill she put out back in March. Eskamani, along with State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, D-Miami, hopes the bill will become law this time around. The bill calls for public agencies to ditch fossil fuels and emphasizes the use of solar power as a renewable source instead. Its short-term goal is to have 40 percent of Florida's electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Downtown public library to offer passport application services. Starting next month, you can apply for a passport at the downtown Orlando Library. (That's the location at 101 E. Central Blvd., to be exact.) Orange County Library System is offering the service for those who have more free time on evenings and weekends – Saturday will be one of the days offered for passport applications. The good news is you don't need a library card to apply for a passport at the library. The bad news is there's an additional $35 processing fee for using the library, in addition to the standard passport application fees. For more about passport applications, call the library's main information line at 407-835-7323.

AT&T workers' strikes come to Orlando. Hundreds of AT&T workers went on strike in Orlando, joining more than 20,000 workers across the southeastern United States represented by the Communications Workers of America union. Around 400 workers attended picket lines at nine central Florida locations: eight in Orlando and one in Lake Mary. Union officials did not discuss numbers, but said their main grievance is that the representatives AT&T has been sending to the bargaining table do not have the authority to make decisions. AT&T fired back saying they have been listening at the bargaining table and strongly disagree with union claims of unfair labor practices. The strike has garnered the support of presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Disney sued over bugs found in food reportedly served at the Polynesian Village. Three South Florida residents are suing Disney after they say they got food poisoning from bug-infested lettuce. A trip to the Polynesian Village resort in December 2018 ended with emergency room visits, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Circuit Court. The Broward residents claim they felt a green bug crawling in their mouths after eating from the buffet at the "Club Level Lounge." Their lettuce wraps contained dozens of tiny insects, according to a court complaint. Their suit – which includes pictures of the bugs – claims they sustained permanent (although unspecified) injuries, but Disney officials say they don't believe the food caused the illness.

Flippers pizza restaurants charged with labor violations by U.S. Department of Labor. Seven Orlando Flippers pizza locations were part of a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. In total, 11 Central Florida locations were ordered to pay $27,425 in back wages to 70 employees, and pay $1,810 in child labor violation penalties, according U.S. labor officials. The other locations were in Kissimmee, Clermont and Windermere. Investigators determined assistant managers eligible for overtime got flat weekly salaries, overtime hours for tipped workers was calculated incorrectly, and the pizzeria had a 17-year-old minor operate a motor vehicle to make deliveries, which goes against Fair Labor Standards child labor requirements.

This story is from the Sept. 4, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.

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