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The top stories near you
• One of Gainesville city government’s big focuses this year forward will be examining implicit and unconscious biases in hiring and other decisions that help lead to racial inequity. Last night, City Commissioner Gail Johnson helped lead a discussion of what else might be included in those changes to come. (WUFT News)
• Thirteen-year-old Vivie Thelin won Alachua County’s 2020 spelling bee yesterday afternoon and moves on to represent the county in Jacksonville next week. (WUFT News)
• UF News: Shark attacks remained low in 2019 – but bites from the elusive cookiecutter were up. “Shark attacks were unusually low for the second year running, with 64 unprovoked bites in 2019, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Guardrails coming for I-75, 441 at Paynes Prairie. “Starting Jan. 27, the Florida Department of Transportation will close lanes during weekday nights for the installation of the rails along the north- and southbound shoulders, according to an FDOT press release.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): SF College ranks high on list for campus safety. “Safe Campus ranked Santa Fe College at No. 2 on its list of 25 university departments prioritizing safety.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): FDOT will hold open houses for Florida’s Turnpike extension plans.“The meetings will offer information about the plan to extend the Florida Turnpike 40 miles northwest to connect with the Suncoast Parkway in Citrus County.”
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Around the state today
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Sheriff’s divers pull grave markers from lake near forgotten black cemetery. “Keystone Memorial Cemetery was established by a freed slave and disappeared in the 1950s. The dive team chose Lake Twitt to do its monthly practice.”
• WJCT: Bill to Create Sea Level Rise Task Force Passes Florida House Subcommittee. “The legislation would direct the Chief Resilience Officer to lead a statewide taskforce, establishing a baseline of anticipated sea level rise and flooding impacts along Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline.”
• Florida Storms: It was Miami’s Coldest Morning in a Decade. “Millions of Floridians experienced the coldest air in several years Wednesday morning, and in some places, the coldest in nearly a decade.”
• Orlando Weekly: As Amendment 4 uncertainty continues, Orange and Osceola carry on registering ex-felons to vote. Is it safe? “Last week, more than a year since the amendment first passed, the state’s high court ruled that felons who owed money were ineligible to vote. Incidentally, 2020 is also a presidential election year.”
• Miami Herald ($): Taxpayers are spending millions to host Super Bowl 54. What are they getting in return? “For the next two weeks, South Florida will be an even more intense entertainment mecca than it usually is, and there would seem to be plenty of opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the Feb. 2 match-up. Although Miami’s Super Bowl host committee has not released an official economic-impact estimate, if last year’s game in Atlanta is any indication, the estimate could come in north of $500 million.”
• Associated Press: Cold-stunned iguanas falling from Florida trees. “The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won’t necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Parental consent for abortion bill ready for Florida Senate on Roe v. Wade anniversary. “The Senate Rules Committee approved a bill that gives parents the right to veto a teen’s decision to terminate a pregnancy. Coincidentally, the panel’s decision came on the day of the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.”
• Popular Science: This harpoon-throwing robot is designed to hunt destructive lionfish. ” A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that uses a harpoon gun to exterminate its ruffly target. The ‘reef sweeper’ is designed to snag lionfish lurking well below the water’s surface. On land, a trained employee uses a joystick to home in on the target, almost like in a video game.”
From NPR News
• Environment: President Trump, Climate Change And 1 Trillion Trees