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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: Alachua County Fire Rescue Seeks Burnout Relief Amid Increased Workload. “While ACFR was working below capacity before the COVID-19 pandemic, a 21% increase in call load between October 2020 and July 2021 added mental and physical strife to the understaffed crews, (Fire Chief Harold) Theus said. In the first eight months of 2021, firefighters had 395 more instances of mandatory overtime than in all of 2015, according to an Aug. 19 letter written by Fire Rescue Professionals of Alachua County member James Clifford. Rescue lieutenants are assigned overtime in 12-hour increments added to their 24-hour shift.”
• WUFT News: Q&A: Trial Court Administrator Paul Silverman on Guiding the 8th Judicial Circuit Through Pandemic. “Trial Court Administrator Paul Silverman manages the trial court’s day-to-day operations for the 8th Judicial Circuit. He’s steered courts across the circuit’s six counties through the pandemic and anticipates working through the increased pending jury trials by June. The 8th Judicial Circuit includes Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties.”
• News Service of Florida: Should School Board Races In Florida Be Partisan? Proposed Legislation Would Let Voters Decide. “Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, on Thursday filed a measure that seeks to turn school board elections into partisan contests. … The annual 60-day legislative session begins on Jan. 11, and legislative committee weeks start Monday.”
• NPR News: Inspiration4 Crew Returns To Earth, Splashing Down In The Atlantic Off Florida Coast. “Elon Musk’s SpaceX set another aerospace first by launching Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to orbit, into space Wednesday. And after circling the planet some 45 times over three days, the crew has returned to Earth.”
• Florida Storms: Heavy Rain Shifts Southeast, Tropics Stay Active This Week. “Three to five inches of rain has been observed or radar estimated across inland areas of north and central Florida since Friday … The tropical moisture responsible for the weekend washout is forecast to shift east and south in the coming days, enhancing the daily shower and thunderstorm activity across central and south Florida by midweek.”
• NPR News: A Body Found In Wyoming Is Believed To Be Missing Woman Gabby Petito. “Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito, who disappeared while on a cross-country trek with a boyfriend. Brian Laundrie, her boyfriend, has been identified by authorities as a person of interest and is now being sought within a Florida nature preserve.”
• Florida Politics: Homeowners looking at $168 million tab to spot failed insurance companies. “Insurance regulators could soon stake $168 million in assessments on Floridians’ property and casualty insurance bills to help pay for the loss of two insurance companies that collapsed this year.”
• WJCT: Jacksonville’s Overdose Death Rate Remains On Par With Last Year’s Pandemic Spike. “At least 270 people have died from overdoses so far this year in Jacksonville; 271 people had died from an overdose at the same point last year.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Newsom used DeSantis to win California recall. Does it mean anything in Florida? “‘Don’t DeSantis my California’ became a rallying cry for Democrats, but it’s unclear what the results mean for 2022.”
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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.