The Point, Jan. 19, 2022: How the Florida governor’s proposed congressional map could change redistricting

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Today’s top Florida stories

• Politico: DeSantis shakes up Florida redistricting as veto concerns grow. “A veto from DeSantis would likely play well with the GOP, as outside Republican groups have already criticized the Senate’s map as not aggressive enough. Florida’s Legislature is Republican-dominated, so many in conservative circles hoped the party would use the redistricting process to give the GOP a larger advantage in the state’s congressional delegation, especially as Democrats face a bleak landscape and big losses in the 2022 midterms.”

• USA Today Network ($): Bill to create alternative to security deposit for Florida renters clears first hurdle. “A Republican lawmaker says his bill to allow landlords to charge tenants a nonrefundable fee in lieu of an up-front security deposit would help ease the state’s current affordable housing crunch.”

• WFSU: A House committee is set to hear a bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks. “A new bill in the Florida legislature would ban most abortions after 15 weeks. The measure is scheduled for its first committee hearing Wednesday. Already advocates and lawmakers are lining up to fight for their side of the issue.”

• Spectrum News: Experts say Florida is over the hump in omicron infections. “ICU visits seemed to be leveling off as well, according to the HHS dashboard. When it comes to hospitalizations and other outcomes, (USF Distinguished Health Professor Dr. Tom) Unnash warns we still have some challenging days ahead.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Paid parking in downtown Gainesville kicks off to dismay of some business owners. “Some workers are complaining they now need to walk farther to find free parking, but city officials say that opens parking options for people coming downtown to eat and shop.”

• The Alligator: UF professors create online alternatives as COVID-19 empties classrooms. “Instead of moving his in-person classes online following UF’s COVID-19 spike, Mark Hostetler brought his 15 students outside in a breezeway for their biodiversity conservation class. ‘I didn’t feel safe for myself or the students to be in an indoor classroom,’ said Hostetler, a wildlife, ecology and conservation professor.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): UF will take over Jupiter Scripps campus, 70 acres nearby. Check out the price tag. “The University of Florida has purchased The Scripps Research Institute’s three buildings in Jupiter and 70 empty acres once reserved for Scripps nearby in Palm Beach Gardens. Also included in the sale are the research institute’s staff, equipment, $102 million in cash and investments, use of the Scripps name and – potentially the most valuable – all royalties from future discoveries or research projects at the campus. The selling price? $100.”

• WFSU: Jefferson gets its schools back following bid shenanigans and efforts to keep it with a charter operator. “The Department of Education will allow the Jefferson County School District to regain oversight of its school system after five years of charter school control. The abrupt new development comes on the heels of a failed effort to find another charter school operator for the district.”

• FLKeysNews: How the old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys changed from danger to showpiece. “With the rise of the new and safer Seven Mile Bridge, the old bridge kept its place in history, but transformed into a recreational spot. A few years ago, it closed for repairs. In January, 2022, it reopened for walkers, skaters, bicycle riders, with enhanced safety features.”

• WLRN: Key West weather station contributes to study — on snowstorms. “The National Weather Service station in Key West releases a weather balloon twice a day. They capture information about what’s going on in the atmosphere around the southernmost point in the continental United States.”


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From NPR News

• Health: The Postal Service is now taking orders for free COVID-19 test kits

• Health: Fauci says COVID-19 won’t go away like smallpox, but will more likely become endemic

• Science: NASA scientists estimate Tonga blast at 10 megatons

• Business: Workers are calling out sick in droves, leaving employers scrambling

• Business: Inflation fears are sparking a big drop in markets. Here are 3 things to know

• Business: With airlines worried about 5G, Verizon and AT&T agree to delay rollout near airports

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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