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The stories near you
• WUFT News: You Can Get Vaccinated At The Swamp Just Before Florida’s Football Game on Saturday. “The combination of an unvaccinated population and surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths during the summer provides the backdrop for a fall football season rife with concerns of additional virus spread. Attendance at Gator football games was limited last season to 20%. There are no such limits this season. For these reasons, UF Health Screen, Test & Protect is providing two vaccination sites from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. One will be at the Stephen O’Connell Center and another at Gate 12 of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.”
• WCJB: UF Health Shands Hospital CEO reports fewer COVID-19 patients. “The hospital has 197 COVID-19 patients, 55 of those are in the ICU. That’s compared to 217 patients and 60 in the ICU reported on Monday.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville City Commission Discusses Special Election, COVID-19 Relief Dollars. “The commission voted to hold a special election on Nov. 16 to determine Johnson’s successor – and to pay the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office $200,000 to cover the costs. It also discussed how to give needy residents money through the federal American Rescue Plan.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: County grapples with misleading Facebook comments. “At the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on Tuesday, county communications director Mark Sexton said Facebook prevents government page accounts from shutting off comments because it is considered a public square. But for a page with nearly 100,000 followers, monitoring thousands of comments a day on various posts is too time consuming for staff.”
• Ocala Gazette: Skipping school: (College of Central Florida) enrollment down this fall. “While final numbers for the 2021-22 year are still incomplete, CF’s Saul Reyes has seen large declines in the number of students enrolling for classes this fall. … In 2020-21, CF had 9,997 registered students enrolled (annual enrollment, unduplicated, credit and noncredit students), a 0.5% drop from a year before when CF had 10,032 registered students.”
• WUFT News: AARP Foundation Seeking Volunteers in Gainesville To Help Local Taxpayers. “The program helped file over 800 tax returns in Alachua County last year, a number that was reduced from around 1,200 to 1,500 due to the pandemic.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Torrential rains cause flooding; Singing Forest hit again. “Wednesday’s torrential rains wreaked havoc on roads and property in low-lying areas of Citrus County, especially on the west side.”
• WUFT News: Matheson Museum Hosts First In-Person Event In Over A Year. “Author James Chapin will read from his debut novel, ‘Ride South Until the Sawgrass.’ Admission is free, but registration to attend is required according to Curator of Collections and Acting Administrator Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney. The registration link is available on the Matheson History Museum’s website. Capacity at the museum will be limited to 50 people and masks will be required.”
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Around the state
• Associated Press: Florida governor appeals ruling on masks in schools. “The governor’s lawyers took their case Thursday to the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. DeSantis wants the appeals court to reverse last week’s decision by Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper, which essentially gave Florida’s 67 school boards the power to impose a student mask mandate without parental consent.”
• WJCT: Duval School Officials Uphold District’s Emergency Mask Mandate Despite Funding Cut Threats. “Duval County school district officials are standing firm on the district’s emergency mask mandate, despite the Florida education commissioner’s threat to withhold $22,000 dollars a month in state funds.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Leon School Board unanimously votes to hire lawyer to fight Gov. DeSantis. “Jamie Cole from the South Florida-based Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman law firm, which is already representing the Miami-Dade school district, will also represent Leon Schools. Cole charges $350 an hour, and costs for counsel will be shared with the Miami-Dade school district. The district has budgeted up to $50,000 for his fees.”
• USA Today Network ($): GOP legislative leaders ‘already working’ on Texas-style abortion restrictions in Florida. “…when asked Thursday about the Texas law, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was ‘going to look more significantly at it’ but added he’s ‘always been somebody that really does support protections for life.'”
• WUSF: DEP Secretary Tours Piney Point, Vows Its Safety As Summer Rains Threaten. “Newly appointed DEP secretary Shawn Hamilton says Piney Point can only handle another 11 inches of rain. But water is being piped out now, and a plan is in place if a hurricane threatens.”
• WLRN: Miami-Dade County Rejected An Army Corps Plan To Fight Storm Surge — Here’s What The Corps Says Is Up Next. “The move followed criticism from the county and environmentalists who worry that the barriers could harm seagrass and other marine life in a bay already battling pollution.”
• Florida Politics: Tyler Sirois, Cord Byrd heading redistricting subcommittees in House. “Florida’s redistricting process under a GOP-dominated Legislature will be among the most closely watched in the country. That’s partly because the U.S. House of Representatives remains tightly divided with Democrats holding a narrow 8-member majority. There are three vacancies, including Florida’s 20th Congressional District, a Democratic stronghold with no representation until early next year because of the death of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.”
• NPR News: Florida Man Spearheads A Massive Rescue Effort Out Of Afghanistan. “In his regular life, he’s a private equity investor from Naples, Fla. But after a phone call from a work contact, he found himself spearheading a massive rescue effort out of Afghanistan.”
• Florida Storms: There Are No Tropical Threats To Florida Through The Holiday Weekend. “…forecasters are watching two other areas of interest for possible development. However, none of them are expected to become a threat to Florida through the holiday weekend.”
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 email@example.com.