Good Morning! Here’s The 5 Things You Need to Know In and Around Osceola County for June 25, 2020!
1.Governor Ron DeSantis signed a budget item Wednesday that would provide $500 million in education funding to raise teacher salaries in Florida.
The bill would provide funds to schools by July 1 and become “the largest compensation package in the history of Florida”.
DeSantis said it would raise base salaries of K-12 classroom teachers to $47,500. If the raises are what the state says they are, the new funding would take Florida from No. 26 in the nation to No. 5 in the nation for average minimum salary.
DeSantis did say Wednesday that while the state’s fiscal picture is different now than it was earlier in the year, and not every decision has been made about the budget, “I can report that this would 100 percent be there.”
2. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut now require anyone visiting from Florida, among other states, must quarantine for 14 days.
That announcement came Wednesday — a total opposite of an order Gov. Ron DeSantis put in place at the start of the pandemic in April for people coming from those same states. At last report, a checkpoint on Interstate 95 at the Florida/Georgia border was still checking for those residents.
“We have to make sure the virus doesn’t come on again in a plane,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday morning. “We worked hard to get the viral transmission down and don’t want it to go back up again.”
The order also includes people coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas, all states with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
3. Major League Baseball is set to make its return on July 23.
Baseball players will head to training camps in their home ballparks after the 4th of July. Their union and team owners agreed late Tuesday night to play a 60-game season that will start on July 23 or 24. It took months of failed negotiations to come up with a shortened season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that will run through Sept. 27, and then begin a playoff march toward the World Series.
And just like everything else in this “new normal,” the American Pastime is going to look a bit different. Among of the few of the changes from the “old normal”:
- The National League will use a designated hitter.
- In extra innings, teams will begin with a runner on second base.
- Rosters will start at 30 players for the first two weeks then go to 28 for the next two weeks and stay at 26 for the remainder of the season.
4. Osceola REDI’s Feeding Osceola initiative is still working to raise $100,000 to pass on to county food pantries in order to fight off food insecurity.
Local food pantries have seen the number of families they help regularly increase from three to seven times. So they are looking for every source of funding possible to keep up. Those pantries spend over $1,000 per week on food, and demand is outpacing the resources.
So Osceola REDI, a group that responds to critical issues in Osceola after main support systems offer their relief, created the Feeding Osceola initiative, which is working with the private and public sectors to raise $100,000 to keep the overwhelmed food pantries propped up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus far, just over $10,000 has been raised. The fundraiser was originally set to go through the end of June, but it’s been extended. So If you have the will and ability to help in these times, go to Feeding Osceola.org, where you can donate online, or mail a check to Osceola REDI to 704 Generation Point #101, Kissimmee FL 34744.
5. Huntington Learning Center, which held the official ribbon cutting for its center in St. Cloud Wednesday, will continue its free webinar series today at 1 p.m. for students in kindergarten through 8th grade and their parents.
Today’s webinar will discuss the importance of summer learning, thinking outside the box and having fun, tips for staying engaged and how Huntington Learning Centers can help with all that through the Huntington Advantage. It starts at 1 p.m., lasts about an hour, and remember, it’s free.
For information or the link to register, go to Huntington Helps dot com and search for the webinar series.
And now for today’s weather: It’s going to be another hot one, with a high temperature of 95 and a heat index that could exceed 100. And it could be dusty. That’s right, dust. An influx of dust from the African Sahara has made it all the way across the Atlantic. It should help dry things out a bit, lowering our rain chance to 30 percent.