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The top stories near you
• Alachua County: Agencies in Alachua County not Opting into State Vaccine Process. “…the State announced the launch of a statewide preregistration system to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for individuals 65 and older and frontline health care workers. The State Department of Health in Alachua County is currently not opting into this system. Please do not register through this system. It will not serve you in getting a vaccine in Alachua County.”
• Main Street Daily News: Levy County will participate in statewide vaccine registration system. “Levy County made the announcement late Friday, hours after the state announced a system designed to streamline the registrations for Floridians over 65 and for frontline healthcare workers. It allows people to get a spot in line, then the system will notify them when a local appointment becomes available.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Law Enforcement Cracks Down On Bad Drivers Amid Pedestrian Deaths. “Law enforcement’s increased focus on pedestrian safety comes after the deaths of UF students Sophia Lambert and Maggie Paxton, both freshmen killed by motorists within the last two months. Calls for action on traffic safety from the community soon followed, with a petition calling for traffic safety for UF students garnering over 22,000 signatures as of Friday.”
• The Alligator: (Florida Soccer) Coach Becky Burleigh to retire after spring season. “The Tarpon Springs, Florida, native was the first — and only — head coach in program history. She was hired by former athletic director Jeremy Foley in 1994 after five seasons and two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Championships at Floyd County, Georgia’s Berry College. The Gators’ program took off after her hiring and rarely fell.”
• WUFT News: Bradford County Unsure Whether To Search For New County Manager. “The county’s five commissioners are set to discuss the position during their meeting Monday. But they and county staff are unsure whether it needs to be filled, what the parameters of a candidates’ search should be and or how much the role should be paid.”
• WUFT News: ‘Plague’ Transports Hoggetowne Medieval Faire To The Virtual Realm. “Tiffany Lowe had to buy her own turkey legs this year. She’ll be eating them while watching the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire on her computer. She won’t be the only one. Hoggetowne at Home, the fair’s 35th production, will be an online collection this year.”
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Around the state today
• Orlando Sentinel ($): COVID-19 in Florida: January marks deadliest month. “January has been the deadliest month since the pandemic began. These are not actual deaths based on date, so there may be a lag time in reporting. Still, there were 4,806 resident deaths reported, surpassing August by 462 deaths. With non-resident deaths included, the gap is higher between the two months by 560 deaths.”
• WLRN: Florida Public Media Presents: ‘Class of COVID-19,’ A Look At The Pandemic’s Impact On Education. “In this statewide project, launching Feb. 8, journalists explore the high costs of the pandemic for children and young adults who faced some of the greatest obstacles to success in school well before COVID-19 upended public education.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida State runs out of initial doses of vaccine. “Florida State University’s shipment of COVID-19 vaccine was gone by Wednesday, two weeks after the university initially began offering it to employees and students 65 and older as well as those working in health care on campus.”
• News Service of Florida: DeSantis’ Budget Increases School Spending By $285 Million. “Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers for a $285 million increase in public-school funding in the coming year and to keep tuition rates flat for college and university students — a potentially stark contrast to what House and Senate budget leaders have signaled could be coming.”
• WLRN: Majority Of Employees In Florida’s Assisted Living Facilities Decline COVID-19 Vaccinations. “The association representing many of Florida’s assisted living facilities (ALFs) says only 35% of ALF employees agreed to be vaccinated. The reasons many employees are declining to get the vaccine vary. They range from misinformation to skepticism about specific vaccines.”
• WMFE: Officials Confirm The New COVID-19 Variant In Central Florida. “In Seminole County, health department officials have confirmed six positive cases for a new COVID-19 variant.”
• Pensacola News Journal ($): Teacher who started STEM program for girls named Escambia County’s Teacher of the Year. “When third-grade teacher Briana McCreary noticed a large gap between the number of girls and boys at Montclair Elementary School who were performing at grade-level in math, she wanted to fix that. That’s why she started She Counts, an afterschool program for girls in third through fifth grade to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): ‘I’m a Broward guy.’ DeSantis’ chief of staff Shane Strum looks to return home as a hospital CEO. “Strum, 51, works behind the scenes as chief of staff to DeSantis, and his deep political roots in Broward have provided a direct link to the governor’s office in Tallahassee. Now, he’s hoping to return home to Fort Lauderdale. He is one of three candidates vying for the vacant CEO job at Broward Health, one of the largest public hospital systems in the country.”
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.