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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: Gainesville City Commission, advocacy groups discuss traffic safety after pedestrian death. “The Gainesville Department of Mobility is expected to offer a traffic safety presentation at the City Commission meeting Thursday.”
• USA Today Network ($): Florida Senate breaks with Gov. Ron DeSantis on congressional redistricting map. “The Senate advanced redrawn congressional and Senate boundaries Wednesday that would help Republicans maintain their dominance in the state, but ignored a proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis that could send even more Florida GOP members to Washington.”
• Miami Herald ($): Florida has a unique potion for executing prisoners. It wants to keep the details secret. “Florida’s prison officials are asking legislators to enact more layers of secrecy around the state’s method of executing Death Row inmates, floating a bill that would make confidential any records that ‘could reasonably lead to the identification of any person or entity participating in an execution.'”
• News Service of Florida: Florida’s controversial abortion bill takes its first step forward with a House panel approval. “Despite fierce objections from Democrats who argued the proposal is unconstitutional, a Florida House panel on Wednesday approved a controversial bill that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The proposal, approved by the House Professions and Public Health Subcommittee in a 12-6 vote Wednesday, closely resembles a Mississippi abortion law that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The court heard arguments in the case last month.”
• WFSU: Florida lawmakers are gearing up to invest more in prisons amid staffing shortages. “Pay raises for correctional officers are part of Republican legislative leaders’ budget for next year. Ahead of the legislative session, they passed a salary increase that kicked in this month. And in November, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $3,000 – $5,000 sign-on bonuses for correctional officers. As part of his budget proposal, he’s requesting funding to increase their salaries to $20 per hour or $41,600 annually.”
• Associated Press: Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick sworn in as newest member of Congress. “Democratic Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick of Florida was sworn in as the newest member of the U,S, House on Tuesday, filling the seat last held by Alcee Hastings, who died in April of pancreatic cancer.”
• WFTV-Orlando: Orange County health director Dr. Raul Pino placed on administrative leave. “Sources tell WFTV (Raul) Pino was placed on paid administrative leave after he sent an email on Jan. 4 to Orange County Department of Health staff about employee COVID-19 vaccination rates. In it, he wrote, ‘I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it…'”
• New York Times ($): An American Airlines flight turns back over the Atlantic because of a passenger mask dispute. “An American Airlines flight to London from Miami turned around about an hour into its journey on Wednesday night because of a passenger who refused to follow coronavirus masking rules, the airline said.”
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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 email@example.com.