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The top stories near you
• Fresh Take Florida: Parents, Schools In Florida Face Tough Choices About Resuming Classes. “To go or not to go? Parents across Florida are days from the grueling decision whether it’s safe to send their children during the pandemic back to school for face-to-face classes. Some schools planned to reopen as early as this week.”
• The Alligator: What if students don’t wear masks? Questions about UF reopening plan answered. “Students who refuse to wear a mask or face covering during class can be asked to leave, said UF Vice President for Student Affairs D’Andra Mull… They will also have the option to dismiss the entire class for that day, she added.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Teachers hope to bring sense of ‘normal’ to students. “Citrus County Schools are providing a hybrid of in-classroom and online instruction. About 3,000 of the district’s 15,000 students opted for online learning, and teachers who felt uncomfortable teaching in person were given the option of leading online classes, (Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mike) Mullen said.”
• WCJB: Columbia County Sheriff and four employees quarantined with COVID-19 symptoms. “Earlier this week Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum both tested positive for COVID-19.”
• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “What Will Be Forever Changed As a Result of COVID-19?”
• News Service of Florida: Nearly 11,000 Inmates Hit By COVID-19. “Prisons hit hardest by the virus are Columbia Correctional Institution, which has had 1,317 inmate cases; Lowell Correctional Institution, which has had 909…”
• WJCT: Dueling Protests In Palatka Over Courthouse Confederate Statue. “On Saturday, two large rallies with opposing views were held in the county seat of Palatka, drawing some protesters from outside the largely rural county to support the two movements.”
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Around the state today
• WTSP: Education commissioner rejects Hillsborough County’s effort to start school entirely online. “The Florida Department of Education has barred the Hillsborough County school district from moving forward with an online-only plan for the first month of the school year.”
• Florida Today ($): ‘It ain’t the flu’: Rep. Randy Fine released after COVID-19 hospitalization. “Fine said that his lungs could be damaged for weeks, months or even indefinitely and that he will have to continue to see a lung specialist for checkups and possible treatment even as the worst of his symptoms have been treated.”
• Pensacola News Journal ($): ‘It’s hard burying three people in one week’: Pensacola family reflects on loved ones lost to COVID-19. “Granddaughters Shanaita Kirkland and Rakisha Collins lost their grandmother and two uncles in a span of five days this summer when Voncile, Sylvester and Arthur Rich all died of COVID-19 complications between July 29 and Aug. 2.”
• WFSU: FHSAA Considers Delaying Fall Sports Until The End Of November, Meanwhile State Officials Tout The Benefits Athletic Activity For Students. “The Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors is set to meet August 14. It will hear from committees, including the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, before making a decision on the new start date for fall sports.”
• NPR News: How This Conservative Florida County Became A Surprise 2020 Battleground. “Duval County, a traditionally conservative area in Florida’s northeast corner along the Atlantic Ocean, hasn’t voted for a Democratic president since Jimmy Carter in 1976. But in recent presidential elections, it’s begun tilting more toward the Democratic Party. “
• Orlando Sentinel ($): An Ocoee Black man was lynched 100 years ago. Now there’s new racial tension among groups who can’t agree on how to remember him. “Amid the disagreement, Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson was called a racist in a public letter and Facebook post by the mother of state Sen. Randolph Bracy, whose family has long been involved in the civil rights movement in Central Florida. Johnson said he apologized to the legislator for wrongly questioning his Ocoee residency, but he denied he was motivated by racial prejudice.”
• Creative Loafing Tampa Bay: Florida restaurant employees can now return to work without a coronavirus test. “A Thursday executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted the requirement of restaurant employees to pass two coronavirus tests before returning to work.”
• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis defends bars, says they are not the ‘boogeyman.’ “On March 20, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered bars and nightclubs to stop serving alcohol for on-site consumption as a way to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. That order was lifted, allowing for limited capacity in most of Florida on June 5, but Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears later reinstated the ban on June 26 citing an inability to properly enforce restrictions.”
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.