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• WUFT News: Meet The 28-Year-Old Truck Driver Leading the Gainesville Police Advisory Board. “Fareed Johnson’s life experiences don’t resemble those of people typically chosen to lead civilian police advisory boards across the country. … Johnson, chair of the Gainesville Police Advisory Council, is different. He’s 28 years old – and routinely spends 10 hours overnight driving his semi-tractor-trailer to deliver dry bulk to area food and construction companies before returning to his apartment on the city’s northwest side.” Subscribe to our podcast for more from this story.
• WUFT News: ‘I Refuse To Be Faceless’: Gainesville AIDS Survivor Continues Fight Against HIV/AIDS Stigma. “Diagnosed with AIDS in 2003, (Marvene) Edwards has, at times, been on the brink of death. Now, she spends her days serving those who may have come just as close, as she works to channel her past to extend the lives and livelihood of others.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Popular ‘Pub Sub’ Social Media Accounts Go Silent After Publix Objects. “A popular Twitter account that notified people when Publix chicken-tender subs were on sale has been abandoned after lawyers for the Florida-based grocery chain apparently objected. The account ‘Are Publix Chicken Tender Subs On Sale?’ – with nearly 40,000 followers – has been dormant since March 11. One of its final tweets noted that the subs were, indeed, on sale, and added ominously: ‘This may be our last Tweet.'”
• Florida Politics: UF lands nearly $3 million for contamination cleanup pilot. “A three-year pilot program run by the University of Florida would determine the best way to clean up PFAS contamination in the state. PFAS are man-made chemicals manufactured and used in a variety of industries since the 1940s. The chemicals can’t be broken down by the human body and can cause health problems in people and the environment if the chemicals are allowed to accumulate over time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” For more about PFAS chemicals, visit our special report from earlier this year, “Forever in Florida?”
• News Service of Florida: Florida Toll Road Projects Are Scrapped, Including Suncoast Parkway Extension. “The House voted 115-0 to repeal the program dubbed the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, or M-CORES, which was pushed through in 2019 by then-Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.”
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Around the state today
• Florida Politics: Higher-ed search exemption dies in Senate. “This won’t be the year that a public records exemption for university president candidates passes. An annual fight over the matter failed the Senate Tuesday. A bill made it all the way to the Senate floor but did not pass a required two-thirds vote threshold for a public records exemption.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): City of Tallahassee, newspapers will seek Florida Supreme Court review of Marsy’s Law ruling. “The city of Tallahassee and a consortium of media outlets are seeking review of a recent appeals court decision finding that Marsy’s Law grants privacy protections to on-duty police officers, including those who use lethal force against suspects.”
• News4Jax: Florida Legislature signs off on 3 sales tax holidays. “Florida’s sales tax-free holidays will be bigger and better this year.”
• Miami Herald ($): Sponsor of effort to undermine Key West’s vote on cruise ships declares bill dead. “Florida legislators are scheduled to complete the 60-day session — with the traditional dropping of a handkerchief — on Friday and the bill to undermine the will of Key West voters was one of the most ambitious preemption attempts of the session.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): DeSantis extends coronavirus state of emergency in Florida for another 60 days. “The decision to extend the state of emergency comes after other states have started to begin the process of ending their emergencies. Tennessee rescinded its statewide public health orders on Tuesday, but its state of emergency remains in effect.”
• WLRN: Broward Schools Superintendent Runcie To ‘Step Aside,’ As He Fights Felony Perjury Charge. “Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie offered to ‘step aside’ as the leader of the sixth-largest school district in the country during a school board meeting Tuesday evening, as he fights a felony perjury charge stemming from a grand jury investigation into how his administration handled the biggest challenge of his career: the 2018 Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): No plea deal for Tampa Super Bowl streaker, says Hillsborough judge. “An attorney for Yuri Andrade and Douglas Schaffer said they had reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanor trespassing charges for their Feb. 7 streaking stunt. In exchange, they would serve six months of probation, complete 25 community service hours, pay off court costs and write a letter of apology to the National Football League. That was unacceptable, said Hillsborough County Judge Jack Gutman.”
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.