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• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Florida Supreme Court Questions Clarity Of Proposed Assault Weapons Ban. “Justices on Florida’s highest court questioned Tuesday whether a proposed ballot initiative to restrict assault weapons is too confusing for voters. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who asked for the opinion, said voters would be confused by the meaning and ramifications of the proposal.” (WUFT News)
• WUFT News: ‘Definitely The Devil’: In New Video, Confessed Killer Describes Motive To Kill Wife, Teen Daughter. A newly revealed video from Paul Graves Williams’ confession to a detective offers new clues into one of the region’s most violent and disturbing murder cases in recent history. Williams blamed the murder of his family on the devil. “I was definitely overtaken by something that I can’t explain,” he said. “Something came over me.”
• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Child Sex Abuse Survivors Seek To End Statute Of Limitations. “Florida lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would lift the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse and establish a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.” (WUFT News)
• Suwannee Democrat: Inmate injured in assault at SCI. “A Suwannee Correctional Institution inmate was transported to the hospital after an inmate-on-inmate assault Friday. The assault was an isolated incident and was neutralized swiftly.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): County set to tackle climate change. “Alachua County leaders have agreed to develop a local climate change action plan to try to mitigate the projected effects of climate change on North Central Florida. Tuesday, the County Commission voted for its Environmental Protection Department to begin pulling together a Climate Change Plan for the board to adopt by the end of 2020.”
• WUFT News: ‘We Will Dream Big’: Santa Fe College President Paul Broadie Delivers Inaugural Address. “Paul Broadie pledged to tackle an equity gap, decreased enrollment and the devaluation of liberal arts degrees in his inaugural address as Santa Fe College’s new president Tuesday.”
• WGFL: Two new springs to open soon in North Central Florida. “It’s a project that will allow the Alachua Conservation Trust to purchase two springs along 250 plus acres of land along the Santa Fe River and Olustee Creek.”
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Around the state today
• The Hill: Father of Parkland victim ejected from State of the Union after protesting. “The protestor, according to multiple reports, was (Fred) Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., in 2018.”
• GateHouse ($): Could climate change mean more shark attacks? One Florida scientist says that’s ‘bull!’. “The marine scientist admits sharks are being affected by warming waters, but he says science hasn’t proved climate change will cause more people to get bitten.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Schools chief defends firing principal who couldn’t admit the Holocaust happened. “The Palm Beach County school system had to fire former Principal William Latson because of the chaos caused by his comments about the Holocaust and Latson’s unwillingness to repair the damage, Superintendent Donald Fennoy said during a hearing on Tuesday.”
• Florida Today ($): Luck runs out for Lucky’s Market in West Melbourne; mayor says store will close. “Despite reports last week that West Melbourne’s Lucky’s Market would remain open, staff received word Tuesday that the store will close.”
• Orlando Weekly: Florida students could get mental health days off. “The bill (HB 315), sponsored by Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, would allow school districts to change their attendance policies to give students one mental-health day off each semester. It would count as an excused absence without needing a doctor’s note. “
• USA Today ($): Sea-level rise ‘accelerating’ along U.S. coasts, report warns. “Acceleration can be a game changer in terms of impacts and planning, so we really need to pay heed to these patterns,” said Virginia Institute of Marine Science emeritus professor John Boon.
• Bay News 9: Duke Energy Bills to See $5 Increase Due to Hurricane Surcharge. “Starting in March, Duke Energy customers will see an increase of $5 on their monthly bills.”
• News Service of Florida: Ex-Congresswoman Corrine Brown Continues Fighting Conviction. “Continuing to fight her conviction on fraud and tax charges, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is asking a full federal appeals court to decide whether a juror was improperly dismissed from her trial because he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty.”
• TCPalm ($): Wild Florida documentary to show state’s most iconic creatures amid their struggle for survival. “The documentary shows the interconnection of animals, plants, water and other organisms in Florida’s woods, marshes, coral reefs and springs.”
• Lakeland Ledger ($): Lakeland officials skeptical about going solar. “The cost of going solar remains high, at $25 to $35 per megawatt-hour produced, and it takes 5 to 6 acres to produce 1 megawatt.”
• WUSF: Sea Turtles Get New Lease On Life At Florida Aquarium. “Now, the new $4 million Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center has five pools — including one of the state’s deepest turtle-only dive tanks, at 11 feet deep. At 25,000 gallons, it can house even the massive leatherbacks and loggerheads.”
• St. Augustine Record ($): City of St. Augustine Beach moves to change code for emotional support chickens. “The need arose after Jennifer Wildasin requested a variance hearing in front of the Planning and Zoning Board to allow her to keep chickens for her son, who has a traumatic brain injury.”