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The top stories near you
• A Gainesville construction worker was temporarily entombed by a mound of dirt yesterday morning. Gainesville Fire Rescue successfully pulled him out with minor injuries. (The Alligator)
• A newly opened first responder campus in Ocala includes a fire rescue station and police department office. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• University of Florida researchers are suffering setbacks amidst withdrawals of funding due to the government shutdown. (The Alligator)
• Gainesville residents have raised thousands of dollars to support the families of last week’s deadly I-75 crash. (Gainesville Sun)
• Lawrence Keefe, a UF alumnus, has been named the U.S. Attorney for Northern Florida. (WCJB)
• With the Florida-Kentucky men’s basketball game drawing closer, blood donations are expected to surge with the “What Colors Do You Bleed?” competition. (Gainesville Sun)
• Former Gator great Tim Tebow is now engaged after he proposed to a former Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. (ESPN)
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Around the state today
• Tensions between Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis bubbled up as DeSantis took over the governor’s post this week. DeSantis’ inauguration speech ran off script after Scott abruptly left, just as DeSantis meant to thank him. DeSantis meant to thank Scott but instead spoke about policies and Floridians. (Politico)
• Rising sea levels are causing malfunctioning septic tanks in Miami-Dade County. The problem is estimated to cost nearly $3 billion. (Miami Herald)
• Red tide continues to rampage across the western coastline of Florida and shows signs of worsening. (Bradenton Herald)
• Ron DeSantis signed an order joining the departments of environmental health and protection in an effort to battle red tide. The departments have a $2.5 billion budget to combat the dangerous algal blooms. (Miami Herald)
• Illegal no longer? Ron DeSantis indicated he may drop the appeal of a court decision that banned the smoking of medical marijuana in Florida. (News Service of Florida)
• Jacksonville mariners are unable to renew their certifications in the midst of the government shutdown. Maritime students and graduates could struggle to find jobs until it ends. (News4Jax)
• A Florida gym instructor creates a cycling studio in her garage after her gym was damaged by Hurricane Michael. (Panama City News Herald)
• While searching for drugs on a Holy Ship! cruise, a Brevard County police dog was exposed to ecstasy. It suffered a severe reaction but was saved due to the use of Narcan. (Florida Today)
• An inmate who was 17 years old when he was convicted of murder is under scrutiny for whether he should serve a shorter sentence or life in jail after 19 years behind bars. The state found Miguel Decampo kidnapped his 19-year-old neighbor, cut her throat, burned her corpse and dropped her in a canal where she was eaten by an alligator — all for 500 dollars and some jewelry. TCPalm’s new podcast explores the case.