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Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith Hosting Community Health Update on Meningococcal & Monkeypox Outbreaks



State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith. Photo: Roberto Gonzalez via Orlando Weekly.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) is hosting an important discussion on how to protect yourself and others from the meningococcal disease and monkeypox outbreaks affecting our community.


  • Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House District 49
  • Dr. Raul Pino, MD MPH – Director, Orange County Health Services Department
  • Alvina K. Chu, MHS – Director, Division of Infectious Diseases; Florida Department of Health in Orange County
  • Dr. George A. Wallace – Executive Director, LGBTQ+ Center Orlando

WHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 12th at 4pm

WHERE: Streaming on AND

RSVP: Please RSVP attendance at

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Gov. DeSantis Announces $125M in State Budget to Boost Nurse Training and Nurse Employment



FILE - Then Florida Republican nominee for governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign event in October 2018. (File photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

SANFORD, Fla. (FNN) – Florida governor Ron DeSantis opened his Sanford press conference slamming COVID vaccine mandates for medical personnel before making his big announcement: $125 million in approved state funding for nurse training and employment.

Gov. DeSantis explained that $100 million will go to colleges and universities for higher education programs and pipeline programs to help nurses complete their degrees and transition right into jobs upon graduation.

The governor shared that the remaining $25 million is assigned to “combating the shortage of nursing instructors,” meaning funding will also provided for those who can teach and train up and nurses and medical students. Additionally, the funding will providing some student loan assistance for students pursuing nursing careers.

Seminole State College and Valencia College will each receive $1.4 million of the $25 million in pipeline funding to help their students “earn while they learn,” according to Florida Dept. of Education Senior Chancellor Henry Mack. Mack also pointed out that Gov. DeSantis has awarded over $5 billion in education and technical training funding since taking office.

The full press conference live stream can be viewed above. (Governor DeSantis starts speaking at 24:11 on the video.)

DeSantis also addressed the appointment of Cord Byrd and defended his decision to appoint Byrd, also noting that Byrd would be tough on election integrity.

DeSantis was asked again about Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District and the tax consequences on Orange and Osceola County residents. He explained that he plans to ensure control of the tax debt would move from the counties to the state and that no counties should be raising taxes on their residents. He also doubled down on Disney repaying the debt.

When Florida National News brought the conversation back around to funding in the state budget for nurses–namely the appropriations proposal for an additional building for UCF’s Nursing School in Lake Nona, Governor DeSantis said he’s still reviewing the budget and that more medical funding projects would be forthcoming.


Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. |

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Servant’s Heart Ministry’s Hearts Against Hunger 5K Kicks Off Saturday, May 14



Photo: Serving Hearts Ministry.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Servant’s Heart Ministry’s in-person 5K kicks of on May 14, 2022. Attendees can run, walk or stroll through the beautiful streets of Belle Isle in the Greater Orlando area to help bring awareness and support those in need. People can register as an individual or create their very own team. Grab your family, friends, co-workers, running groups, or church groups and make a difference today.

The entry donation fee of $35 provides two full weeks of groceries for one local family. Anyone and everyone can participate. Supporters can help the ministry reach its $40,000 goal by creating a fundraising page or creating a team through the event page.

Those who want to help even more can create their own unique fundraising page after they register to help the ministry reach their goal. Supporters will be able to customize it just the way they want and will be able to share it with others as well as on social media platforms.

As a special thank you, with every $35 donation/registration fee, the ministry will be gifting those registered with a t-shirt the morning of the event while supplies last. Shirt sizes may be limited.

When: Saturday, May 14, 2022
Where: Belle Isle, Florida (Central Florida)
Registration begins: 7:00 AM
Race begins: 8:00 AM

For more information, contact Servant’s Heart Ministry at 407-447-3022, or visit

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Crimes and Courts

Walgreens, Florida settle opioid costs lawsuit for $683M



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Walgreens pharmacy chain has reached a $683 million settlement with the state of Florida in a lawsuit accusing the company of improperly dispensing millions of painkillers that contributed to the opioid crisis, state officials said Thursday.

State Attorney General Ashley Moody said the deal was struck after four weeks of government evidence was presented at trial. Walgreens was the 12th and final defendant to settle with Florida, which will bring in more than $3 billion for the state to tackle opioid addiction and overdoses.

“We now go into battle armed and ready to fight back hard against this manmade crisis,” Moody said at a news conference in Tampa. “I am glad that we have been able to end this monumental litigation and move past the courtroom.”

Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Illinois, said in a statement the company did not admit wrongdoing in the deal, during which $620 million will be paid to the state over 18 years and a one-time sum of $63 million for attorney fees. Walgreens operates more than 9,000 stores in all 50 states, according to the company website. About 820 of those locations are in Florida.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has a tentative nationwide deal that includes $6 billion in cash from members of the Sackler family who own the company. In all, settlements, civil and criminal penalties around the country since 2007 have totaled over $45 billion, according to an Associated Press tally.

The Florida case hinged on accusations that as Walgreens dispensed more than 4.3 billion total opioid pills in Florida from May 2006 to June 2021, more than half contained one or more easily recognized red flags for abuse, fraud and addiction that the company should have noticed and acted upon.

The opioid epidemic has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades, counting those from prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and generic oxycodone as well as illicit drugs such as heroin and illegally produced fentanyl.

In the same case, CVS Health Corp. and CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay the state $484 million. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. agreed to pay $195 million and Allergan PLC more than $134 million.

Florida has previously obtained millions of dollars in opioid settlements involving McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.

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