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Today’s top Florida stories
• Miami Herald ($): Known cases of more contagious ‘UK variant’ COVID virus double in Florida, CDC says. “In Florida, cases jumped from 46 to 92, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which updated the data on Monday evening. Florida has led the country in known cases since last week, though California trails closely with 90 known cases.”
• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis: Florida will finish vaccinating in nursing homes by month’s end. “Nearly every resident and staff member from the state’s facilities have received a shot so far, the Governor told reporters Monday. With 266,000 more doses shipped this week, the first batches of which he expects to arrive later Monday, Florida should finish vaccinating in nursing homes and other longterm care facilities by Sunday, the end of January. “
• NPR News: Sprawling Florida Retirement Community Faces Epic Delays In COVID-19 Vaccination. “In Florida’s sprawling retirement community The Villages, the vaccine rollout has been full of problems, and elderly people who live in The Villages are wondering what to do next.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion ramping up vaccine communication with public. “Mark Lander, the administrator for Florida Department of Health in Marion County, and Kathy Bryant, a county commissioner, relaunched the popular Facebook Live on the Marion County Government page last Friday.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Unemployment caused by COVID driving up Florida’s Medicaid rolls — and costing billions. “Florida’s unemployment rate is more than double what it was a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has led to nearly 700,000 people signing up for Medicaid, the federal-state health care insurance plan that pays for the treatment of low-income patients.”
• The Alligator: One man dead, pedestrian hit after another crash on University Avenue. “An older man died following a crash on West University Avenue Monday afternoon — less than two weeks after a crash on the same road sent five to the hospital and killed a UF student.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida’s gas prices on rise but experts think it’s the highest we’ll see for awhile. “The average price at the pump on Sunday was $2.40 a gallon, up 20 cents since Jan. 1 after an increase of 10 cents last week, according to the AAA-Auto Club South.”
• WUSF: Tampa Bay Mayors Play Up Super Bowl During A Pandemic. “The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater met outside the Tampa Convention Center to assure the public that all precautions are being taken to ensure the Super Bowl will be safe for visitors.”
• News Service of Florida: Florida Retirement System Could See Major Change For State Workers. “In a potentially major change to the Florida Retirement System, a Senate Republican on Thursday proposed a bill that would require new state employees to enroll in a 401(k)-style plan.”
• TCPalm ($): Sharks! Attacks decreased worldwide, but shark bite fatalities increased in 2020. “Shark bites appear lower worldwide in 2020 compared to 2019, but researchers don’t know whether COVID, climate change, coincidence or something else were factors.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Trump announces ‘Office of Former President.’ “Making good on a promise that he would return in some capacity after leaving office, former president Donald Trump set up an official post-presidency office in Palm Beach County on Monday.”
• WMFE: Orlando International Airport Had Its Busiest December Since 2007 This Year, Despite a Pandemic and a Recession. “In a statement, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman Carson Good said this growth highlights the efforts of staff to maintain high standards during a difficult year.”
• WUFT News: Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring Helps Bring Tourism To Levy County Amid Pandemic. “Ken Schwiebert was one of six individuals who in 1993 helped turn Devil’s Den into what it is today, a spring that brings unique tourism to Levy County, even during a pandemic.”
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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.