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The top stories near you
• The Alligator: UF Faculty and graduate students raise questions over ICU capacities. “…UF Health hasn’t released daily ICU capacity figures at UF Health Shands Hospital to the public, said Steve Kirn, the co-chair of the UF faculty union’s COVID-19 task force. UF administration hasn’t made an action plan available if capacities were to reach a certain level either. Some are concerned that the UF administration’s lack of publicly available information may leave the university blindsided by a crisis.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): UF alters ‘tattle’ button, union still displeased. “The app’s change came after a series of public complaints on Twitter from angry professors and students, disapproval from the UF faculty union and, according to university spokeswoman Cynthia Roldan, feedback to Provost Joseph Glover from college deans.”
• WCJB: Two Putnam County deputies hospitalized after head-on crash. “Putnam County Sheriff’s Office confirms two deputies are being treated after they crashed into one another Tuesday evening while responding to a call.”
• WMFE: Marion County Sheriff’s Office tries a simpler, cheaper way to shut down internet cafes. “The sheriff is asking the county to outlaw commercial use of the so called “simulated gambling devices” — the fish tables and on-screen slot machines — found in the cafes.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): After decades and millions of tourists, Silver Springs to get first glass-bottom boat for wheelchairs. “Yet to be launched, the glass-bottom boat already is endowed with reverence and with expectations for a vessel built in Florida by Floridians and meant for what the state is about: the world’s tourists, and especially those with disabilities.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): County on cusp of boat-launch fees. “Citrus County boaters may be facing a launch fee by year’s end, but it could be worse: Tourists will pay more.”
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Around the state today
• WUSF: Almost 10,000 More Coronavirus Cases Reported In Florida. “The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday reported an additional 9,816 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. That’s the second lowest number of new cases reported since the days after Christmas, when testing was limited.”
• Associated Press: Concern Grows In Florida Over More Contagious COVID Strain. “As Florida officials ramped up vaccinations against the coronavirus, concern spread Tuesday over a new, more contagious variant that could be gaining a foothold in the state. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Florida had 46 confirmed cases of the more transmissible strain of COVID-19 as of Sunday, eclipsing California with 40 confirmed cases at last count.”
• Spectrum News: Families Dismayed Vaccinations Won’t Lift Florida’s Nursing Home Lockdown. “For many in long-term care, the COVID-19 vaccine is seen as a light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s still not clear how long it will be before visitation policies at facilities can return to normal.”
• WTSP: ‘Absolutely frightening’: Sheriff says deputy sent threatening texts related to Capitol violence. “Words matter, the sheriff said, and the threatening statements a Polk County deputy allegedly made related to violence at the U.S. Capitol were enough to put him behind bars. A visibly upset Sheriff Grady Judd called the text messages of 29-year-old Peter Heneen, a deputy of six years, ‘absolutely frightening.’ Heneen faces a second-degree felony charge of written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.”
• WUSF: Florida Saw Its Second Warmest Year In 2020, Nearly Warmest For The World. “According to data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2020 was tied or close to tying with 2016 for the world’s warmest year.”
• WLRN: Florida Unveils New Statewide Sea Rise Mapping Tool. “The tool is part of a new law taking effect July 1 that calls for projects using state money to conduct studies on damage and costs tied to sea rise. Critics say the law falls short by not requiring fixes.”
• WFSU: Book: DCF Secretary Poppell’s ‘Children Make False Claims’ Comment Shines Light On Department’s Culture. “A comment by Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell is still riling members of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee. None more so than Committee Chairwoman Lauren Book. Poppell claimed during a recent presentation to lawmakers that ‘sometimes children make false claims’ as he attempted to explain the extremely low investigation rates of sex abuse claims involving foster parents. Book is a child sex abuse survivor.”
• WJCT: A Straw That Does Not Suck – At Least As Far As The Environment Is Concerned. “There’s a new eco-friendly drinking straw on the market, and it looks like it could be a viable option for businesses seeking alternatives to traditional plastic straws. It’s called phade, and it was created by WinCup, which has a manufacturing facility here in Jacksonville.”
From NPR News
• National: Watch Live: Inauguration Day Ceremony And Events
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.