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Miami daily roundup: Jay-Z files complaint against Miami-Dade Animal Services, COVID's missing death toll, and more

Best of South Florida

(MIAMI, Fla.) In South Florida news today, Jay-Z's group has filed a complaint against Miami-Dade Animal Services, asking them to look into an animal abuse case; a slew of missing COVID deaths from Florida counties has been released; the state health department wants a permanent mask mandate ban; and taxpayers could be footing the bill if Gov. Ron DeSantis sues the Biden Administration over vaccine mandates.

The following list contains the area's breaking news for Monday, October 18. Read on today's top stories:

Jay-Z files complaint against Miami-Dade animal services

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Jay-Z’s Team ROC social justice group has filed a complaint in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against the county’s Animal Services Department, alleging it has failed to take action against a resident it accuses of abusing animals.

The complaint alleges Miami-Dade resident Christian Souto has been abusing his dogs, and has posted a video of himself threatening people who have witnessed and complained of his misconduct. Filed on Sept. 30, the complaint states states that Animal Services failed to take action, and targets interim director Lorna Mejia and Enforcement Supervisor Sean Gallagher, and asks the court to order the agency to properly fulfill its duties.

Florida health department calls for permanent mask mandate ban

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John Pendy-Graft

Florida’s school mask rules are scheduled to head back to court this week, as six districts are asking an administrative law judge to rule that the Department of Health didn’t properly implement its emergency rule banning mask mandates without opt-out provisions. Florida health and education department officials continue to seek ways to ban schools from imposing mask mandates without opt-out provisions. Some schools are taking other steps to keep virus spread down, including the use of plastic shields

Last time this subject was headed to the same judge, the department abruptly withdrew its rule and issued a new one. A similar scenario appears to be playing out again. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

For 105 days, COVID’s death toll in Florida counties went missing

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The number of people dying in each Florida county went missing from June 4 through Sept. 17. Miscommunication has plagued the relationship between the state and federal agency since the start of the pandemic.

Now that data is available, and it shows how many people died in Tampa Bay as the delta variant tore through the state.

A total of 4,437 residents in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Polk, Hernando and Citrus counties died over four months. That’s an average of 36 Tampa Bay residents dying each day from COVID-related complications from June 5 to Oct. 7, according to the latest data. The data reveals how deadly the latest COVID wave has been in two of the region’s smallest, most rural counties: Citrus and Hernando rank third and fourth in deaths per 100,000 residents since June 5.

Florida taxpayers will foot the bill for legal fees if DeSantis sues the Biden Administration over vaccine mandates

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Governor Ron DeSantis has vowed to challenge the Biden administration legally if they enact a proposal mandating that businesses require workers to get vaccinated or undergo weekly coronavirus testing.

This lawsuit follows the death of over 57 000 residents of Florida, with the Governor still persistent in ensuring that "free will" is exercised when mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.

Should Governor DeSantis sue the Biden Administration over Covid-19 vaccine mandates? Florida waging a legal war against further mandates means that the state's taxpayers will be forking the bill, as the resources used belong entirely to the state.

As South Florida rent soars out of reach, more people find themselves priced out — and on the streets

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Rose Law

Soaring rents in South Florida are putting a number of residents in a serious predicament. With housing costs too high, concern is growing that more people will find themselves priced onto the streets.

By the end of the year, renters in South Florida will be paying an average of 40% of their income to their landlords, according to a forecast from Zillow. Already this year, rents have risen an average of 14% and are projected to grow by another 8-9% before the year is over, according to data from the Costar Group, a provider of commercial real estate information.

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