Legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden tests positive for COVID-19

Former Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden has tested positive for the coronavirus.

ABC 27 spoke to Bowden on Monday, who confirmed the news.

Despite the positive diagnosis, Bowden, 90, said he’s doing pretty good and is waiting to see what’s going to happen.

While he did not say if any of his other household members have also tested positive, Bowden told ABC 27 they are all going to get tested again Monday.

Bowden said he does not know when he contracted it and did not mention when exactly he tested positive.

During his 34 years as Florida State’s head coach he had only one losing season in 1976. From 1987 to 2000, the Seminoles finished every season with at least 10 wins and in the top 5 of the Associated Press College Football Poll, and won the national championship in 1993 and 1999.

Judge refuses to hold John MacArthur, Grace Community Church in contempt without trial

A California judge has sided with California Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in yet another hearing over the church’s decision to hold indoor public worship services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastor John MacArthur

On Thursday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled that MacArthur and his Sun Valley-based church are entitled to a full trial on the merits of their challenge against state and local orders prohibiting indoor church gatherings before they can be held in contempt for violating the orders.

For nearly three months, the county has sought to shut down the church and hold MacArthur in contempt for repeatedly violating the order. However, attorneys at the Thomas More Society have argued that the governor’s orders violate several provisions of the state constitution.

This week, Beckloff ruled that the courts must first decide on the constitutionality of the shutdown orders before the county can pursue contempt charges.

Due to the state’s shut-down orders, the contempt trial is not expected to take place until early 2021.

The court scheduled a hearing to be held on Nov. 13 regarding the scope of the church’s challenge. A preliminary injunction was issued earlier this month by Beckloff prohibiting the church from conducting, participating in or attending any indoor worship services until the case is resolved.

Lawyers for MacArthur and Grace Community applauded the judge’s decision Thursday.

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Layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up

In the spring, as the new coronavirus began to spread throughout Central Florida, companies began shedding employees and Congress rushed in to provide some short-term relief.

Not knowing how severe the outbreak would become and how long its grip on the tourism-dependent region would last, executives hoped things would go back to normal soon.

But the layoffs haven’t stopped, and the calls to Congress for more help for the jobless and for the hotels, theme parks and other businesses that employed them have gone unanswered. It’s further evidence of the stark message Florida’s chief economist, Amy Baker, delivered to lawmakers Thursday that Florida tourism will take potentially three years to recover from this crisis.

In August alone, thousands more people were laid off or placed on furlough in Central Florida, mostly from hotels, according to a review of the state’s database.

The Hilton Orlando on Destination Parkway extended furloughs for 605 employees. The Orlando World Center Marriott laid off 601, saying it doesn’t expect occupancy to pick up until 2021. Eight Universal hotels, many of which have closed, furloughed or laid off 2,130 people.

Continue reading “Layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up”

Judge bans indoor services at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church

A California court has issued a preliminary injunction against Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church, banning them from conducting, participating in or attending any indoor worship services until the case is resolved.

John MacArthur

In what lawyers for the Sun Valley-based megachurch described as a “setback,” a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Sept. 10 granted the county’s request for an injunction prohibiting Grace Community from holding indoor services in violation of county health orders.

Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled that the church must not conduct any outdoor worship services unless it fully complies with the county’s mandates relating to physical distancing and face coverings, according to the nonprofit law firm Thomas More Society.

In an 18-page ruling, Beckloff wrote that the county demonstrated “a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims” and found that the “balance of harms tips in its favor.”

“[T]he Court finds the balance of harms tips in favor of the County,” the judge contends. “The potential consequences of community spread of COVID-19 and concomitant risk of death to members of the community — associated and unassociated with the Church — outweighs the harm that flows from the restriction on indoor worship caused by the County Health Order.”

MacArthur called the ruling “inexplicable.”

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What’s More Risky, Going to a Bar or Opening the Mail?

By now you probably have a good idea of which activities pose a greater risk catching COVID-19, so this might have been easy.

Supermarket and retail.

The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases have created a chart that ranks activities on their risk level for COVID-19. The levels are based on input from the physician members of the task force and the committee, who worked from the assumption that – no matter the activity – participants were taking as many safety precautions as they can.

And remember that no matter what we do, it’s best if we stay home if possible, wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance when we have to go out, and above all practice safe hand hygiene.

Remember the board game Risk, where the goal was basically to take over the world?

Well, let’s play Risk COVID-19, in which you try to guess which activities put people more at risk for contracting the coronavirus that causes the disease.

  1. Spending an hour at a playground or grocery shopping?
  2. Going to a beach or going camping?
  3. Working a week in an office building or staying two nights in a hotel?
  4. Going to a hair salon/barbershop or visiting a library/museum?
  5. Going to a bar or sitting in a doctor’s waiting room?

Download the chart in pdf form here:

RETALIATION: LA County evicts John MacArthur’s Church from land leased for parking lot

Jenna Ellis: ‘This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.’

Jenna Ellis – Thomas More Society

In the fight between Los Angeles County and Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church over religious liberty, the county went petty. Los Angeles County notified Grace Community Church via letter that on October 1 it is being evicted from a parcel of land it uses as a parking lot. The church has held a lease on this land for 45 years.

