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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Starke Businesses Survived The Route 301 Bypass. Will They Survive The Pandemic, Too? “By January, the bypass had diverted 65% of overall traffic from the city of about 5,500 residents, said FDOT spokesperson Troy Roberts. ‘U.S. 301 was basically just bombarded with trucks,’ Roberts said. ‘We felt all along that the truck route would strengthen the town of Starke.’ Business owners were less certain before, but their minds seemed to have been eased.”
• WUFT News: Alachua County School District Says Its ‘Main Source Of COVID-19 Cases’ Is High School Football. “Despite three football teams having to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test, officials from Alachua County Public Schools remain optimistic about the protocols they have in place.”
• WUFT News: Energy And Isolation: Alachua County Spiritualists Adapt Their Practices To A Distanced World. “This year, lack of energy is a common complaint. But for the owners, employees and patrons of Alachua’s bubbling metaphysical scene, energy is not just the way they wake up in the morning. It’s the way they stack money in the bank and the way they communicate with the world around them.”
• The Alligator: School board debates spending millions of dollars on school updates. “(Alachua County Public Schools) Assistant Superintendent Paul White elaborated on issues reviewed in last week’s oversight committee meeting, such as Howard Bishop Middle School’s gym, Buchholz High School’s track and Gainesville High School’s remodeling. However, decisions will not be made until an upcoming school board meeting later this fall.”
• WUFT News: ‘Literally Where Our Food Comes From’: Florida Museum’s 2020 Fall Plant Sale Highlights Importance Of Pollinators. “Proceeds from the plant sale, held from Saturday through Thursday, will go toward the Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit. Ryan Fessenden, manager of the Butterfly Rainforest, said available plants like the blazing star are good nectar sources and host sites for butterflies. The event will host roughly 100 species of pollinator-friendly plants.”
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Around the state today
• WTSP: Federal judge denies motion to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline. “Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker’s decision was filed early Friday morning. The 29 page order noted that in the end, ‘this case is not about Floridians missing registration deadlines.This case is also not a challenge to a state statute. This case is about how a state failed its citizens.’ Walker said potential voters attempted to perform their civic duty and were thwarted, once again, by a state that seemingly is never prepared for an election.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Latest Tally Shows Millions Of Dollars In Damage To 24 Florida Parks From Hurricane Sally. “Weeks later, the latest figures put the hurricane damage to state parks in the region at roughly $2.5 million: a two-story observation tower suffered roof and structural damage, pavilions and boardwalks buckled, restroom buildings shifted from the storm surge. Twenty-four parks shut their gates following the storm; three remain at least partially closed.”
• News Service of Florida: Justices Look Again At High-Stakes Marijuana Case. “In a case that could have a dramatic impact on the state’s pot industry, the Florida Supreme Court made the unusual move Wednesday of hearing a second round of arguments in a challenge to a state law aimed at implementing a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.”
• Miami Herald ($): Miami-Dade is one storm away from a housing catastrophe. Nearly 1M people are at risk. “According to U.S. Census figures, nearly one million people could be left homeless in a worst-case scenario — the majority of them among the poorest of the county’s residents.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): St. Petersburg opens door to more development in flood-prone areas. “City officials argued that raising building standards in that area, such as elevating new construction, will offset the risk of allowing more development in areas that flood.”
• WMFE: Orlando International Airport Leaders ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Slow Increase in Travel By The End of Year. “Airlines reported planes out of MCO tended to carry flights that were at least two-thirds full and 31 domestic services out of the airport are scheduled to begin later this month.”
• WUWF: Book On Race Removed From Okaloosa High School Curriculum. “According to the change.org petition, an English teacher at Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach was planning a lesson on racism — past and present — using excerpts from the 2018 book ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo, a white academic with experience in diversity training. When a parent made a complaint, the Okaloosa County School District backed the parent.”
• WJCT: More Than 500K Floridians Still Have Not Received Their Pandemic Stimulus Checks. “More than 567,000 Floridians are among the estimated 9 million Americans who don’t regularly file taxes and still have not received their pandemic stimulus checks from the federal government.”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Record-setting female python captured in the Everglades. “Everglades wildlife is a little safer, now that the longest python ever measured in Florida has been caught and killed.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): ‘Wasted public resources’: Florida auditor weighs in on 2019 LCS bus system failure. “The State of Florida Auditor General says local taxpayers did not get their money’s worth out of the Leon County School district’s contract with Education Logistics, Inc., the bus routing tech giant behind the 2019 bus system meltdown.”
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.