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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: CDC Study Says UF Students Adhere Well To Mask Guidelines. “In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, the University of Florida ranked highest for mask usage among five other university campuses.”
• WUFT News: Judge Reaches Partial Decision Supporting Alachua County Growth Management Area Amendment. “The charter amendment passed by a narrow margin in the Nov. 3 election. Two recounts followed, with a final manual recount confirming a 265 vote margin in favor of the amendment.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Landmark Becomes COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Site. “As the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County and UF Health partner to expand vaccinations in the community, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium’s Touchdown Terrace becomes a destination for COVID-19 vaccine distribution site. Around 1,100 vaccines were distributed at the terrace on Friday in the county’s largest vaccination event this far. The Pfizer vaccines are provided by the Florida Department of Health. Residents 65 and older were eligible to register for appointments.”
• Capitol News Service: Florida abortions under fire. “Doctors who abort a fetus after more than 20 weeks of gestation could be charged with a felony under legislation filed in the State Capitol… The legislation would end almost all abortions at 20 weeks. Senate Sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that’s when a fetus feels pain.”
• WUFT News: Local Movie Theaters Look To Community Support For Survival Amid Pandemic. “In Citrus County, only one movie theater remains open amid the pandemic, leading moviegoers to explore theater options outside the county. Local movie theaters are relying on this support from local and neighboring communities to ensure a future for their businesses.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville attorney: Arrest violated First Amendment rights. “A longtime Gainesville attorney who was arrested at the City Commission meeting last week after he refused to wear his mask says his First Amendment rights have been violated. Ray Washington, who spent last Thursday night in jail, said Monday that he looks forward to defending himself in the case and deposing city officials about the incident.”
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Around the state today
• WUSF: Intruder Hacked Oldsmar Water System. “The attack happened on Friday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. Twice, an intruder logged into a computer at Oldsmar’s water treatment plant. An employee noticed the first log-in around 8 a.m., but did not think it was unusual because city staff have remote access to the system.”
• A WUFT News Special Report: Forever in Florida? Our series continues today with a report on the “forever” in the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. The chemicals are particularly dangerous to firefighters because of their fire-proof gear. They persist in landfills. They are also making their way to the coasts and the shorebirds that feed and live there.
• Associated Press: Tampa mayor addresses maskless fans after Super Bowl. “So much for the mayor’s order requiring masks at Super Bowl parties. Videos went viral on social media, showing throngs of mostly maskless fans and packed sports bars as the clock inside Raymond James Stadium ticked down on a hometown Super Bowl win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
• WTSP-Tampa: Officers stretched thin when crowds got ‘too big’ after Bucs win Super Bowl LV. “The excitement over Super Bowl LV spilled into downtown Tampa after a historic win for the Bucs but the party got out of control, leaving Tampa police officers to put out fires while fans took down street signs and climbed trees.”
• WFTS-Tampa: Sarasota nurses bring cut-outs of colleagues to Super Bowl so they could all be there together. “When 24 members of the patient care team at Sarasota Memorial Hospital were selected to go, they wanted to make sure everyone on their team was honored.”
• WFSU: Panama City COVID-19 Outbreak Among Worst In Nation. “The metropolitan area’s coronavirus case incidence rate is the sixth highest in the country. The New York Times’s COVID-19 tracker shows 90 daily new cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks. That number is calculated using state and county health department data.”
• WSVN-Miami: DeSantis honors vets who fought in Bay of Pigs Invasion as they receive vaccine. “The demand for coronavirus vaccine doses brought Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis back to South Florida as he gave a shot at prevention to a special group.”
• WUFT News: Miami-Dade Struggles To Find Ways To Fight Vaccination Hesitancy In Black Communities. “As vaccination rollout continues in Florida, closing gaps in racial disparity remains a problem for health and state officials.”
• News Service of Florida: Local money requests pile up amid budget warnings. “The requests continued to mount last week as House and Senate budget committees questioned various aspects of a $96.6 billion spending plan that Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which will start July 1. Republicans legislative leaders have warned that lawmakers likely will have to make budget cuts because of hits to tax revenue from the pandemic.”
• CBS Miami: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Chief Of Staff To Lead Broward Hospital System. “Gov. Ron DeSantis’ chief of staff, Shane Strum, has been hired as chief executive officer of one of the largest public health-care systems in the country.”
• WMFE: Federal Grant Bolsters Florida’s Space Coast Infrastructure. “Gov. Ron DeSantis finalized a $90 million grant program aimed at improving infrastructure on Florida’s Space Coast. The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) federal grant program will help fund a new bridge over the Indian River, connecting Titusville and North Merritt Island to the Kennedy Space Center.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Judge denies Publix’s bid to toss lawsuit over worker’s COVID-19 death. “Publix must respond to a lawsuit claiming a Miami Beach store employee died from COVID-19 last April because he was restricted from wearing a mask, a judge says.”
• Florida Today ($): Rebekah Jones drops lawsuit over Florida police raid on her home, at least for now. “Jones’ attorney, Richard E. Johnson, said there were ‘a number of reasons’ why the suit was being dropped, including the possibility that it could compromise Jones’ defense in the pending criminal case.”
• WPTV-West Palm Beach: Fisherman records video of leatherback sea turtle swimming in plastics, urging people to prevent ocean pollution. “Both a stunning and concerning sight off of our coastline is raising concerns about plastic pollution and its impacts on sea life.”
• FLKeysNews ($): This bridge was already being built. But Keys residents objected, so state pulls project. “The Florida Department of Transportation sent a terse, but strongly worded letter to the Village of Islamorada informing local officials that a proposed nearly $5 million foot bridge project is being scrapped after work had already begun.”
• Miami Herald ($): ESPN baseball reporter, Miami native Pedro Gomez dies at 58: ‘A brutal shock.’ “Pedro Gomez, a proud Miami native and longtime ESPN baseball reporter, died unexpectedly Sunday at age 58, sending shockwaves through Major League Baseball and sports media.”
• WINK-Fort Myers: Spring training: MLB discusses keeping teams on respective coasts in state. “Some major changes could soon come to spring training games and might limit the teams fans can see at ballparks in the state. Major League Baseball says a plan is under review that would keep teams that train on the west coast and east coast apart for spring training ball games. It’s all being discussed for the purpose of limiting the spread of the coronavirus.”
• Florida Today ($): That’s ironic: Doorbell security cameras are easily hackable, Florida Tech researchers find. “Terrence O’Connor, an associate computer science professor at FIT, and his graduate student, Daniel Campos, found vulnerabilities in seven models of smart cameras and doorbells made by Geeni and its parent company, Merkury Innovations.”
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.