Tornadoes, wind damage and hail are possible again in parts of Florida for the second time this week.

Another strong storm system is poised to sweep across the Southeast Thursday Night and Friday, producing clusters of strong thunderstorms ahead of it. The risk of destructive weather is greatest in the Florida Panhandle Thursday afternoon and evening, followed by peninsular locations along and north of I-4 Thursday night and Friday.

Rainbow wrist bands
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

St. Pete Pride, one of the largest LGBTQIA celebrations in the Southeast, has announced it is postponing this year’s event due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Manatee County administration bulding with an American Flag
Cathy Carter

After almost two-and-a-half weeks, Manatee County Commisioners have lifted a temporary local curfew.

The board first voted to enact the measure on April 3. It was in effect every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department would support legal action against states that continue to impose strict social distancing rules even after coronavirus cases begin to subside in their respective states.

In a Tuesday interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Barr called some current stay-at-home orders "burdens on civil liberties" and said that if they continued and lawsuits were brought, his department would side against the state.

South Florida has been sizzling in recent weeks, with a slew of new record high temperatures, and a record for the number of records being smashed.

There’s something else heating up: the ocean. And that could be bad for hurricane season.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor  Rick Kriseman

The leaders of Tampa and St. Petersburg  spoke to each other - and their communities - during a Facebook Live video Monday afternoon.

crowd in stands at Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays

The Pinellas County School District and Tampa Bay Rays are working to ensure area high school seniors receive a traditional graduation ceremony at Tropicana Field.

A woman at a podium is surrounded by advocates holding TPS support signs and American flags.
Holly Pretsky/WLRN

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has ended protections for immigrants from six countries affected by natural disasters, war, or other dangerous conditions.

In Florida, about 3,000 of the people at risk for losing legal Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, work in the health care industry. TPS allows them to live and work in the U.S. These people will be sent back to their home country when the Department of Homeland Security terminates their status.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

The dramatic collapse in worldwide demand for oil led to an extraordinary development on Monday: U.S. oil prices fell below zero for the first time ever, and kept falling.

The key U.S. oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, settled at negative $37.63.

Driven by a trading contract deadline, traders desperately looked for buyers for the barrels of oil they normally hold in their books. But buyers were hard to find — even when the oil was being given away for free.

Unemployment claim form

Florida has processed its hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims more slowly than any other state.

A broken line of thunderstorms will be sweeping across Central Florida Monday, and some of the cells could produce damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. An isolated tornado or hail is also possible from the strongest storms, although those risks appear low at this time.

House with a pool for rent.

Last week, Gov. Ron De Santis extended an executive order suspending short-term vacation rentals because of COVID-19. Short-term renting will not be allowed until at least April 30.

The order only restricts the opening of homes and condominiums, not hotels, inns, and resorts. Long-terms rentals are also allowed. This has sparked a negative reaction among homeowners who rent their places to tourists and who have been greatly affected by the new rules. 

woman who was an elected official in Manatee County, Florida
Manatee County Government

Former Manatee County Commissioner Gwendolyn Brown has died from complications related to the coronavirus.

Brown, 68, was the county's first African-American commissioner.

Lakeland Police (Facebook)

A union representing the Lakeland Police Department has requested its members be given extra "pandemic pay" for working during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunset on Dunedin Causeway

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants people to go outside and exercise while keeping their distances from each other, as part of efforts to slowly reopen the state.

In an bid to help speed up the development of potential treatment options and a vaccine for COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health on Friday announced a new public-private research partnership.

Florida’s unemployment rate jumped in March, but it still remained a sign of better times.

Late Friday morning St. Johns County announced a partial reopening of its public beaches.

St. Johns County beaches are now open from 6 a.m. to noon seven days a week, but with many of the same limitations going into effect at Duval’s limited reopening of its beaches.

unemployment application

Florida’s unemployment rate shot up to 4.3% in March, as coronavirus-induced closures of Florida’s theme parks, hotels and large numbers of businesses caused the highest levels of joblessness in almost two years.

Service dog in training sits on floor, leash to the side.
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

If you were thinking of adopting a dog to keep you company during the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to look anywhere besides Pinellas County Animal Services.

As of earlier this week, the shelter no longer had a single dog in its care.

An aerial picture of Clearwater Beach.
Pinellas County Marketing and Communications

Pinellas County Commissioners did not vote Thursday on easing restrictions to local beaches, but it’s still under consideration.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to boost small businesses during the coronavirus economic crisis has run out of money.

Updated at 8:43 a.m. ET

The number of people filing for unemployment climbed by another 5.2 million last week as the toll of the nation's economic dive amid the pandemic continues to mount. That number is down from the revised 6.6 million in the week that ended April 4, the Labor Department said.

But in the past four weeks, a total of 22 million have filed jobless claims — nearly wiping out all the job gains since the Great Recession.


A federal report says Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had drugs in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics in his small plane when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, killing him.

A family picks up bags of food from a canvas pop up tent in front of a school.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The Hillsborough County School District wants to minimize contact between families and the employees who deliver food to better minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

To keep children, parents, and school workers safer, the county has reduced its food distribution program to one day a week: Wednesdays, down from one meal each day being handed out.

  Warning that a special master’s recommendation would “spell doom” for the Apalachicola River, Florida wants the U.S. Supreme Court to require Georgia to share more water in a river system that links the two states.

Buildings and sky
Courtesy City of Tampa

Tampa is joining other cities in announcing a fund to help small businesses, as well as families and individuals facing financial struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, St. Petersburg is expanding its fund.

An obituary of Hank Steinbrenner posted by the New York Yankees

New York Yankees General Partner and Co-Chairperson Henry G. "Hank" Steinbrenner died Tuesday at his Clearwater home after a longstanding health issue, according to the team.

He was 63.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The coronavirus outbreak has hit sports worldwide causing event postponements and cancellations.

Now it appears the pandemic has led to the total shutdown of a league.

Monday, the parent company of the rebooted XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This followed last Friday's decision by the pro football league to suspend operations and lay off nearly all of those who worked for the XFL.