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The stories near you
• WUFT News: Lords, ladies, knights and royalty return in person at Gainesville’s Hoggetowne Medieval Faire after two years. “The medieval fair opened its castle gates Jan. 15 in a new location after going virtual in 2021 due to the pandemic. The three-weekend event relocated from the Alachua County Fairgrounds to a temporary location at the former YMCA sports facility at 9409 SW Archer Road.”
• WUFT News: Pandemic-related worker shortages are delaying waste collection in Gainesville. “Trash collection around Gainesville may experience delays through January and potentially through February.”
• WUFT News: Parking changes bring challenges in downtown Gainesville. “If you’ve driven in downtown Gainesville recently, you may have noticed parking changes. Workers and customers have mixed reviews about the new paid parking system.”
• WUFT News: Grace Marketplace provides a home in a chilling time of need. “As the weather gets colder, homeless people need shelter. Andrew Louthan and Jason Cook are two people in need of a place to stay. Louthan is a 58-year-old veteran who has been homeless for three decades. Cook, a Gainesville local, found himself homeless three years ago. Both men found a home at Grace Marketplace.”
• News4Jax: Rehabilitated bald eagle released back into wild in Starke. “The eagle was said to be severely weakened. After a brief stay at UF where it received fluids and was stabilized, the eagle was sent to the Raptor Trauma Clinic at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. It received antibiotics and got its strength back, and it was ready to be returned to the wild after a few weeks.”
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Around the state
• Florida Politics: Freedom from discomfort or a knowledge ban? ‘Stop W.O.K.E. Act’ moves in House. “After nearly two and a half hours of discussion and debate, the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 14-7 party-line vote. Republican Rep. Bryan Ávila is sponsoring the legislation (HB 7). Ávila characterized the bill as an effort to expand civil rights protections from being distorted by ‘movements.'”
• USA Today Network ($): Senate Democrats walk out as Republicans on panel OK Joseph Ladapo as Florida Surgeon General. “After the four Democrats left the room, Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, called for a vote on recommending confirmation. Republicans, who make up six of the 10 members of the committee, all voted in favor of confirmation.”
• WFSU: Legislation is filed to help shrink the number of policies covered by Florida’s insurer of last resort. “In the last two decades, efforts have been made to shrink Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which is backed by Florida taxpayers. However, Citizens is growing rapidly again as lawsuits drive up premiums in the private insurance market.”
• WLRN: A lack of tax incentives has scared film producers away from Florida. What will get them back? “Florida used to have a tax incentive program for the film and TV industry. However, there were so many takers that the money quickly ran out and lawmakers let the program lapse about six years ago. An incentive plan is back in play in Tallahassee during this year’s legislative session in the form of House Bill 217 and Senate Bill 946.”
• New York Times ($): Hope Fading for Dozens of Migrants From Capsized Boat Off Florida. “The search operation began at about 8 a.m. on Tuesday when a commercial mariner reported seeing a 25-foot boat capsized about 40 miles east of Fort Pierce, Fla.”
• WUSF: Charlotte County votes to ban phosphate mining, following neighboring DeSoto County’s lead. “The unanimous decision by Charlotte County commissioners would not only ban mining, but all activities that turn phosphorus into phosphate used in fertilizer. That includes the building of phosphogypsum stacks, which hold waste created by the production of fertilizer.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Sheriff’s office names new bloodhound Miss Peggy after beloved employee who died from COVID-19. “Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford over the weekend asked for the blessing of the family of Margaret ‘Peggy’ MacDonald, 63. She worked as a staff assistant in Panama City for nearly 30 years under five sheriffs. She died in December 2020, less than two years away from retiring.”
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 email@example.com.