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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: 2021 MLK Day Celebration In Alachua Focuses On Ending Systemic Racism. “The U.S. Capitol insurrection was still on the minds of those at the Martin Luther King Day event on Monday at the Cleather Hathcock Sr. Community Center in Alachua. State Rep. Yvonne Hinson, D-Gainesville, said President Donald Trump’s supporters reflected the ugly notion of white supremacy as they raided the Capitol. While praising activist Stacy Adams’ movement that led to 800,000 new voters in Georgia, Hinson called on African Americans to fulfill King’s dream of equality for all by emancipating themselves through policy.”
• The Alligator: UF student dead and five still hospitalized after car crash on University Avenue. “Sophia Lambert, an 18-year-old UF theater sophomore in the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, died following a crash on West University Avenue that hospitalized six people Saturday evening.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Dangerous section of Williston Road for trail users to get upgrades. “Future plans involve upgrading the location with a pedestrian hybrid beacon, which will operate more like a red-light traffic signal and require motorists to stop when a pedestrian is crossing.”
• WUFT News: Untold Florida: How Do School And District Grades Align In Those Statewide Reports? “Trying to understand Florida’s school ranking system is no easy task. It involves a complex formula spelled in a 40-page document to explain how the numbers arrive at a ranking. A WUFT listener named Lenny from Gainesville wanted to know how Alachua County Schools can be ‘A’ rated but have an average on test scores that basically is in the middle statewide.” Within this story, we answer Lenny’s question. Have a curiosity of your own about the place you live? Ask it in our Untold Florida project and we’ll work to report the answer.
• WFSU: After Bad Reviews, Toll Road Plans Again Before Florida Legislators. “Thousands of Floridians criticized the planned roads at dozens of task force meetings held over the past year. As a result, the task forces sent a report to the Legislature in November with no consensus on whether they should be built. But the Department of Transportation is forging ahead with the next step — environmental and economic studies.”
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Around the state today
• Florida Today ($): Fired DOH scientist Rebekah Jones arrested on felony computer charge, state sought computer ban. “Rebekah Jones, the fired Florida Department of Health data scientist-turned-whistleblower, turned herself in to police late on Sunday night to face a felony charge and a possible ban on using computers and the internet as a condition for release on bond, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): ‘Nothing happening here’: No large protests or violence occurred at Florida Capitol Sunday. “Police officers and journalists vastly outnumbered the small number of protesters who made an appearance. One of the more colorful demonstrators came with a sign reading ‘Spread the Love Honk Honk.'”
• WLRN: Florida State Senator: Level of Demand For COVID-19 Vaccine Was ‘Hard To Imagine.’ “(State Sen. Jeff Brandes:) ‘…I think it’s hard to imagine the level of demand when essentially you have 22 million people in Florida, everybody wanting the vaccine. And while some people understand that it’s for 65 and plus and essential workers, other individuals aren’t getting that message, and they’re calling to try to get their vaccine, or they have some health risk that they believe qualifies them to receive the vaccine.'”
• Palm Beach Post ($): At the end of Trump era, some in Florida base ask, ‘What now?’ “In Florida, Trumpism has been wildly popular among Republicans and populist independents. It is a state Trump won twice, most recently in 2020, when he dominated Biden by a relatively whopping 3.4%.”
• Associated Press: Bay County GOP refuses to accept Joe Biden as President-elect. “The Bay County Republican Party said it won’t recognize President-elect Joe Biden as legitimate unless President Donald Trump concedes and acknowledges that the 2020 election was fair.”
• WTSP: In days since DC uprising, thousands of Tampa Bay Republicans switch voter registration. “Nearly 3,000 registered Republicans in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties have taken steps to leave their now-former party.”
• USA Today ($): After the Capitol riot, one Florida man became ‘Podium Guy’: Another man turned him in. “The two men from Southwest Florida, on opposite sides of the political spectrum, had crossed paths before. Now, one had become an instant icon for the far right and the other was ready to turn him in.”
• Bay News 9: Snowcat Ridge, Florida Snow Park, Closes for the Season. “The snow park was also closed briefly in December after Pasco County Fire Rescue and Building Construction Services discovered fire, building, electrical and plumbing violations. The park was since reinspected and allowed to reopen.”
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.