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• WUFT News: College Of Central Florida Moves Fall Semester Online. “CCF, the largest state college in Ocala, is one of 28 public colleges in the Florida College System. With the exception of a few specialized and technical courses that require in-person instruction, 80 percent of fall-semester classes, to begin Aug. 17, will be taught online.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Breaking down Marion’s COVID-19 surge in July. “Florida Department of Health in Marion warned area residents five weeks ago to vigilantly follow the CDC social distancing and masking guidelines after the county had a spike of 424 COVID-19 cases in June. During the month that followed, Marion County had an explosion of coronavirus cases, rising sixfold from a cumulative total of 672 cases on June 30 to 4,892 on Friday. That’s a spike of 4,220 cases, or 136 cases per day, in July.”
• Spotlight on Levy County Government: School Board Moves School Re-Opening to Aug. 17; Many Parents Choosing Traditional Classroom Setting. “The Levy County School Board Wednesday moved the start of school from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17 to give teachers time to develop lesson plans and adjust to new procedures in a year that’s likely to be different than any other in history.”
• Alachua County Today: Rum Island to Charge Entrance Fee, Park closed in 2019 for renovations. “While Columbia County is recommending these changes, there has been opposition from some county residents who maintain they already pay for using the park through taxes. There is also opposition from outfitters about the fee and possible limitations on the number of trips allowed per day.”
• Looking for some lighter news to start your Monday? Don’t miss our photo essay, “For The Love Of Goats.” Darlene Vonderlieth, 59, of Live Oak, cares for 58 goats on a 10-acre farm — all by herself. “I hope for God’s sake when I die, I come back as a goat and someone kisses my ass like I kiss theirs,” she told one of our reporters.
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Around the state today
• NPR News: Splashdown! SpaceX And NASA Astronauts Make History. “Two NASA astronauts are back on Earth after their space capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.”
• WUSF: Florida Reports Lowest Number Of New Cases, Deaths, Positivity Rate In Weeks. “The Florida Department of Health reported Sunday that 7,104 people tested positive for the coronavirus since Saturday. It’s the lowest number of new cases reported in a single day since July 6.”
• New York Times ($): Florida’s Summer of Dread. “A public health crisis. An economic calamity, with more than a million Floridians out of work and an unemployment payment system that was one of the slowest in the country. And now an early debut of hurricane season to remind the state that the inevitable convergence of the pandemic and the weather is likely to play out again, and perhaps much more seriously than this relatively mild storm, before this nightmare season ends.”
• Florida Today ($): State Rep. Randy Fine hospitalized for COVID-19. “Fine’s coronavirus infection was confirmed on July 22, along with that of his two sons, David, 8, and Jacob, 12, just days after his wife Wendy tested positive. They self-isolated and tested positive after finding out that they had been in contact with a person several days prior who later tested positive.”
• Miami Herald ($): ‘License to live’: Florida quietly changed driver’s license requirements for immigrants. “Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who have been able to drive legally in Florida may be unable to get driver licenses again after the state quietly changed its identification requirements for obtaining licenses.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Police in Tampa Bay get millions in military gear. Do they need it? “Since 1997, the Defense Department has supplied surplus military-grade equipment for free or cheap to the Tampa Police Department, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and some 8,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, according to records obtained from the federal Defense Logistics Agency.”
• Bay News 9: ‘Back the Blue’ mural painted outside Tampa Police Department. “The mural was painted quietly overnight Saturday by a group of about 40 people who wanted to show support to the department. Two groups headed the project, Back the Blue Florida and Community Patriots of Tampa.”
• Florida Politics: Aramis Ayala’s political brand reemerging with criminal justice reform movement. “Now, with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and all the related street protests calling for criminal justice reform, Ayala is emerging from something of a self-imposed political isolation with a series of elections endorsements. And the beneficiaries of her endorsements appear thrilled.”
• NPR News: Florida 17-Year-Old, ‘Mastermind’ Of Twitter Hack, And Two Others Face Charges. “Authorities in Florida say Graham Ivan Clark, 17, of Tampa, Fla., masterminded the attack, allegedly breaking into the accounts of 130 Twitter accounts and duping followers of influential users to transfer more than $100,000 in Bitcoin to accounts associated with Clark. He is charged with 30 felonies in the state, including fraud, identity theft and hacking.”
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 email@example.com.