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Hurricane Beryl, Mental Health Respites, Criminal Justice Reform Veto, Orlando Oddities

Hurricane Beryl

Hurricane Beryl is breaking records, strengthening to a category five storm fueled by warm waters of the Atlantic as it pushes through the Caribbean. In addition to keeping an eye on the tropics, Central Floridians are experiencing hot weather with those "feel like" temperatures in the triple digits for some. Megan Borowski, Interim Chief Meteorologist for the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, joins Engage to discuss what we can expect this holiday week and the latest on the first major hurricane of the season.

Mental Health Respites

A new peer support respite space is operating with a focus on marginalized communities and people of intersectional identities. Eva’s Casita opened its doors in Orlando last month. Central Florida Public Media’s Lillian Hernández Caraballo reports the goal of the new facility is tohelp people who need a mental health break, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Criminal Justice Reform Veto

The most recent legislative session saw three pieces of legislation related to criminal justice reform pass the chambers with broad bipartisan support. One would have allowed incarcerated Floridians toaccess college courses at in-state tuition rates. Another would have prevented parolees from necessarily being sent back to prison for minor infractions like being late to a parole meeting. The third would reduce the amount of time a person with convictions would have to wait to apply for a cosmetology or barbers license. Last week, Governor DeSantis vetoed all three of these bills. In a letter to Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, DeSantis wrote “We should not reward criminal activity by providing inmates with the same benefits as law-abiding citizens.” Desmond Meade is President and Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition that focuses on restoring and protecting the civil rights of Floridians with convictions. He joins Engage to parse out his coalition’s position on these vetoes and the long-term impacts.

Orlando Oddities

Whitney Hayes and Adam DeLancett are the married owners of Promethueus Esoterica, an oddities shop located in Winter Park. They are also the organizers behind Saturday’s Orlando Oddities and Curiosities Market which hosted more than 200 vendors at Osceola Heritage Park. Engage Senior Producer Richard Copeland stopped by to survey the strange.

Cheryn joined WMFE after several years as a weekend news anchor at Spectrum News 13 in Orlando.