The Point, Jan. 21, 2021: Tunnels Under Miami? It’s A Costly But Not Crazy Idea, Experts Say

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Today’s top Florida stories

• Fresh Take Florida: Elon Musk Wants To Burrow Tunnels Under Miami. Here’s What Engineers And Lawmakers Think. “As a solution to Miami’s notoriously congested traffic, Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk is proposing to dig tunnels with The Boring Company, one of his many business ventures. Experts say the idea would be costly and is fraught with engineering obstacles, but it’s not outright crazy.”

• NPR News: For 1st Time In 150 Years, Outgoing President Doesn’t Attend Inauguration. “Former President Donald Trump skipped Wednesday’s inauguration, defying a long-lasting tradition. He held his own farewell ceremony before going to Florida.”

• Miami Herald ($): Among Floridians granted clemency by Trump: rich elites, rappers, an elderly pot dealer. “Two were high-profile rappers convicted of weapons-related charges in Miami. One was an influential Miami Beach banker and philanthropist whose name adorns buildings across South Florida. Another was a wealthy Palm Beach eye doctor convicted of a massive Medicare fraud scam.”

• News Service of Florida: Few Trump Supporters Turn Out At Florida Capitol. “After preparation for potentially large-scale protests, only about 10 supporters of President Donald Trump waved signs to motorists outside Florida’s Capitol on Wednesday as President Joe Biden was sworn into office in Washington, D.C.”

• WUWF: Capitol Riot Suspect Arrested In Pensacola. “FBI agents and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforement and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesus D. Rivera, 37, of Pensacola at his home Wednesday morning, said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Rivera was taken into custody without incident.”

• WUFT News: P.K. Yonge School Opens New Secondary Facility. “The new building at the developmental research school has 73,500 square feet of floor space and was built by Parrish McCall Constructors LLC. The total cost of the facility is about $21 million. The building will provide classrooms and labs for students in grades six through 12. These rooms come supplied with state of the art technology, such as lab equipment, flat-screen TVs and Apple TVs.”

• UF Health: UF study sheds light on the roles of children and asymptomatic infections in COVID-19 household transmission. “A new University of Florida epidemiological study, based on contact tracing data from thousands of households in Wuhan, China, finds that while children are less susceptible to COVID-19, when they do become infected they can be nearly 60% more likely than adults over 60 to infect exposed family members.”

• Florida Politics: Senate committee to take up COVID-19 liability protections for businesses. “SB 72 and HB 7 seek to exclusively protect churches, schools and businesses from ‘frivolous’ COVID-19 related lawsuits. Both bills notably omit protections for health care providers such as nursing homes and employees.”

• Florida Today ($): COVID survivor: 89-year-old Cape Canaveral man is happy to be alive. “Jim Rowsey, an 89-year-old COVID-19 survivor, says he’s surprised to still be alive after his battle with the dread virus: ‘By all rules and regulations, I’m supposed to be dead.'”

• Insurance Journal: Florida’s Property Insurance Market Is ‘Spiraling Towards Collapse’ Due to Litigation: Report. “Florida’s property insurance market is “spiraling towards collapse” and requires immediate attention if there is any chance of protecting the market, consumers, and ultimately, the state’s economy, according to an analysis about to be presented to the Florida Legislature.”

• WLRN: Interior Department Names Everglades Advocate, And Keys Native, To Top Post. “The U.S. Department of Interior named a longtime Everglades advocate and Florida Keys native to a top position Wednesday. Shannon Estenoz, who directed the department’s Everglades restoration work under the Obama administration, will become the principal deputy assistant secretary overseeing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.”

• Spectrum News: Disney Closes Hall of Presidents to Add Biden Animatronic. “The night before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Disney quietly closed The Hall of Presidents attraction at Magic Kingdom.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Fort Myers City Council votes to remove pedestal that held Robert E. Lee bust. “A bronze bust of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that occupied a position of honor in downtown Fort Myers for decades has taken its place on the scrap heap of history, unlikely to ever appear again on city-owned space in downtown Fort Myers.”

• WCJB: Newberry Commissioner moved off ventilator. “Newberry commissioner Rick Coleman is off the ventilator, after being hospitalized with COVID-19.”


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From NPR News

• National: ‘This Is America’s Day’: Biden’s Inaugural Address, Annotated

• National: Harris Makes History As 1st Woman Of Color To Become Vice President

• National: Man Charged With Assault On Officer, As Seen In Viral Video From Capitol Riot

• Politics: President Biden Will Extend Student Loan Payment Freeze Through Sept. 30

• Politics: With New Georgia Senators Sworn In, Democrats Officially Control The Senate

• Business: Stocks Close On Record Highs After Biden Inauguration

• Health: ‘We Have No Space’: LA County Funeral Director Describes Virus’s Toll

• World: Biden Moves To Have U.S. Rejoin Climate Accord

• World: China Slaps Sanctions On 28 Trump Administration Officials, Including Mike Pompeo

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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