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The top stories near you
• Fresh Take Florida: Water Board Approves Pumping Ginnie Springs Water To Benefit Nestle. “In the face of stark local environmental opposition, a state water board on Tuesday unanimously approved ‘with protest’ pumping about 1 million gallons daily for Nestle’s bottled water business from one of the treasured natural springs along the Santa Fe River in north central Florida. Critics promised immediately to appeal the decision affecting Ginnie Springs by the seven-member governing board of the Suwannee River Water Management District. It was a blow to environmentalists, who said further pumping of the crystal blue waters would put at risk the health of an already taxed river and its surrounding ecosystem.”
• WUFT News: New Indoor Events Center At Celebration Pointe Expected To Open By 2023. “The proposed floor plan continues to morph and now includes 13 indoor courts, an NCAA-qualified track and batting cages. … The plan also now includes a space for cheerleading competitions and a fitness area.”
• WUFT News: Traffic Changes Planned To Make University Avenue Safer For Pedestrians. “The Florida Department of Transportation, which manages the road, has already installed special emphasis crosswalks with additional striping to make pedestrians more visible as they cross the street. However, other upgrades won’t be in place until the summer. For some of Gainesville’s city commissioners and residents, that’s too long to wait for short-term solutions.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Launching New Recycling Inspection Team. “Gainesville city officials announced the creation of a new recycling inspection team. The effort was thought up to make the recycling process more streamlined and affordable for taxpayers.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville’s Graffiti Abatement Programs Appear To Be Working. “After a graffiti surge in 2012, the city of Gainesville launched graffiti abatement programs that, nearly a decade later, appear to have succeeded, even as the line between graffiti and art begins to blur.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): School District noted for African-American curriculum infusion. “The Alachua County Public Schools district has earned state recognition for African and African-American studies, one of just 10 school districts in the state to earn ‘Exemplary Status’ for the teaching of African and Africa -American history.”
• News4Jax: Remains found in shallow grave identified as missing Putnam County mother. “Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Col. Joseph Wells announced at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the medical examiner ruled Nyeisha Nelson’s death a homicide, but he did not say how she was killed.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Citrus County Hospital Board pursues money; contemplates uncertain future. “The Citrus County Hospital Board looked this week to fill its financial coffers as it will ask Hospital Corporation of America to allow it to reduce funds in an escrow account linked to the lease of Citrus Memorial Hospital. The answer by HCA will determine if millions of dollars changes hands.”
• CBS4: 441’s section across Paynes Prairie to see lane closures while the road is raised. “Construction taking place on 441’s section over Paynes Prairie is part of a 12 mile $13.9 million FDOT project.”
• WUFT News: UF Scientists Set To Study Spread Of Florida’s Invasive Species. “A team of scientists from the University of Florida hopes to address the invasive species problem by predicting how invasive species will move and migrate over the next 50 years as climate change, urbanization and other factors reshape the landscape.”
• WUFT News: Aspiring Music Producer Arrested In Gainesville After Police Said He Had 43 Fake Credit Cards. “A week ago, Joshua Imel posted on his Facebook page, ‘Stack this money, I gotta family to feed.’ The unmarried 23-year-old was arrested Thursday after police said he used a fake credit card at a Gainesville hotel. Imel was staying at the Fairfield Inn, 3877 SW 37 Blvd., when the manager asked the police to remove him shortly after 1 a.m., according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report.”
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Around the state today
• Associated Press: Florida To Start Vaccinating Older Teachers, Police Officers. “Currently, Florida limits vaccines to residents 65 and older and frontline medical providers such as doctors and nurses. Many firefighters also fell into that group because they are paramedics, but (Gov. Ron) DeSantis said any who have not been eligible and are 50 and above will also be added to the next wave.”
• WKMG-Orlando: Nearly half of deputies across Central Florida say they’d turn down COVID-19 vaccine. “Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Tuesday that sworn in law enforcement will be among the next group eligible for the coronavirus vaccine but surveys given in several local sheriff’s offices suggest nearly half of deputies don’t want the vaccine yet.”
• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Sheriff’s office investigates whether Manatee Co. commissioner broke Florida law. “Officials said Vanessa Baugh, a Manatee County Commission Chair, admitted to giving 3,000 vaccine appointments to people from two specific ZIP codes in the Lakewood Ranch area. It was then reported that Baugh sent a list of names to be included in the appointments, including her own.”
• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis hits back at Charlie Crist’s investigation request as 2022 race develops. “‘I don’t think it’s an effective political attack to attack me for vaccinating seniors,’ DeSantis said without naming Crist.”
• First Coast News: Oral arguments heard Tuesday in ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown appeal of fraud conviction. “Brown’s legal team argues the man was unfairly excluded (from the jury) on religious grounds. But in today’s arguments, one judge asked whether they would object to his removal if he’d been advised by some divine power that Brown was guilty. Two other judges wondered if her legal team would similarly defend a juror receiving advice from Satan.”
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.