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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Gainesville Police Advisory Council Elects New Leadership. “The Gainesville Police Advisory Council elected a new chair and vice chair Wednesday night while also expressing concerns about its power to influence policing. The voting for the 11-member panel’s leadership positions proved contentious.”
• WUFT News: With One School Name Change Down, Gainesville Activists Push To Topple Other Confederate Reminders. “The activists feel they now have an infrastructure for change in place thanks to a willing school board and the support of Interim Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon. They’re now targeting additional school name changes by, they hope, this summer.”
• WUFT News: Mayor Poe Delivers Gainesville’s First Virtual State Of The City Address. “Since 2005, Gainesville residents have witnessed the annual state of the city address together in a public space. Consistent with changes over the most unusual 12 months, though, this year’s event was like no other, with the mayor narrating a pre-edited video streamed online Wednesday.”
• WUFT News: Fact Check: Poe Delivers 2021 State Of The City Address. “In a 20-minute speech, (Mayor Lauren) Poe shared the city’s accomplishments and failures, with occasional cameos from city commissioners and local leaders. He discussed topics from homelessness to social justice. WUFT News fact checked and added context to some of the statements the city included in the address.”
• WUFT News: ‘It’s Too Early To Tell’: Alachua County Seeks State Funds For Sports Complex. “After the county finalized terms with Viking Companies, the owner of the shopping center just west of Interstate 75, State Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, introduced a bill that would put $2.5 million toward the long-planned North Central Florida Regional Sports Complex. But despite a record $96.6 billion budget proposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, no one knows if the state will allocate the funding.”
• WUFT News: The Lede: Black History Month – African Americans’ Legacy. “In this episode of The Lede, we take a look at the extraordinary role of successful Black individuals at the University of Florida, the significant impact African Americans have made inside and outside of the United States and President Biden’s plans to incorporate more Black Americans within the U.S. government.”
• WUFT News: Oakmont Neighborhood Will Soon Have A 46-Acre Tortoise Reserve. “Oakmont, a high-end housing community in western Alachua County, will in May open an expansive new section of its neighborhood. The only residents living on these plots, however, are tortoises.”
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Around the state today
• WUSF: DeSantis: Florida Should See Surge In COVID-19 Vaccines Soon. “Speaking in Brooksville at another pop-up vaccination site, DeSantis said he expects Floridians to have access to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by this weekend or next week.”
• WFTV-Orlando: Explained: How the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines differ. “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says his team is already working on a distribution plan for the single-dose shot, meaning there could soon be three coronavirus vaccines available. … All three vaccines introduce something to the cells, but doctors say what gets introduced varies depending on the shot.”
• WPLG-Miami: Pythons from Florida Everglades could help produce vaccines, researcher says. “Dustin Crum and Daryl Thompson, a researcher, and entrepreneur with Global Research and Discovery Group out of Winter Haven, said the invasive Burmese python contains squalene, a compound that’s commonly used in vaccines. … Currently, the compound is not on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of ingredients in the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.”
• News4Jax: Student sues Jacksonville University for fees paid during coronavirus shutdown. “Ashley Allen of California is suing because the school hasn’t refunded tuition, fees, or room and board following the shutdown due to the coronavirus last spring. Even though students continued to receive instruction online, Allen said when the school shut down she and other students were deprived of what they paid for. On-campus services were no longer available to them.”
• News Service of Florida: Lawmakers Eye Making It Harder For Voters To Amend Florida Constitution. “Continuing to look at ways to make it harder to amend the Florida Constitution, a Senate committee next week will take up a proposal that would require approval from two-thirds of voters for ballot measures to pass.”
• WFSU: FSU Is Offering A New LGBTQ+ Housing Option For Students. “This week, incoming Florida State University students can start applying for their fall housing. And they’ll see something new on their housing contracts: an option to request an LGBTQ+ rooming option.”
• WEAR-Pensacola: Customers seeing drastic increases in homeowners insurance after hurricane season. “Homeowners in Florida can expect to pay more for home insurance following a record-breaking hurricane season last year.”
• Action News Jax: St. Augustine girls’ basketball team told it can’t wear Black Lives Matter warmup shirts. “Before last Friday’s playoff game, the team was told they couldn’t wear the shirts because it wasn’t an approved uniform.”
• Florida Today ($): Proposed Florida legislation eases derelict boat removal. “All those gutted, rotting-out old sailboats, yachts and other defunct dream boats — and the fuel and sewage they leak — have got to go, Florida lawmakers say, to keep afloat the watery reasons so many chose to live and play here.”
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.