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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: UF Will Take Part In Moderna’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Study. “So far, studies have determined the efficacy of vaccines and shown that they can make COVID-19 symptoms milder. Dr. Michael Lauzardo, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute deputy director, wants to answer a different question with this new trial: Will vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus to others?”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Haile golf club drops ‘plantation,’ takes on ‘Hawkstone.’ “The Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club has been rechristened as Hawkstone Country Club, jettisoning a name that is linked to a homestead and farm built on enslavement.”
• WUFT News: Live Entertainment Venues In Gainesville, Ocala Seeking Grants To Make It Through The Pandemic. “The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant includes over $16 billion for entertainment organizations who were financially affected by the pandemic. The grant was written into law as a part of the federal Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and will be distributed by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance.”
• Main Street Daily News: Vandals take Newberry train engine for a joy ride. “‘Numerous charges could apply, including trespassing, criminal mischief, burglary of a conveyance, vehicle theft, and there are also some federal crimes,’ (Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art) Forgey said.”
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Around the state today
• New York Times ($): Matt Gaetz Is Said to Face Justice Dept. Inquiry Over Sex With an Underage Girl. “Mr. Gaetz called the investigation part of an elaborate scheme involving ‘false sex allegations’ to extort him and his family for $25 million that began this month. He said he and his father, Don Gaetz, had been cooperating with the F.B.I. and “wearing a wire” after they were approached by people saying they could make the investigation ‘go away.’ Mr. Gaetz claimed the disclosure of the sex trafficking inquiry was intended to thwart an investigation into the extortion plot.”
• WFSU: Conservative Think Tank Pushing For Changes To Florida Election Laws. “Fresh off its success in Georgia, a conservative think tank aligned with former President Donald Trump is now busy trying to change Florida’s election laws. The Heritage Foundation is pushing what it calls ‘best practices’ for the next statewide vote in 2022.”
• Florida Politics: Bill protecting farmers from nuisance suits heads to final House panel. “The bill (HB 1601), filed by Rep. Jayer Williamson, would modernize Florida’s Right to Farm Act by granting farmers broad legal protections to limit lawsuits from encroaching developments.”
• WUFT News: Florida’s Veterans Are Often Underestimated In The Workforce, And SkillBridge Seeks To Change That. “SkillBridge is a Department of Defense program that helps service members get work experience during their last 180 days in the military. The program matches service members to potential employers by way of fellowships, internships or industry training. A bill in the Florida legislature, SB 586, would designate the nonprofit Veterans Florida as the state’s principal assistance organization for the SkillBridge program.”
• WFSU: A Move To Abolish The Florida Constitution Revision Commission Is Poised For A Floor Vote. “It left many legislators feeling frustrated — like Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg). ‘The CRC is bipartisanly detested and should be abolished,’ Brandes said in a recent committee meeting.”
• WUFT News: Florida Legislation That Would Mandate A Moment Of Silence In Public Schools Advances In Senate. “The bill passed the House floor earlier this month roughly across party lines, with a vote of 94-24. The Senate version of the bill, SB 282, sponsored by Senator Dennis Baxley, passed unanimously through the Judiciary Committee on Monday. It now must clear the Senate Rules Committee before reaching the full chamber for a vote.”
• News Service of Florida: USF Professor Mark Rains Named Florida’s New Chief Science Officer. “Mark Rains, director of the University of South Florida’s School of Geosciences, was named Tuesday as Florida’s chief science officer.”
• NPR News: As Bad Information Spreads, Florida Schools Seek To Teach ‘Digital Literacy.’ “Cyber Florida helped set up the cybersecurity program now being taught at many Florida schools. The new project, Cyber Citizenship, is even more ambitious. Separating fact from fiction online is a major challenge for the country as a whole, as evidenced by the swirling claims surrounding last year’s presidential election and the ongoing pandemic.”
• New York Times ($): O Dunedin: Canada Will Have to Wait to See the Blue Jays. “…for now, home for one of the most intriguing teams in the game — one with an enviable combination of young, hungry talent and proven veteran free agent additions — will be a tiny spring training park in Dunedin, Fla. Coronavirus precautions may be easing around the United States, but baseball fans in Canada will simply have to wait.”
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.