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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: These Female-Owned Businesses In Gainesville Persevere In Spite Of Nationwide Challenges. “In 1972, there were only 402,000 female-owned businesses in the U.S., according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. Today, over 12.3 million exist across the country, and Gainesville has its own significant community of female business owners.”
• WUFT News: Matheson History Museum To Reopen With Exhibit Celebrating Local Women. “The museum, which first opened in 1994, has been closed since March 17, 2020, due to the coronavirus. Its mission — to educate and inspire Gainesville residents on intriguing and prominent historical topics through its exhibitions — continued to some extent over the past year thanks to museum staff who worked hard to remain in contact with loyal followers through social media and Zoom.”
• WUFT News: Alachua County Loosens COVID-19 Restrictions For Those Who Have Been Vaccinated. “Alachua County updated its emergency order to allow fully vaccinated people to visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): DeSantis says contract tracing didn’t work. So why is Florida paying for this app? “The developer of the app, Twenty Labs, has received $4 million from Florida so far, according to the state’s online contracts database. The latest installment of $200,000 was paid on March 12 — a few days before DeSantis said contact tracing was an ineffective strategy.”
• WFSU: Baxley’s Bright Futures Scholarship Bill Gets Watered Down Again. “The newest version of Republican Senator Dennis Baxley’s bill would no longer tie Bright Future’s funding to a student’s major. That provision drew outrage from educators, students and parents…”
• First Coast News: Florida lifting visitation limitation order for nursing homes, long-term care facilities. “The department (cited) the mental health of residents’ as well as the high number of vaccinations at long-term care facilities as reasons for the order being lifted. Specifically, facilities have seen a 90% decline in COVID-19 cases in the last 60 days, according to Department of Emergency Management.”
• Florida Politics: Feds to investigate manatee deaths, Stephanie Murphy says. “Why are Florida’s manatees dying off? The federal government has agreed to look into that, responding to a plea made earlier this month by Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, her office announced Tuesday.”
• Politico: DeSantis erodes Florida’s Covid rules — and spring breakers go wild. “Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a warm welcome to millions of spring breakers descending on the state, touting earlier this month that ‘there are no lockdowns in Florida.’ But the rule-averse Republican left local city leaders hamstrung in their efforts to control unruly crowds and the spread of the virus.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Roberto Clemente mural comes to life at Orlando school after Confederate name change. “Roberto Clemente Middle School’s transformation reached a new milestone this week with the creation of a mural depicting historical scenes of the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): Boca becomes first in Florida to increase fines for littering masks. “If you’re caught throwing down your mask, gloves or other COVID-19 protective equipment in Boca Raton, you could get slapped with a $250 fine.”
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From NPR News
• Business: Regal Cinemas To Reopen Its Theaters In April
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.