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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: Contactless Claus: Santa Visits Look Different Due To COVID. “With COVID-19 cases spiking as the holiday season approaches, stores and malls around Gainesville are reworking their annual Santa events to keep the Christmas spirit alive while following safety guidelines.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville-Area Dance Studios And Groups Still Adjusting To Life Amid A Pandemic. “Rylee Slemp froze as the music started to end, foot pointed to the floor, until the dance teacher told her to relax. She quickly adjusted her face mask back to its proper place. It had fallen below her nose between pirouettes and leaps. ‘It’s hard to dance with a mask sometimes,’ Rylee, 14, said moments later…”
• WUFT News: How Alachua County Deputies Prepare For Car Chases. “Recently, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old led Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a chase in a stolen car. ACSO Public Information Officer Art Forgey discusses how deputies prepare for car chases like these.”
• News4Jax: Entire Crescent City Police Department placed on administrative leave. “As of 5 p.m. on Friday, all Crescent City Police Department activities were forced to cease. The police building was forced to close and the five officers that make up the police force were all placed on administrative leave with pay.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Court will be in recess: Ocala pauses jury trials because of COVID-19 uptick. “During the past few weeks, judges have been setting trial dates for the upcoming year. During the pandemic, thousands of cases have been backlogged. As of Tuesday, it’s unknown whether those recently set trial dates will be affected.”
• News Service of Florida: Federal Judge Postpones NRA Case, Other Florida Trials. “Saying he is acting ‘out of an abundance of caution,’ Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said he is postponing all of his civil trials until the coronavirus pandemic is under control and the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths in Florida has dropped.”
• Gainesville Sun: County health chief on COVID-19: ‘This is no time to let our guard down.’ “Despite positive news about coronavirus vaccines, Alachua County’s health department administrator warned residents Tuesday not to become complacent as cases continue to increase locally.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): We’re dealing with ‘3 whammos,’ health director says. “County Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso said the recent uptick in cases is coming at the worst possible moment. ‘We have three whammos happening at the same time,’ she said, ticking off the coming holiday season, the arrival of snowbirds and case counts that are already disturbingly high.”
• St. Augustine Record ($): St. Augustine city commissioners seek COVID-19 rule change from Gov. DeSantis. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise, St. Augustine commissioners are asking the governor to give them the flexibility to meet remotely again. Gov. Ron DeSantis had suspended laws requiring local elected bodies to meet in person. That exception has expired, even though the state of emergency in Florida has been extended because of COVID.”
• CNN: Florida official on why he resigned over raid on fired Covid-19 data scientist. “Former 12th Circuit Judicial Nomination Commission member Ron Filipkowski explains why he resigned after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement executed a search warrant at the home of data scientist Rebekah Jones, who was fired by the state Department of Health in May.”
• Miami Herald ($): Sea level rise could flood thousands of Miami’s affordable housing spots, research shows. “The University of Miami found that more than half of all affordable housing in Miami-Dade county lies below Miami’s average elevation of seven feet above sea level.”
• Lakeland Ledger ($): Longest-serving marijuana inmate in US released from Florida prison. “For the first time in more than 31 years, Richard DeLisi will be able to spend Christmas with family members.”
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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.