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The stories near you
• WUFT News: Gainesville City Commission pledges COVID-19 relief dollars. “The Gainesville City Commission met Monday to decide how to spend what remains of $32 million in federal relief money, reviewing scores of proposals but approving just four projects costing a combined $4 million.”
• WUFT News: Alachua County Commission opposes Clemons’ bid to reorganize, expand it. “The Alachua County Commission on Monday unanimously and strenuously opposed a bill set to be proposed by State Rep. Chuck Clemons to reorganize and expand the governing body. Clemons’ bill proposes reshaping the county commission so each of its five commissioners are from and represent a single district, rather than being all at large as the composition is now. His bill also seeks to add two commissioners, both of whom would represent the county as a whole.”
• WUFT News: Students gather in Porters Quarters to paint a senior resident’s home. “When Nasseeka Denis told the students of Aces in Motion, a sports-based youth development program , about a volunteering opportunity to paint houses, she expected about six to show up. She was amazed when 23 high school students boarded the vans to the Porters Neighborhood to spend two days pressure washing and then painting the home of a senior resident.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Academic freedom: UF Faculty Senate study finds broad fear of reprisal for criticism. “The 274-page report, released Monday, follows the stark warning last week from the chairman of the UF Board of Trustees that recent criticism of the UF administration is ‘disrespectful.’ Mori Husseini, the board chairman, said on Friday, ‘This will not stand. It must stop. And it will stop.'”
• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Prison town economies suffer due to Florida corrections crisis. “Cross City, Dixie County’s largest city, now finds itself at a crossroads. The water tower and prison lookout posts are by far the tallest structures for miles around. In good economic times, inmates outnumber residents. But these are not good times, according to residents who worry about their small town’s future.”
• Atrium Magazine: Beyond Bageland. “A lot has changed about Bageland over the years, but a lot has stayed the same. The restaurant has had four different locations around Gainesville. During a dizzying stretch in the ‘90s, all four were open at once. The only one that remains is in a shopping plaza in Northwest Gainesville.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville locals combine love of dogs and bartending to open the city’s first ‘pup pub.’ “The pup pub opened its gates Friday on Main Street as the first ever off-leash dog park and bar space in the city. The park offers 4,500 square feet of fenced area for dogs to roam within designated zones for big and small dogs that are separated by a full bar.”
• WUFT News Report for America Corps Member Katie Hyson would like to hear your good news from this year – the bright spots, the personal joys, the wins big or little. If you’d like to share, please record and send an audio message of one minute or less to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and your good news. Your message may be broadcast as part of a radio story.
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Around the state
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Demand for booster shots rockets in Central Florida, breaks statewide record after omicron enters the U.S. “Statewide, the number of people who got boosters from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2 was almost 40,000 more than the week prior, raising the total past 300,000 for the first time since the week Sept. 3, when the Florida Department of Health began publically reporting this number.”
• WUSF: Florida gas returning to $3 a gallon? It could happen as prices continue to fall. “According to a release from AAA, the price of crude oil has continued to fall after Thanksgiving over concerns about how the omicron variant would affect fuel demand. It has dropped 21% below the yearly high nearly four weeks ago, according to AAA.”
• Bradenton Herald ($): Manatee County can’t make its own abortion ban, Florida AG says. Here’s why. “The Office of the Florida Attorney General responded to the county’s September inquiry into whether approving a ban would be possible. Commissioner James Satcher first proposed the idea in June, citing the recent approval of abortion restrictions in Texas. There are no active abortion clinics in Manatee County, but Satcher said he still wanted the measure in place to ensure new locations do not open in the future.”
• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Florida native among NASA’s newest astronaut recruits. “Luke Delaney, 42, was one of more than 12,000 applicants who vied for the opportunity to be part of NASA’s first astronaut class in four years. A veteran of the Marine Corps, Delaney grew up in Debary, Florida.”
• USA Today Network ($): Flags in Florida to half-staff in honor of late U.S. Sen. Bob Dole. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said flags will fly at half-staff across the state to honor the late U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas. Dole, who died Sunday, was 98.”
From NPR News
• National: Hanukkah is a busy week for Wyoming’s only rabbi
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.