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The top stories near you
• Florida Storms: A Historic Hurricane Season Comes to an End. “The 2020 season was filled with 30 tropical storms, 13 of which became hurricanes, and six achieved major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). An average hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes and three major hurricanes. 2020 was the second season to use the Greek alphabet naming system, and it was the most active season in the Atlantic Basin since records began in 1851.”
• WUFT News: ‘We Aren’t Getting Enough’: Florida Counties In 2020 Again Turned To Voters For Essential Funding. “In 2020, 19 Florida counties approved 20 sales and property tax increases that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in local revenue. Two of these measures — passed in Alachua and Marion Counties — aim to help generate the revenue needed for essential services in education and infrastructure.”
• The Alligator: Alachua County School Board votes to fire superintendent. “Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Clarke was fired following a 3-2 vote by the school board during a Monday night special meeting. The motion, outlined by board member Diyonne McGraw, thanked Clarke for her service and moved to accept her resignation effective Dec. 1 with a 20-week pay severance package. In a Nov. 10 resignation letter, Clarke said she would resign effective June 30.”
• News Service of Florida: ‘Campus Carry’ Issue For Florida Colleges and Universities Re-Emerges For 2021 Legislative Session. “Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, refiled the ‘campus carry’ proposal (HB 6001), which did not receive a hearing during the 2019 and 2020 sessions.”
• Florida Politics: With pandemic economy in frame, Chuck Clemons refiles e-fairness legislation. “Rep. Chuck Clemons filed a bill (HB 15) Monday requiring internet retailers and online marketplaces to collect state sales tax on items delivered within Florida, which the Newberry Republican says closes an online sales tax loophole.”
• WUSF: Crystal River Nuclear Plant Being Dismantled. “Duke Energy announced in 2013 it would be retiring the nuclear operations, while keeping the existing natural gas-fired generators. The company says the dismantling now underway should be completed in 2027.”
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Around the state today
• WFSU: New DOE Order Preserves Distance Learning Option, Urges Struggling Online Learners To Return In-Person. “Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida’s K-12 schools will continue to offer parents the choice of remote or in-person learning through the Spring semester.”
• WUFT News: ‘The Rigor Gap’ Study Suggests Florida Students May Be Falling Behind. “As a result of the changes, a study examining students’ end-of-course exams and corresponding grades in the courses was formed by the Florida Council of 100, a non-profit and nonpartisan organization of business leaders that works to promote economic growth in Florida. The data show that students often perform poorly on these exams but pass the corresponding course with a good grade. This discrepancy translates into a term the council has coined: ‘the rigor gap.’ This gap is concerning for the future of education, according to the council, because the low exam scores can result in the lack of mastering skills the students need.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Bill filed in Florida to strip state of power to require residents to get vaccinated. “Known for several unsuccessful lawsuits challenging local government mask mandates, GOP state Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Howey-in-the-Hills filed the legislation (HB 6003) on the first day of bill filing for the 2021 legislative session that begins March 2.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Jerry Demings moves to fine businesses that don’t follow CDC guidelines. “Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday that his staff will draft an order to impose fines on businesses that don’t enforce social distancing, require employees to wear masks or other guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus — a move the mayor said he believes is legal despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order prohibiting such fines against individuals.”
• FLKeysNews ($): Keys commissioner says he’s improving after being hospitalized with COVID-19. “Earlier this month, (Monroe County Commissioner Craig) Cates, his wife, Cheryl, and their daughter Crystal were airlifted from Lower Keys Medical Center to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, all ill with the novel coronavirus.”
• New York Times ($): Florida Man Rescued After Hours Clinging to Capsized Boat. “After two unexpected nights at sea and a Coast Guard search, Stuart Bee was rescued from the water by a passing freight ship.”
From NPR News
• Health: California Hospitalizations From COVID-19 Surging; ICUs May Be Overwhelmed In Weeks
• Health: As Hospitals Fill With COVID-19 Patients, Medical Reinforcements Are Hard To Find
• Business: Newsmax Rises On Wave Of Resentment Toward Media — Especially Fox News
• National: So You Traveled Over Thanksgiving. Now What?
• National: More Americans Pay Rent On Credit Cards As Lawmakers Fail To Pass Relief Bill
• Science: Coronavirus Was In U.S. Weeks Earlier Than Previously Known, Study Says
• Politics: President-Elect Biden Names Core Members Of His Economic Team
• World: IRS Says Its Own Error Sent $1,200 Stimulus Checks To Non-Americans Overseas
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.