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Today’s top Florida stories
• Miami Herald: Third highest single-day total, 10,059, pushes Florida past 200,000 COVID-19 cases. “It took three months, from early March to June 22, for Florida to cross 100,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. It took less than two weeks for the state to go from 100,000 to 200,000 cases — and the positive test rate keeps rising.”
• Daytona Beach News-Journal: Confederate monument still stands at Putnam’s courthouse. Should it go? “Erected in 1924 by the Patton Anderson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the courthouse statue’s defining element is a Rebel soldier, standing about 20 feet tall, high enough to be spied a block away.”
• Florida Times-Union: A new effort was supposed to make Florida’s criminal justice data radically transparent. So far, it’s failed. “The 2018 law, which mandated the Florida Department of Law Enforcement provide granular information about every misdemeanor and felony case in the state, called for cooperation between police agencies, clerk’s offices, prosecutors, public defenders and a myriad of other agencies. The law was designed to expose systemic biases. But it had a shortcoming: It trusted one agency to handle the data, and that agency, FDLE, wasn’t ready.”
• Fresh Take Florida: For Poor In America, Sanitary Sewage Disposal Can Be A Challenge. “Two new environmental laws in Florida… include efforts to improve septic systems and increased fines for sewer overflows and other related violations. But for low-income communities across the country, sanitary sewage disposal isn’t always accessible and can be costly.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): New flood maps show more of Alachua County at risk. “First Street Foundation, a research and technology group, has developed mapping to better define areas that are prone to flooding and predict flooding at intervals for the next 30 years.”
• Miami Herald ($): In Florida Keys, $5.5 billion hurricane protection plan would buy 300 homes, raise thousands. “Buyouts aren’t new for the Keys, which has more willing sellers for a state-run buyout plan than anywhere else in Florida. But if the Army Corps is paying for buyouts, it comes with a catch. If a homeowner targeted for a buyout won’t sell willingly, Corps policy says the city or county has to use eminent domain to kick them out.”
• The Alligator: UF to continue prison labor until 2021 at the latest. “Though the university will not have prison labor contracts in the future, its existing prison labor contracts will not end until July 21, 2021, at the latest, according to a university statement issued Thursday.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Remote UF Health workers must return. “About 6% of UF Health employees, who worked remotely over the past few months due to COVID-19, are expected to return on site full time by July 4, despite recent spikes in virus cases.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Reilly Arts Center expansion to continue despite COVID-19. “The $4 million construction project will add more than 15,500 square feet to the existing more than 14,000-square-foot 1940s-era building, located at 500 NE Ninth St. in the historic Tuscawilla Park area.”
• New York Times ($): How the Republican Convention Created Money Woes in Two Cities. “In Jacksonville, fund-raisers are describing the process as the most difficult they have ever confronted: Florida has been setting daily records for new virus cases, freezing money as donors wait and worry about the safety risks of the pandemic.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Legal Woes Mount For Owner Of Popular Tourist Restaurant Under Tax Investigation. “The owner of a landmark seafood restaurant in the Florida Panhandle who is the target of a federal tax fraud investigation is facing new felony drunken driving charges and what may become a challenging effort to renew his liquor license later this summer.”
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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.