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• The Alligator: UF sees at least 68 new COVID-19 cases in first week, potentially more. “Alachua County’s median age for COVID-19 positives has gradually declined this week, with Friday and Saturday’s medians reaching 20 years old — a stark contrast from the statistic throughout the summer, which hovered in the thirties and forties.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Plenty of construction, upgrades for area schools underway. “By the start of 2021 school season, Howard Bishop students, who are currently in a transition school adjacent to Westwood Middle, as well as Metcalfe students will have impressive, modern buildings that the district hopes will inspire learning and be a welcome change for school employees.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion’s school repair budget is drying up. “Marion County needs $553.9 million in the next five years to renovate and repair all of its facilities. But during that time, through 2024-25, the district anticipates it will only collect $208.7 million to pay for those projects.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Duke Energy lowers electric bills effective Jan. 1, 2021. “Many of Duke Energy’s 47,500 Citrus County customers will see lower electric bills starting January 2021 because the company experienced lower-than-expected storm cost recovery and fuel charges.”
• Bay News 9: Citrus County Program Helping Students Transition Into the Workforce. “The transition from high school to the work force can come with some challenges for many students, but in Citrus County the Withlacoochee Technical Transition Academy is helping with that.”
• Florida Politics: Joe Biden campaign pushes his commitment to troops in ad set in The Villages. “Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is pushing a digital ad to people in and around The Villages and Eglin Air Force Base seeking to convince them he honors and would stand by the troops.”
• The Alligator: State Attorney drops charges against man who drove through protesters. “The charges were dropped because the state attorney’s office said there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, according to court records.”
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Around the state today
• Associated Press: Florida Death Toll From COVID-19 Passes 12K Milestone. “Florida has now surpassed 12,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus, according to data released by state health officials on Sunday.”
• WFSU: Police Break Up Black Lives Matter March In Tallahassee; TCAC Leaders Arrested. “The marchers were upset at the results of a Friday grand jury announcement that officers who fired fatal shots in three separate incidents this year would not be charged.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): DeSantis itching to reopen just about everything but Florida’s government. “There hasn’t been an in-person Cabinet meeting since February. The Capitol remains shut down to the public. State workers are still operating under social-distancing restrictions and mask-wearing guidelines.”
• News Service of Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis pledges Florida will host a college-football national championship game. “This season’s national championship game is scheduled for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.”
• Florida Politics: The (possible) race to replace Nikki Fried is already underway. “Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is widely and increasingly expected to run for Florida Governor, regardless of the outcome of the presidential race. Now, high-profile leaders in both parties are quietly lining up to succeed her as Agriculture Commissioner.”
• WLRN: President Trump To Tout His Environmental Record In Jupiter. “He will be met there by [Rep.] Brian Mast, a Republican congressman from the Stuart-Martin-northern Palm Beach County area. What they’re going to be talking about is this Great American Outdoors Act that Mast played a role in getting passed to Congress.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Trumptilla II: President’s backers are loud and proud during Intracoastal boat bash. “Boaters seemed like they were in a competition over who could fly the most Trump-related and U.S. flags. One had 16 flags fluttering in the breeze.”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Trump Boat Parade in Lee County waters may be record; Unofficial count at 11,000 boats. “If that 11,000 figure holds, it could be a world record. The previous record is a little more than 1,100 from a similar parade in Malaysia in 2014.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): How QAnon is seeping into Florida during the 2020 presidential campaign. “QAnon asserts, with baseless or intentionally vague evidence, that certain celebrities, politicians and other public figures are Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles. Trump, Q says, was put in place to stop them.”
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.