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The top stories near you
• This weekend, four honorees will receive the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award during a ceremony at a Gainesville church. They are Arupa Freeman, Mary L. Mitchell, Clovis Watson Jr. and Ellie Chisholm, who had this reaction to the recognition of her good deeds: “I never thought of earning anything. I just did it.” (WUFT News)
• Dockless, battery-powered scooters have flooded cities across the nation during the past few years, and so Gainesville city government is trying to be more deliberate with where they’ll be allowed. A one-year testing period for the “micromobility devices” could begin soon. (WUFT News)
• “Transgender and LGBT lives in general get pushed to the side in politics. Sure, gay marriage is legal now, but we can still be barred from employment, housing, and even health care.” As the 2020 elections start to edge closer, we’re beginning to spotlight the issues of concern to Florida voters. One Navy veteran, a transgender woman, shared that concern of hers with us. (WUFT News)
• People who want to address Gainesville city commissioners during their biweekly meetings will have to follow different rules from now on. (WUFT News)
• The pushback to proposed toll roads through this area is growing in volume, Bay News 9 reports, with a protest outside the governor’s office yesterday. An activist shared this worry about the Big Bend environmental impacts with the Tallahassee Democrat: “It will be a problem. We will have more trees cleared and there will be more runoff with things getting into the springs and river.”
• Nine Florida school districts, including Dixie and St. Johns in our area, missed a deadline at the start of this month to submit their medical marijuana policies to the state. (WTSP)
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Around the state today
• Authorities say a UPS driver and a bystander were the victims of a shootout in South Florida last night. Their death followed a pair of armed robbers’ actions that included a jewelry store heist, hijacking of the UPS truck and high-speed police chase. (Miami Herald)
• “I sure wouldn’t want an apartment building or a parking lot on top of me.” There’s another request in the Tampa area to search for more lost graves upon which construction crews built structures decades ago. (Bay News 9)
• Florida’s governor wants to draw attention to the 2020 hunt for invasive pythons by holding one in the weeks leading up to Miami hosting the Super Bowl. (News Service of Florida)
• Andrew Gillum calls voting by mail “a surefire way to bring people back into the process” and is putting resources into it for next year’s elections. (Politico)
• The roof of a 1925 church in the Orlando area collapsed yesterday. (WMFE)
• More than two dozen passengers in Pensacola this year either forgot or didn’t know they can’t bring a gun onto an airplane in their carry-on bag. Orlando and Fort Lauderdale air travelers had more than 200 guns confiscated last year, too. (Pensacola News Journal, TSA)
• Somewhere in Miami tomorrow, the state Republican party will hold its annual Statesman’s Dinner with the president and governor both in attendance. The operative word in that sentence seems to be its first one. (Palm Beach Post)
• A tall, slim male in a hoodie (and not a Santa suit) has been coming down from the roofs of businesses to rob them, Lee County authorities say. (Fort Myers News-Press)
• On days when it’s under 80 degrees this time next year in Pasco County, winter sports lovers can go snow tubing. (WTSP)
From NPR News
About today’s curator
I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to firstname.lastname@example.org.