Trump administration wants to sell access to Florida's coastal waters for oil and gas drilling: Politico was first to report that the Trump administration's Interior Department is weighing such a plan. Multiple oil and gas industry executives told Politico that the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast are included in the administration's current five-year offshore drilling plan, which hasn't yet been released. What's holding up the release of the plan, for now, is that many within the Interior Department are waiting for the U.S. Senate to confirm acting Secretary David Bernhardt to lead the agency.
ACLU warns immigrants, people of color that their rights might be violated while visiting Florida: The travel advisory comes as a response to two proposed bills in the Florida Legislature, SB 168 and HB 527, which aim to prohibit sanctuary policies and require state and local governments, as well as law enforcement officials, to support the enforcement of federal immigration law. The Southern Poverty Law Center, Farmworkers Association of Florida and Florida Immigrant Coalition are among the coalition of civil rights and immigrants rights groups to issue the advisory.
Orange County launches task force to combat Central Florida's affordable housing crisis: Last week, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings launched the "Housing for All" task force, a six-month effort to find practical solutions to the region's ongoing affordable housing crisis. The 38-member committee has been tasked with providing lasting efforts "to change the narrative around housing availability and affordability," Demings said. Demings also noted that upward of 110,000 Orange County households spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
SEC charges SeaWorld lawyer with insider trading: As SeaWorld Entertainment's associate general counsel and assistant secretary, Paul B. Powers had access to the theme park company's key revenue information. After receiving a confidential draft of SeaWorld's 2018 second-quarter earnings that showed a strong financial performance on Aug. 1, Powers allegedly purchased 18,000 shares of SeaWorld stock the next day, according to the complaint filed by the SEC in Orlando at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Four days later, when SeaWorld's earnings release went public on Aug. 6 with the company's stock up 17 percent, Powers sold his SeaWorld shares for about $65,000 in illicit profits, the SEC says.
Orlando's Heritage Square is getting a marker acknowledging July Perry's 1920 lynching: Orlando city commissioners unanimously approved a measure last week that calls for the placement of a historical marker in downtown Orlando's Heritage Square acknowledging the 1920 murder of July Perry. Heritage Square, which sits next to the Orange County Regional History Center, is near where Perry, an African American farmer, was shot and lynched by a white mob in Orlando after he encouraged Ocoee's black residents to vote on Election Day 1920.
Nearly 25,000 Florida students are unvaccinated because of 'religious exemptions': Every state allows parents to avoid vaccinating their child for medical reasons, but it would appear that a large portion of Florida parents are getting away with not vaccinating their kids for purportedly religious reasons. Last week, the Tampa Bay Times released a report stating that nearly 25,000 students in Florida schools are currently unvaccinated by religious exemption, a number that has exploded by 375 percent since 2011.