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Local and State News Update

Compiled by Rick Glasby
News Graphic 4 Gray
Local and State News Update

Here’s a local news update for September 18th from WFIT, Florida Today, and the Florida News Exchange.

Rocket Launches Delayed

Despite near perfect local weather for a rocket launch yesterday, SpaceX has delayed the mission. The reason was strong currents and high seas in the recovery zone for the rocket off the Carolinas. SpaceX says it is standing down for the next few days to launch their 13th batch of Starlink satellites. The National Weather Service says seas in the recovery zone may reach over 20 feet in height over the weekend.

The Delta IV Heavy launch, originally scheduled for early this morning has slipped to Saturday, January 26th. ULA is replacing some ground equipment.

Teacher Contract Talks Continue

Contract talks between Brevard Public Schools and the Federation of Teachers remain stalled. Bargaining teams did reached deals on parental leave, which will include five days of paid leave for teachers who have recently had or adopted a child, and health insurance premium hikes. But negotiators have yet to agree on salary hikes for district educators. Bargaining teams return to the table Monday.

Tropical Weather Update

Sally is moving away from the Carolinas after dumping several inches of rain and producing gusty winds there on Thursday. However, a new tropical depression -- Tropical Depression 22 -- has formed in the western Gulf of Mexico, and there are several more systems in the tropics. But none are a direct threat to Florida. This hurricane season is already one of the busiest on record. We’ve had 20 named storms so far. After the last name on the list, Wilfred, we’ll then have go to the Greek alphabet for storm names. That’s only happened one other time in the history of Atlantic storms.

Brevard Jail COVID Cases

Brevard County Jail is free and clear of coronavirus cases, according to the latest update from Sheriff Wayne Ivey. There were 61 cases among inmates, but all have been cleared from medical isolation. In the first several months of the pandemic, only 9 tests were taken at the facility. Then last month 174 inmates were tested, yielding 54 positive results. Currently, the scale of testing being conducted by the sheriffs office is not being reported to the Department of Health.

Millions Available for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business or nonprofit, Brevard County wants you to know that it still has millions of dollars to hand out. County Commissioners allocated $10-million for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. As of this week, they’ve distributed $6.4-million in $10,000 grants. But that leaves $3.6-million still available. These are grants, not loads, and therefore do not have to be repaid. Visit brevardFL.gov for details.

Free Farmer’s Market Food for Families

If your family as been impacted by COVID-19, there’s food assistance available this Saturday. The UF/Brevard Extension Service is handing out $50 tokens, good for buying fruits, vegetables, and other food items at the Downtown Melbourne Farmer’s Market. The market is open this Saturday from 10AM until 3PM at Riverview Park.

For updates on these stories and more visit www.FloridaToday.com