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The top stories near you
• WMFE: Marion County school buses are running late due to COVID-19. “Quarantine and recovery times keep the absentee rate at about 20 percent. The shortage means some drivers are having to double up and even triple up on their routes. And students throughout the district are getting to school tardy and arriving home late.”
• News Service of Florida: Judge Backs Permit Allowing Water Bottling Near Ginnie Springs. “Rejecting arguments by the Suwannee River Water Management District, an administrative law judge has backed renewing a permit for a North Florida business to pipe hundreds of thousands of gallons of spring water a day to a nearby bottling plant.”
• WUFT News: Turkey Creek Golf Club Reopens After Almost a Decade. “When the Turkey Creek Golf Club closed because of a stagnant economy and poor attendance in 2011, many feared it may be for good. That was until they sliced a red ribbon at a reopening ceremony Saturday on Turkey Creek Boulevard in Alachua.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Half a century after Florida barge canal project was axed, some still ponder its meaning. “On Jan. 19, 1971, (President Richard) Nixon signed an executive order halting work on the canal destined to slice across Florida, shaving off three days’ travel for ships that would otherwise have to sail around the Florida peninsula. January 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s decision to pull support for the waterway and end a feud between politicians, businesses and environmentalists.”
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Around the state today
• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis prematurely claims 1 million seniors vaccinated, walks back comments. “The Governor’s office sent out a news release clarifying that the shot was symbolic of nearing the goal of 1 million, according to the Associated Press.”
• News Service of Florida: Florida Tops 25,000 COVID-19 Resident Deaths. “The department reported a major increase Friday of 272 resident deaths, bringing the total to 25,011. Florida also passed another troubling milestone this week, when it topped 9,000 deaths of residents and staff members of long-term care facilities — with the vast majority involving seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”
• Miami Herald ($): Florida vaccine residency rule may block access for migrant farmworkers. “…a state proof of residency requirement is raising concerns about whether many of them will be able to get inoculated at all. Workers who are considered essential to the economy are expected to be next in line, according to the state’s draft vaccination plan, though officials have not yet defined who is in that category. Further complicating matter is that many farmworkers are guest workers on temporary visas or undocumented.”
• TCPalm ($): Senate Chamber selfie leads to Fort Pierce man’s federal charge in Capitol riot. “During a virtual hearing Friday, Anthony ‘Tony’ Mariotto, 52, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek M. Maynard, who told him he was being arrested on two federal counts of ‘knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,’ and ‘violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.'”
• WUSF: Bucs Hold Off Packers, Earn Historic Super Bowl Berth In Their Home Stadium. “The Tampa Bay Bucs became the first team in NFL history to earn a Super Bowl berth in their home stadium, defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-26 to earn a spot in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.”
• St. Augustine Record ($): St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos immortalized on new US Postal Service stamp. “Beginning Sunday, a $7.95 Priority Mail stamp bearing a stylized image of the 349-year-old fort on the Matanzas River will go on sale at post offices across the country, including those in St. Augustine, home to the historic structure.”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Rare double-eaglet hatch celebrated Saturday for North Fort Myers eagles Harriet and M15. “Two newly hatched eaglets became the stars of the Harriet and M15 show in North Fort Myers Sunday, sitting in the nest off Bayshore Road, making demands of food to their parents and drawing interest online and in person.”
From NPR News
• National: Veteran Broadcaster Larry King Dies At 87
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.