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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Ocala Remembers Police Chief Greg Graham At His Memorial. “Ocala police officers processed down the aisle at First Baptist Church of Ocala on Friday to honor their leader, coworker and dear friend. An American flag was draped over the coffin of Chief Greg Graham, and those who spoke at his service described how his dedication and diligence in serving the Ocala community was reflected through his tendency to help others every chance he had.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion teachers’ union, school district at salary impasse. “Though the state will pay $600 million to Florida’s 67 school districts to raise salaries, it wasn’t enough for districts to meet Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to pay starting teachers $47,500 annually.”
• WUFT News: High Springs Voters To Decide Commission Races, Await New City Manager. “With six candidates running for two city commission seats on Tuesday and five finalists for the city manager’s post, there will be at least two new voices among those leading High Springs.”
• WUFT News: Colleen G. Koch Named First Woman Dean Of UF College Of Medicine. “Koch, currently professor and chair of the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine and anesthesiologist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, will begin her new role Jan. 10.”
• WUFT News: UF College Of Journalism And Communications Names New Dean. “Hub Brown will replace current Dean Diane McFarlin, who has served in the role for eight years and will retire at the end of the year.”
• The Alligator: Internet scavenger hunts and camera-on policies: UF Professors adapt to the Zoom classroom. “COVID-19 has forced many professors to change their curriculum and create virtual scavenger hunts and camera-on policies to engage with students. While some professors have easily adjusted to the change, others miss the in-person interaction.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Officials looking to spur quick interest in CARES grants. “The county received $6.5 million in its first installment, and is in line to receive another $5.2 million once the first batch is spent.”
• WUFT News: UF Students Defy Mask-Wearing Mandate Off Campus: ‘We’re A Very Low-Risk Group.’ “There have been no documented cases of students spreading COVID-19 to UF’s campus this fall — in large part because of online classes — but the spring semester’s face-to-face push has the potential to expose healthy students and faculty to asymptomatic virus carriers who have taken to enjoying the typical college nightlife experience on University Avenue.”
• WCJB: City officials build fence around Gainesville sinkhole. “The fence was installed (over the weekend) and officials say the sinkhole is constantly growing and currently measures at about 90 feet wide.”
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Around the state today
• Fresh Take Florida: Meet The Elderly Republican Voter Whose Ballots Florida Rejected More Than Anyone’s. “Edward Palkovic, 76, who lives just south of Orlando, has diligently voted by mail as a registered Republican in 16 municipal, state and federal elections in Florida over the past decade. But 10 times, his votes didn’t count. Florida rejected Palkovic’s mailed ballots more often since 2006 than any other voter, according to the latest available statewide figures from the Division of Elections. Two others have had mailed ballots rejected nine times each over the years, and four have had votes rejected eight times. Palkovic, who lives in St. Cloud in central Florida, said he didn’t know his votes never counted. He spent the past 10 years believing he was participating in democracy. A reporter broke the news to him.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Republicans, Democrats Align To Oppose Ballot Question Opening Florida Primary Elections. “Florida’s closed system that prevents nearly 4 million unaffiliated voters from casting ballots during primary elections could change, depending on the outcome of a vote on a constitutional amendment that Democrats and Republicans here are aligned in opposing.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Ballot Measure To Limit Voting To ‘Only A Citizen’ Would Have No Real Effect In Florida. “A group is pushing to change the constitutions in Florida, Alabama and Colorado in next week’s elections to require that ‘only a citizen’ can vote. The group says it’s a hedge against future political campaigns that might one day allow votes by non-citizens – even though that’s already prohibited by law in Florida.”
• Florida Politics: In final blitz, campaigns storm through battleground Florida. “The last-minute push by both presidential campaigns underscored the importance of Florida’s 29 electoral votes, the largest cache among the country’s prized swing states.”
• WLRN: What To Expect On Election Night In Florida. Hint: We Likely Won’t Know Who Won. “Florida has a history of close races. That means recounts and post-election lawsuits are likely.”
• Naples Daily News ($): Southwest Florida may be a beacon of vote count clarity in an uncertain 2020 election. “Unofficial returns from all precincts and early votes are expected to be fully counted within a few hours of the polls closing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, potentially making Southwest Florida an island of calm in an otherwise chaotic sea of vote counting in much of Florida and the country.”
• NPR News: Florida Officials Aim To Make Voting Easier For People With Disabilities. “For people with disabilities, it’s not always easy to vote. In Florida, several counties are trying out a new system to help voters with disabilities have more privacy when they cast their ballots.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Florida GOP pulled in three times as much cash as Dems before the general election. “Florida Republicans raised three times as much cash as Democrats in the weeks leading up to the general election, raking in contributions from the tourism industry and casino magnates and flooding voters with ads in key races.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Has Florida learned how to vote? Here’s what has changed since the 2000 and 2018 recounts. “Election officials and longtime Florida politicos say they are optimistic that Florida is in a better position than ever to run a drama-free election.”
• New York Times ($): Florida City’s Beloved Swans Find New Homes. “The city last month held a public lottery and sold 36 mute white swans, divided evenly between males and females, to ease overcrowding at Lake Morton, their longtime home in the city. Lakeland’s swan population, at Lake Morton and another city lake, had soared to 86 since Queen Elizabeth II donated a pair in 1957.”
From NPR News
• Business: In Reversal, Walmart Puts Guns Back On Display
• Science: How Humans Domesticated Themselves
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.