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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Gainesville To Become First Florida City To Sue Over ‘Anti-Riot’ Law After 4-3 City Commission Vote. “City Attorney Nicolle Shalley said the commission had circumvented the city’s charter by not allowing her office to fulfill its role as legal advisor to the city. She said her office was directed to retain specific outside legal counsel who had solicited commission members both at a public meeting and individually.”
• WUFT News: Debate About Masking in Florida Schools Continues. “The State Board of Education is also considering a voucher program that would allow public school students to transfer to private schools without mask mandates.”
• Ocala Gazette: Masks remain optional for public schools. “Public school students and employees will start the school year on Aug. 10 with the option of wearing masks despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Marion County.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Police Corporal Pleads No Contest In DUI Case. “Cpl. Scott Bertzyk, 46, rear-ended a car on Newberry Road in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report, causing at least $8,000 in damage. No injuries were reported.”
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Around the state today
• WMFE: Florida Adds 20,000+ Cases Thursday, Hospitalizations Still Rising. “Statewide, another 400 patients were hospitalized in the last day, continuing a record-breaking surge of patients. Currently, more than 12,888 people are hospitalized statewide – and nearly 2,600 are in the intensive care unit.”
• USA Today Network ($): Florida’s second summer of COVID is different: Vaccines, ban on restrictions change landscape. “One big difference: This time, there’s plenty of vaccine supply that’s proven to be effective against COVID. But many folks are reluctant to take the jab, and about half of all eligible Floridians are still not fully immunized.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Leon School Board member Rosanne Wood tests positive for COVID-19, blames unmasked crowd. “‘I was exposed and I was unlucky,’ Wood said of her test result, which she learned Wednesday. ‘Because of my asthma, those people who were seeking their freedom denied me mine.’ At the last school board meeting, Wood said she felt like she was sitting in a petri dish of COVID-19.”
• Florida Politics: ‘Governor who?’: Joe Biden dismisses Ron DeSantis’ tirade. “After Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ lengthy rebuttal to President Joe Biden‘s rebuke of his pandemic response, Biden dismissed DeSantis’ speech in a five-word rebuttal Thursday. ‘Governor who?’ Biden said, laughing off a reporter’s request for comment. ‘That’s my response.'”
• WFLA-Tampa: Florida DEP files complaint to hold Piney Point owners accountable for wastewater breach. “During the 2021 legislative session, state lawmakers allocated $100 million to go towards permanently cleaning up and closing the site. Now, DEP’s actions in court will allegedly push HRK Holdings to pay the price for Piney Point’s failures, as the state attempts to permanently clean up the site.”
• News Service of Florida: Addressing Manatee Woes Could Take Time In Florida Waters. “With more than 840 manatee deaths reported in the state this year, members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday expressed a need for patience after receiving an outline of efforts to combat a significant decline in water quality, particularly along the state’s East Coast. The water-quality problems have caused a significant loss of seagrass, which is a primary source of food for manatees.”
• Fort Myers News-Press ($): University of Florida economists detail tourism revenue losses following 2018 red tide blooms. “Researchers at the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences put a fine point on decreased revenues that charter boat fishing, marine recreation and Airbnb operations saw due to the harmful bloom. The study looked at Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.”
From NPR News
• Business: CNN Fires Three Employees For Coming To Work Unvaccinated (via AP)
• Politics: Powerful U.S. Labor Leader Richard Trumka Dies
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.