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The stories near you
• Fresh Take Florida: US judge blocks ‘unconstitutional’ UF rules limiting professors from testifying against state. “A federal judge on Friday blocked the University of Florida from barring professors from testifying as expert witnesses against the state government, the latest development in a national controversy over efforts to limit the role of three academics in a voting rights lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis. Calling professors ‘priests of our democracy’ who provide guidance in truth and informed citizenship, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee issued a preliminary injunction against the university.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): UF tells students sick with COVID-19 to leave dorms, go home, prompting outrage. “The policy itself is much the same as it was during the fall 2021 term, but now set in the context of the omicron variant, students and their families have been questioning the university’s decision to have COVID-positive students quarantine off campus while also not providing separate housing for the sick or guarantee online class accommodations for those who are infected.”
• WUFT News: A living history: Reenactor fills the gap of Black Seminole legacy in Florida. “The beginnings of Black Seminoles can be seen during the first Spanish settlement in Florida, said Anthony Dixon, owner of Archival and Historical Research Associates. Native Americans convinced African slaves to go into rebellion with them. When Native Americans attacked the settlement, African slaves burned it down from within.”
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Around the state
• NBC 6 South Florida: ‘I Caused Discomfort’: Rosenberg Reveals Details Behind FIU Resignation. “After abruptly resigning from his role as Florida International University President, Mark B. Rosenberg revealed in a statement that he ’caused discomfort for a valued employee.’ In his initial letter of resignation Friday, Dr. Rosenberg cited his and his wife’s health as a reason for his departure.”
• Florida Politics: Economists: Florida gets $4 billion more in tax dollars. “Florida’s massive budget surplus — created in part due to a huge influx of federal coronavirus relief payments and a quickly recovering economy due to the state’s push to keep businesses open during the pandemic — is getting even larger.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Florida COVID-19 deaths rise for second week in a row as omicron wave recedes. “As new coronavirus infections plummet across Florida, the state’s death toll ramped up for the second week in a row, but not as fast as during last year’s summertime surge.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Flooding will get worse in Tampa Bay. Tropical Storm Eta showed how. “Within a generation, the toll could be much worse. Eta, hitting as tides peaked, was a preview of the way sea level rise around Tampa Bay will make even weak storms more destructive.”
• WMFE: Finally, ailing manatees eat lettuce provided after record die-off. “Wildlife agencies provided the lettuce in an unprecedented effort to stave off another record die-off of the iconic sea cows. The agencies began offering the lettuce in December after some 11,000 manatees died last year in Florida. Many of the deaths were related to starvation in the Indian River Lagoon.”
• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Gov. DeSantis dodges COVID-19 booster shot question again, even as Trump says not answering is ‘gutless.’ “‘That’s something that I think people should just make their own decisions on,’ DeSantis said. ‘I’m not going to let that be a weapon for people to be able to use; I think it’s a private matter.'”
• Associated Press: Brian Laundrie wrote that he killed Gabby Petito, the FBI says. “The boyfriend of slain cross-country traveler Gabby Petito admitted killing her in a notebook discovered near his body in a Florida swamp, the FBI announced Friday. It was the first time authorities squarely pinned the blame for Petito’s death on Brian Laundrie, though he was the prime suspect all along.”
• Florida Times-Union ($): Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta suspended for racist gesture in ECHL hockey game. “Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta was suspended indefinitely by the league and released by the club Sunday, accused of making a racist gesture toward the South Carolina Stingrays’ Jordan Subban during Saturday night’s ECHL hockey game at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.”
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.