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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Prison Program In Marion County Gives Dogs And Inmates A New Sense Of Purpose. “A Marion Correctional Institution Work Camp project is putting dogs behind bars with prisoners. One former inmate, George Warner, said he worked with around 10 dogs during his time at the camp. One of his favorites: A bull mastiff named Trooper. Warner even taught him a special trick to show at graduation, where the inmates meet the people who will adopt the dogs. ‘My trick was – I would say, ‘Go to jail,’ and he would go into his own cage,’ Warner said. ‘He would open his own cage and go inside.'” Listen to today’s episode of The Point podcast to hear an interview with the reporter who doggedly reported this story.
• WUFT News: Alachua County High Schools Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccines To Students 16 And Older. “The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County on Thursday held its first vaccine clinics at Buchholz High School and Gainesville High School. In order for students to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, they are required to get their parents’ permission.”
• WUFT News: Columbia County Plans For August 2021 Ban On Internet Cafes. “County Attorney Joel Foreman said because surrounding counties started banning internet cafes, these businesses started to relocate to other areas — such as Columbia County.”
• WUFT News: Regal Movie Theaters Reopening In Gainesville For First Time Since October. “Regal plans on blocking out two seats in between groups and allowing patrons to order concessions on the Regal app to help minimize the possibility of spreading the virus.”
• WUFT News: Limiting The Treasure Hunters: Florida Senate Passes Bill Tightening Regulations On Those Who Help Recover Unclaimed Property. “Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Gainesville, recently sponsored House Bill 425 to tighten restrictions on the fees claimant’s representatives may charge to help individuals collect these assets. This ‘Disposition of Unclaimed Property’ bill passed a unanimous vote in the Florida Senate Wednesday.”
• WUFT News: ‘Strongest Anti-Rioting, Pro-Law Enforcement Piece Of Legislation In The Country’: Community Looks Ahead As Florida’s HB 1 Comes Into Effect. “Gainesville police spokesman Graham Glover said GPD can only say they will as always enforce the laws set by the government. ‘We will review that, seek to understand the contents of that bill and subsequently will follow through on what’s contained in the bill and what it asks of local law enforcement agencies,’ Glover said. He also said GPD has a great relationship with its community and believes that will continue.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County Sheriff’s Office operates without body cams, but they are coming. “ASO isn’t the only law enforcement agency in the county to not have body cams but it is the biggest. Video of arrests and police use of force, including from cameras worn by officers, has been pivotal in high-profile cases nationally, including the conviction this week of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.”
• WUFT News: National Antiracist Book Festival Partnering With Gainesville Bookstore. “The National Antiracist Book Festival is going virtual this year, and a Gainesville bookstore will be taking part for the first time. Third House Books will be one of 33 bookstores across the country owned by people of color to partner with the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. The Center was founded by Dr. Ibram Kendi, a former University of Florida professor and author of ‘How To Be an Antiracist.'”
• Mainstreet Daily News: Levy County’s injunction against CrabFest organizer granted. “Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge Craig DeThomasis granted an injunction to Levy County on Wednesday ordering that the annual CrabFest organizer cease from planning and holding the event. According to the ruling, ‘a likelihood of irreparable harm and the unavailability of an adequate remedy at law,’ and ‘granting the injunction will not disserve the public interest,’ are reasons for the injunction.”
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Around the state today
• WUFT News: Florida Bill Addresses Sea Level Rise — But Not the Emissions Causing It. “Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a new bill that would approve projects fighting sea-level rise and flooding. New and improved seawalls in Miami and West Palm Beach, upgraded drainage in Key West and Doral and reconstructed roadways could all be underway with the Resilient Florida Grant Program established under the bill.”
• Miami Herald ($): Miami’s sea level rise bill is $4 billion by 2060. It won’t keep every neighborhood dry. “Miami has to spend at least $3.8 billion in the next 40 years to keep the city dry from rising seas, according to a draft of the city’s long-awaited and newly released stormwater master plan.”
• News Service of Florida: Recreational Marijuana Amendment Is ‘Misleading,’ Florida Supreme Court Rules. “The court ruled that the amendment would mislead ‘voters into believing that the recreational use of marijuana in Florida will be free of any repercussions, criminal or otherwise.'”
• Spectrum News: Florida Senate unanimously OKs jobless benefits bill, appeals to House to act. “The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would increase unemployment benefits from $275 to $375 a week and boost the eligibility period from 12 weeks to 14 weeks.”
• Lakeland Ledger ($): Why Florida? Why now? Transgender bill part of nationwide Republican push. “The Florida Senate is running out of time to pass a proposed controversial transgender athletic bill this session, but advocates fear rising national sentiment against the LGBTQ community will make a repeat attempt likely.”
• News Service of Florida: Florida lawmakers pass school moment of silence. “Under the measure, school principals would be required to direct first-period teachers to institute a one- to two-minute moment of silence at the beginning of each day.”
• CBS Miami: Parkland School Shooting: Judge Wants Suspect Nikolas Cruz On Trial In September. “Cruz’ public defender told the court they haven’t been able to have any meaningful meetings with Cruz for more than a year because of the pandemic. … Cruz’s lawyers have repeatedly said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. But prosecutors won’t budge on seeking the death penalty at trial.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Did you lose your COVID-19 vaccination card? Here’s how to replace it. “The first thing to try, if possible, is calling or returning to the site where you got your shot. It may be able to provide a replacement card or, if you inadvertently dropped the card there, it may still be in a lost-and-found department. If that doesn’t work, reach out to the county health department where you live.”
• WUSF: New Anti-Rioting Law Casts Shadow Over Black Lives Matter Rally. “A rally in support of Black Lives Matter will be held this weekend in Tampa in the wake of the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial. Organizers are hopeful, but wary of the anti-rioting bill that was recently signed into law.”
• WJCT: Mammoth “Jobs For Jax” Infrastructure Plan Introduced in City Council. “Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and City Council President Tommy Hazouri have filed a bill to add a six-cent tax to every gallon of gas purchased within city limits.”
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.