Is this retaliation for fighting Los Angeles County’s ban on indoor church worship services? Lawyers for John MacArthur and Grace Community Church think so.

Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order,” said Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel to Thomas More Society: “In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal. The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear–if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you. The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.

sections in red are the disputed land lease.

This eviction is for a large area of the parking lot utilized by the church—and has been leased since 1975. The land is in the flood control area and unsuitable for most uses.

The dispute between MacArthur, Grace Community Church and Los Angeles County began when the church decided it would hold indoor worship services despite the county and California bans on indoor church services. The county has taken MacArthur and the church into court at least four times in the last several weeks seeking judgment against the church.

Download the letter from L.A. County Here:

John MacArthur Files Declaration Against Los Angeles for Repeated Church Closure Attacks

The battle between Los Angeles County officials and California megachurch Pastor John MacArthur is continuing.

According to a press release obtained by Faithwire, county officials are attempting — for the fourth time — to get a court order to shutter MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, which has been holding in-person worship services since last month, a violation of orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who has mandated churches keep their doors closed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

MacArthur, in his declaration released Monday, argued the county is attempting to impede on his and his congregation’s “free exercise of religion by criminalizing activity directly required by our faith.”

“As a church,” he wrote, “we have a moral and religious obligation to continue allowing our congregants to gather in our sanctuary to worship the Lord.”

He continued, in part:

This church is the core of life for thousands from nursery to seniors. Our church is not an event center. It is a family of lives who love and care for each other in very intensely personal ways. So essential to personal well-being that people rushed back as soon as they could. The utter unnecessary deprivation of all our people by completely shutting down the mutual love and care that sustains our people in all the exigencies, pressures, and challenges of life, was cruel. And after 63 years of sacrificial, kindness to our city, to be repeatedly threatened with court-ordered efforts to shut Grace Community Church down when no one is sick, reveals an inexplicable preference for a mostly harmless virus over the life-enriching and necessary fellowship of the church. Our leaders and congregation see no real health threat to warrant such restraint. We see this action against us as an illegitimate misuse of power.

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John MacArthur wins another round in L.A. Court

Los Angeles County told Court would not find John MacArthur in contempt of court because no court order was in place to prevent indoor worship services at Grace Community Church.

Jenna Ellis of the Thomas More Scoiety
Jenna Ellis

The County of Los Angeles asked a Los Angeles Superior Court to find Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt of court for holding indoor worship services. There was only one problem: there was no court order against indoor services. So, the court rejected this attack on Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church’s religious liberty.

This is the third time Los Angeles County has hauled John MacArthur and Grace Community Church into court, according to Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, who are representing the church.

Officials with Los Angeles County wanted MacArthur and the leadership of the Grace Community Church held in contempt of court after holding a regular church service at their Sun Valley, California campus last Sunday. Ellis accused Los Angeles County of continuing a policy of harassment against Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church.

Ellis responded to the judicial finding in a statement: “We are pleased with the outcome today. Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff correctly found there is no court order prohibiting Grace Community Church from holding indoor services. LA County continues to harass and target Pastor MacArthur. Having failed to get a court order to shut down the church they have sought three times, they’re going to try again by hauling us back into court. Ironically, LA County said in its application for contempt that, ‘Grace Church cannot thumb its nose at the court when decisions don’t go its way,’ yet that’s precisely what LA County is now doing themselves. We will simply continue to defend our client’s constitutionally protected rights because church is essential.”

John MacArthur sues CA state over worship restrictions

Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church has filed a lawsuit against California over restrictions on indoor worship after the state issued a second lockdown order as part of its response to COVID-19. 

According to the report, the suit was filed Wednesday in Superior Court of the state of California for the County of Los Angeles, North Central District, and names Newsom, Attorney General Xavier Beccera, and other officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as defendants.

“California targeted the wrong groups. California first lifted restrictions on gatherings that occurred outdoors, blessing after-the-fact the illegal conduct of the ‘George Floyd’ protestors.”

Grace Community Church and MacArthur state, the government officials are interfering with their religious freedom and selectively restricting gatherings amid the pandemic.

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MacArthur defies late-night court order against indoor worship

Pastor John MacArthur on Sunday, Aug. 16, defied the mandate of the California Court of Appeal by holding an indoor worship service — further escalating a nationally watched fight over COVID-19 restrictions.

John MacArthur

MacArthur, a prominent Calvinist preacher and author, has led his Southern California megachurch to defy public health orders of the city, county and state intended to curb the spread of coronavirus. He and the church’s elders have claimed the church is being persecuted by the government and will not bow to their illegitimate authority over the church.

On Saturday, Aug. 15, a trial court judge ruled that the church could hold indoor services while litigation against the church played out. Los Angeles County had threatened to enforce $1,000-per-day fines and possible imprisonment against MacArthur and other church leaders. On Aug. 13, the church filed suit against the city, county and state, and the county promptly filed countersuit.

Continue reading “MacArthur defies late-night court order against indoor worship”