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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: ‘Almost Too Good To Believe’: Seven Months Later, 111 Of The 222 Former Residents Of The Dignity Village Tent Camp Have Been Rehoused. “Sixty-six left town and have not received any services in a five-county area in the past 90 days. There are still 45 people on the roster waiting to be housed. Of those, 27 are living at GRACE’s temporary campground.”
• WUFT News: COVID-19 Continues to Affect Florida Colleges and Universities. “The University of Florida reported having 5,293 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday. The New York Times ranked UF second among universities and colleges nationwide, as of Nov. 19.”
• The Alligator: President Fuchs looks ahead to controversial Spring semester. “For as difficult as Fall has been, Fuchs believes Spring will be even more challenging. In preparation, he’s consulted with UF Health experts and state officials while also accelerating plans to outfit classrooms with needed technology.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Attempts Further Municipal Broadband Discussion, But Costs And COVID-19 Stall Progress. “Discussion to provide high-speed, low-cost internet access for homes and businesses in Gainesville has continued for four years. The average person’s increased reliance on the internet has not accelerated Gainesville’s push toward offering a municipal broadband network. A high public cost of the infrastructure required to build it combined with an uncertain customer base remain the biggest hurdles. The pandemic, as with much else, has also slowed down the process. Still, the city manager’s office is now working on a revised business plan and proposal outlining what the city might do next to realize such a network.”
• WUFT News: Virginia Grant Builds A Diverse Community By Showcasing Black Professionals In Gainesville. “‘I am a Black professional, and I knew at the time that I didn’t have anywhere to connect to other Black professionals. But I had a longing to connect,’ Grant said. ‘I would see people in the post office. I would see people in the mall. So, I knew there was this huge population here.'”
• WUFT News: Florida Christmas Tree Farmers Grapple With COVID-19 And Dwindling Numbers. “There used to be more than 100 Christmas tree farms across the state, but in recent years that number has dwindled to less than 20, John Gregory said.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Citrus adapting to life without international visitors. “International visitors to Citrus County make up about 20% of its tourism base and the falloff of those folks due to travel restrictions and lockdowns has hurt locals who depend on those travelers. It may be some time before those tourists get on a plane to Citrus County or anywhere in the state or nation, for that matter.”
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Around the state today
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Florida university tuition could increase for the first time since 2013, as state budget shortfall looms. “State lawmakers and members of the board that oversees Florida’s university system are floating the idea of raising tuition at a time when many classes are taught online-only and students and their parents may be struggling financially.”
• WLRN: The Pandemic Is Getting Worse, And Schools Are Still Open. New Board Members Think That’s A Mistake. “COVID-19 conditions are worsening again throughout South Florida, but local school district superintendents are not considering more widespread school closures.”
• WTSP: Gov. DeSantis extends order preventing business shutdowns and fines for local mask ordinance violations. “While the September order doesn’t specify mask ordinances, it does suspend the collection of fines and penalties related to coronavirus ordinance violations.”
• Miami Herald ($): Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade congressman-elect, tests positive for COVID-19. “He will be self-isolating in his home but will continue virtually attending the New Member Orientation for newly elected members of the House of Representatives. Gimenez, a Republican, defeated Democratic incumbent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in Florida’s 26th District, Florida’s most competitive U.S. House race.”
• Florida Today ($): Fish kill strikes Indian River along Merritt Island, leaving hundreds of dead fish. “Hundreds of dead small silvery baitfish floated Friday atop murky greenish-brown waters along the State Road 520 causeway on Merritt Island, victims of a deadly algae bloom.”
• WUFT News: Florida Dentists Continue To Provide Care Amid Pandemic. “The last nine months have been filled with snacking and stress, and that’s never more obvious than when dentists look inside the mouths of their patients. ‘A part of the pandemic that we’ve seen a lot is that we’ve had cracked teeth and broken teeth, and this can come with clinching and grinding when people are under a lot of stress,’ (Tallahassee dentist) Dr. Brittney Craig said.”
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.