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The stories near you
• Mainstreet Daily News: Judge won’t dismiss faculty case against UF. “A federal judge on Monday denied UF’s request to dismiss a First Amendment case involving six faculty members. Three political science professors originally filed the lawsuit, which two law professors and a professor of pediatrics later joined. It challenges the university’s conflict of interest of policy as a violation of the First Amendment because it allowed UF to deny employees’ requests to speak in cases involving the state of Florida.”
• News Service of Florida: Surgeon general points to need for ‘high-value’ testing. “Comments by Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis taking aim at mass testing came after President Joe Biden’s administration last month announced a plan to distribute 500 million at-home coronavirus tests to Americans.”
• Ocala Gazette: Marion COVID cases up over 400%, FDA expands boosters to those as young as 12. “Along with the soaring overall number of cases, the county’s positivity rate and cases per 100,000 also rose drastically. The positivity rate climbed from 5.0% to 17.4%, and as with the total number of cases, the cases per 100,000 increased more than four-fold as well, from 97.5 to 414.3.”
• WUFT News: Meet Joyce Nieves, the Ocala businesswoman behind 12 Rounds Boxing Inc. “Two ‘woman owned business’ stickers are on the front doors. The prominent placement is purposeful, as many people overlook the owner upon entry. 12 Rounds is the only woman-owned boxing gym in the city. People who train there say Nieves offers local young people something to look forward to regardless of their history or finances.”
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Around the state
• WMFE: DeSantis: Florida will get four new monoclonal antibody sites, hints at testing restrictions. “Florida’s federal allocation of monoclonal antibodies dropped to 3,710 doses in mid-December, but increased to nearly 14,000 doses by the end of the month.”
• WUSF: St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch cancels inauguration ceremony after positive COVID test. “St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and will quarantine at home for the next five days. Though Welch said his symptoms are not serious, the diagnosis means he will have to cancel his inauguration ceremony scheduled for Thursday at City Hall.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations foreshadow spread as Central Florida public schools reopen. “Nemours, one of three children’s hospitals in the Orlando area, has 12 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized as of Monday, a number not seen since the summer’s delta surge, said Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases Dr. Kenneth Alexander. He worries the caseload will increase as the new semester unfolds and the highly infectious omicron variant continues to dominate Central Florida.”
• Spectrum News: B-CU requiring negative COVID-19 test, masks for start of spring semester. “Bethune-Cookman University is requiring students moving into dormitories or preparing to return to classrooms for the spring semester to take a COVID-19 test, the Student Health Service said in a letter to students.”
• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis: College students forced to learn online deserve tuition refunds. “DeSantis — who characterized such measures as a flinch — vowed to keep school doors open in Florida.”
• News Service of Florida: Miami-Dade judge clears the way for lawsuit over Florida International University fees. “A Miami-Dade County circuit judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Florida International University that seeks refunds of fees collected from students when the school’s campus was shut down in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
• Naples Daily News ($): Naples Zoo does not plan to release details of Malayan tiger’s shooting death. “The tiger was shot by a Collier County sheriff’s deputy Dec. 29 so it would let go of its grip on the arm of River Rosenquist.”
• Northwest Florida Daily News ($): Snow reported in Florida’s Panhandle. “You just have to love Florida’s weather extremes. Not to be outdone by the winter storm causing havoc across the South and mid-Atlantic, the Sunshine State decided to go from 75 degrees Sunday afternoon to snow about 12 hours later.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.