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Today’s top stories
• The construction of the $178 million bypass for U.S. 301, a project that finished in September, is a 7.3-mile detour that offers drivers an alternative route around Starke and aims to alleviate semi-trucks from bottlenecking the middle of the town. Now the truckers are gone, but so are all the other motorists. A good thing for safety and quiet, maybe, but others wonder how small businesses will fare with the dramatic drop in traffic. (WUFT News)
• Florida State University professor Wenyan Fan stumbled on an annual cycle of seismic signals that he was able to tie to hurricane season. He made a correlation between hurricanes and earthquakes when he found that waves produced during a storm cause intense seismic source activity that scientists are calling “stormquakes.” (Palm Beach Post)
• More than 1,600 people across the U.S. have become sick from vaping, and 34 people have died. While some doctors believe one cause of vaping-related illness could be from inhaling lipids, or fats, into the lungs, Mayo Clinic doctors are not so sure that’s the case and believe there’s still a long list of chemicals that could be the cause. (WMFE)
• Half the country votes on machines made by a company called ES&S. Although there have been numerous instances of the machines faltering, causing inaccurate voting results in places like Sarasota, ES&S remains the country’s dominant manufacturer of voting technology because of little government regulation and next to no oversight. (ProPublica)
• The St. Augustine City Commission is in the process of developing an ordinance to better regulate Airbnbs. Officials yesterday discussed tweaks to the ordinance that will take into account the handling of complaints about noise, excessive amounts of garbage on the street and parking. (WJCT)
• The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority commissioned a transportation study to help the organization develop “innovative transit opportunities.” The study is examining Hyperloop, a project proposed by Elon Musk in 2012 that suggests a tube can propel shuttles at speeds up to 700 miles per hour, to see if it would work in the Tampa Bay area. (Bay News 9)
• The Tallahassee City Commission is developing a broader ethics policy with stronger penalties to ensure that public trust is restored following a federal corruption probe that led to fraud charges against two former officials. Commissioners approved several proposals to the policy, such as a zero-tolerance gift ban, penalties for ethics violations and an extension of subpoena power to the Ethics Board. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• In the second week of its five-week statewide “Fund Our Future” bus tour, the Florida Education Association will make stops in Gilchrist, Bradford and Alachua counties on Wednesday and will remain parked in Alachua County on Thursday, where the FEA president will give a speech on student success. The tour is aimed at promoting additional funding for public education in the state. (Florida Politics)
• Someone on r/GNV filled out a bingo card highlighting what makes Gainesville “unique… like every other place.”
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From NPR News
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• World: Syrians React To Death Of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
• World: Administration Extends Temporary Protected Status To Many Salvadorans In U.S.
• Health: A Teen Refugee’s Brain May Be Disrupted More By Poverty Than Past Trauma