Greg Allen

With the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, residents in coastal areas throughout the Southeast are once again being urged to have a plan ready in case they have to evacuate.

After last year, it's a message that carries some weight. In the days before Hurricane Irma struck Florida last September, nearly 7 million residents left their homes to seek shelter and safety elsewhere. Since then, emergency managers and researchers have been studying the lessons of the largest hurricane evacuation in U.S. history.

Prosecutors have released three cellphone videos recorded by Nikolas Cruz, in which he described his plans for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Some of the videos appear to have been recorded the day of the shooting.

At Mote Marine Lab's Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Florida Keys, Joey Mandara is like a baby sitter. But instead of children he tends to thousands of baby corals, growing in large, shallow tanks called raceways.

Mote has been doing this work for five years, raising corals from embryos into adult colonies, then planting them on Florida's reefs. Now, the emergence of a new, debilitating coral disease makes his work more important than ever.

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At Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami this week, executives with the nation's payday loan industry are holding their annual conference with receptions, breakout sessions and a golf tournament.

Outside the gates of the resort Tuesday, a smaller group gathered to hold a protest. They were trying to shame an industry that they say preys on the vulnerable, by lending them money at interest rates as high as 200 percent to 300 percent a year.

After one of the most destructive hurricane seasons ever, the names of four hurricanes are being retired. The World Meteorological Organization, the international body responsible for naming hurricanes, says it will no longer use Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate to name hurricanes. The organization says it retires names for hurricanes when "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity."

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Updated 11:19 a.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is jumping into the Senate race in Florida, challenging an incumbent Democrat and setting up what could be the most expensive Senate race in the country.

Scott touted his jobs record as governor and vowed to bring that model to Washington. He also vowed to fight for term limits, saying that the culture in Washington can't be changed unless the people are.

To keep the momentum going on their #NeverAgain protest movement, student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have been pushing members of Congress to hold town hall meetings.

On Thursday, they went to Miami Gardens, a community where drive-by shootings and stray bullets have claimed many lives. When someone asked how many had lost loved ones to gun violence, at least a dozen people raised their hands.

In Florida, only the state is allowed to regulate firearms. Local government officials who ignore that law — posting signs prohibiting guns in city parks, for example — face stiff penalties. They include removal from office, a $5,000 fine officials must pay from their personal funds, and lawsuits from any person or group affected.

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The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are back in class today for the first time since a mass shooting two weeks ago killed 17 people at their school.

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Several vigils are planned for today and tomorrow in the Parkland, Fla., area as that community and really the whole nation find ways to cope with Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Coast Guard Petty officer Jake DiPaola arrived on St. John in the Virgin Islands about a week after Hurricane Maria. In Coral Bay, on the island's eastern end, he says the marina was a mess.

"There were two sailboats right here," he says, while standing on the water's edge. "The mangroves across the water were shoulder-to-shoulder sailboats completely. And all of those got hauled out."

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We're going to go now to NPR's Greg Allen, our reporter who's been covering this story from Miami.

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(Inaudible) it up from here. Hi, Greg.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

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