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Today’s top Florida stories
• Florida Politics: Caving to state, Hillsborough County schools will reopen Aug. 31. “Now, the district will begin the school year on Aug. 24 as planned using e-learning only, but transition back to brick-and-mortar classes Aug. 31 in order to meet the state’s emergency order requiring schools to provide in-person classes by that date.”
• WTSP: How will Florida report cases in schools? “The state has made it clear that school districts must report cases in students and staff to local health departments and update the Florida Department of Education. What’s not clear is if data specific to schools will be made public.”
• The Alligator: Officials brace for protests as students prepare their return to campus. “The university will support students’ First Amendment rights, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando, but on-campus protesters must respect public health guidelines: This means wearing face masks where there are more than 250 people outdoors and socially distancing from others.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion County becomes focus of national face mask debate. “On Thursday, a sign on the sheriff’s office main entrance asking visitors to remove their masks was gone, and at least one person in the lobby was wearing a mask as he waited for service.”
• Florida Today ($): 1918 Spanish flu shuttered schools, killed young and old alike across Brevard County. “Brevard County was a sparsely settled, mosquito-plagued frontier when the Spanish flu pandemic swept the nation more than a century ago, wreaking havoc in metropolitan areas. But much like COVID-19, the influenza still shuttered schools, closed churches and triggered quarantines in October 1918 in Brevard’s biggest cities, Cocoa (population 1,400+) and Titusville (population 1,300+).”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): As students move onto campus, FGCU offers a look at fall semester during pandemic. “Although the Fort Myers school’s move-in process ran like it has in previous years, fewer people and face masks signaled signs of the times as the university launches into the fall semester amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): DeSantis clarifies comparing schools reopening to Osama bin Laden raid. “Asked about his use of the 2011 Navy SEAL raid as an analogy, DeSantis stressed that the point was not about the level of danger.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Principal who made Holocaust comments should not have been fired, judge rules. “The former Boca Raton principal who generated a national uproar for his comments about the Holocaust should not have been fired, a judge ruled Thursday. The Palm Beach County School District should have given William Latson, former principal of Spanish River High, a reprimand or reassigned him to another job, according to the ruling by Judge Robert S. Cohen.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Florida’s most famous mail-in voter will do it again: Trump requests ballot. “The Trumps’ ballots must return to the Palm Beach County’s elections office outside West Palm Beach before 7 p.m. Tuesday, when all mail-in ballots must be submitted. There’s no word from the White House if they are entrusting the task to the recently maligned U.S. Postal Service.”
• News4Jax: Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels turns himself in, faces 4 charges. “After Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels was given an ultimatum by a special prosecutor to either resign or be arrested, the embattled sheriff turned himself in to authorities on Thursday.”
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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.