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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: Journey To Juneteenth: Black History Celebrated For More Than One Month In Gainesville. “Juneteenth is known as ‘the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.’ The Juneteenth flag itself has special meaning. The bursting star in the middle represents the end of slavery in the U.S., the curved line represents new horizons, and the red, white and blue reminds how slaves and their descendants are American citizens.”
• Florida Politics: Gainesville City Commission tests Gov. DeSantis’ vaccine passport ban. “Thursday at a Gainesville city commission meeting, attendees were told if they did not wear a mask at the meeting, they must show proof of vaccination. The City provided masks to attendees. Gov. DeSantis, in a written statement, said, ‘The City of Gainesville should immediately cease to impose such discriminative policies upon individuals.'”
• NPR News: Once Nearly Extinct, The Florida Panther Is Making A Comeback. “Still, serious risks remain. In the past few weeks alone, two more endangered animals were killed after being struck by vehicles. Those deaths highlight a problem — as well as a success story for the cat the Cherokee once called ‘Lord of the forest.'”
• Florida Storms: Record Heat Possible In Florida This Week. “Very dry air in the atmosphere will transfer to the ground each afternoon, so the dew point and relative humidity will be far below mid-summer norms for Florida. Little rain is forecast through next week, but most of the state remains drought-free thanks to generous rain in April.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Fired Pandemic Data Manager, Fierce Critic Of Florida’s Governor Decides Not To Run For Congress. “Rebekah Jones, the former Florida health department employee who filed a whistleblower complaint accusing political leaders of firing her in a dispute over the state’s pandemic numbers, has decided not to run for Congress next year, she said.”
• Palm Coast Observer: With another hurricane season looming, Flagler considers legal action against final dune holdout. “…(Flagler) County Attorney Al Hadeed asked for and was given approval by the County Commission to take necessary legal action — meaning eminent domain — to obtain the final 50-foot strip of property from a holdout who is blocking a miles-long federal dune restoration project. Hadeed also received permission to use eminent twice in past on the project.”
• Miami Herald ($): Meet the new Miami: A series of self-sustaining, interconnected villages. “Not so long ago, Miami-Dade was a story of east — the sprawling Beach — and a mainland of undifferentiated suburbs, centered by a central business district that shut down at 5 p.m. Today the county increasingly is coalescing around a series of urban villages or centers — compact, pedestrian-friendly places where people can live, shop or dine out, even work or go to school, with few or mercifully short trips by car.”
• Pensacola News Journal ($): Gov. Ron DeSantis signs $200 million Florida sales tax holiday bill in Pensacola. “The new law sets dates for three separate sales tax holidays for this summer for hurricane preparedness, back to school and a new sales tax holiday Florida leaders have dubbed ‘Freedom Week.'”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Florida’s big lake starts to dry out as rainy season gets off to slow start. “Lake Okeechobee has finally gone down. The liquid heart of the Everglades was within a few inches of historic averages this past week at just over 13 feet above sea level, and releases to the Caloosahatchee River were lowered Friday to 1,500 cubic feet per second.”
• WMFE: Sentinel Guild Vows To Keep Searching For Local Buyer For Newspaper. “Shareholders at the (Orlando) Sentinel’s parent company Tribune Publishing voted on Friday to approve the sale of the newspaper chain to Alden Global Capital. The hedge fund is known for buying newspapers and cutting budgets to boost profits.”
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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 email@example.com.