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Today’s top Florida stories
• Associated Press: Florida Governor Signs Law Preempting Local COVID Edicts. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moved to suspend all remaining COVID-19 restrictions imposed by communities across his state, signing into law on Monday freshly passed legislation giving him sweeping powers to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during the pandemic — including mask mandates, limitations on business operations and the shuttering of schools.”
• WUFT News: Parents Saved One Putnam County School, But Parents At Another Worry About Closure’s Impact On Black Students. “Jenkins Middle School has for generations been pivotal to the education of many students in Palatka – particularly its Black students. To the community’s dismay, it looks like it’s nearing the end of its days.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville City Commissioners Set To Hear New Proposals To Develop Lot 10. “With a new Hyatt Place hotel set to begin construction in downtown Gainesville in January 2022, many have turned their attention to Lot 10, a nondescript parking lot in the city’s center that has stirred the emotions of city officials, local business owners, and community members for nearly a decade.”
• Washington Post ($): Florida Republicans rushed to curb mail voting after Trump’s attacks on the practice. Now some fear it could lower GOP turnout. “Virtually every narrow Republican victor of the past generation — and there have been many, including two of the state’s current top officeholders, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott — owes their victory, at least in part, to mail voting. Now, some Florida Republicans are reacting with alarm after the GOP-dominated state legislature, with DeSantis’s support, passed a far-reaching bill Thursday night that puts new restrictions on the use of mail ballots.”
• WUFT News: CDC Survey: Distrust Likely To Keep Majority Of Florida Prisoners From Getting COVID-19 Vaccine. “While the vaccine rollout continues in prisons and jails across the U.S., vaccine hesitancy has emerged as a hurdle to herd immunity. Misinformation and a lack of trust in the prison system among incarcerated people have fueled skepticism — and refusal — of the shot. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a survey of more than 5,000 incarcerated people in four states, including Florida, found that around 45% would reject the vaccine.”
• Florida Politics: Democrat Danielle Hawk hopes to challenge Kat Cammack in (Congressional District) 3. “On Monday, political newcomer Danielle Hawk announced her intention to run for the North Central Florida seat, a largely rural and exurban map that stretches into Alachua, Clay, Marion, Union, Bradford, and Putnam counties. Hawk will join Tom Wells, the runner up in 2020’s Democratic primary, in the field.”
• Business Insider: Former Senator Bill Nelson is officially NASA’s new administrator. His goals: support climate research and put astronauts on the moon. “Nelson, a three-term US Senator from Florida who flew into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986, was sworn in as the new NASA Administrator on Monday. His plan is mainly to keep the ball rolling. During confirmation hearings, Nelson told Congress that he wants to see NASA achieve its most ambitious goal — sending astronauts to the lunar surface and, eventually, to Mars.”
• WLRN: How Statewide Grand Juries Play A Role In Shaping Florida’s Future Policies. “After Florida’s 20th statewide grand jury indicted Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie, and the district’s general counsel last month, here’s a breakdown of the process for statewide grand juries, why they exist and what happens after they are done meeting.”
• News4Jax: Former Gainesville altar boy says he was sexually assaulted by former Diocese of St. Augustine priest, Navy chaplain. “Patrick Colville is telling his story and pushing for a new Florida law to help survivors.”
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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.