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The stories near you
• WUFT News: University of Florida receives $750,000 grant to collaborate with historically Black neighborhoods. “Unlike many traditional research projects, the researchers for this three-year effort will be the neighborhood residents themselves. The team will pay residents to talk with their neighbors and create ‘countermaps,’ stories and photos that reflect both the community’s needs and its assets. The grant’s lead investigator, Dionne Champion, hopes the project will provide a new model for how the university can engage with the community.”
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Drama at Marion school board meeting: One audience member arrested, two others removed. “One audience member was arrested Tuesday night at a Marion County School Board meeting and two others were escorted off the property after a bizarre incident involving two women who announced they are suing school board members. The lawsuit demands that the district withdraw ‘illegal’ COVID-19 mandates. It also seeks an order that all schools, including charter schools, stop teaching children about critical race theory, the LGBTQ+ community and some other issues.”
• WUFT News: Citrus County residents are concerned over proposed toll roads. “The Florida Department of Transportation proposed building several toll roads in Citrus County that would run through the south corridor road and connect cities such as Inverness to Wildwood. Citizens raised concern that these roads could force residents from their homes, lead to environmental issues and potentially slice revenue from local businesses.”
• WTSP-Tampa: How UF’s first Black football player changed the game in Tampa. “Leonard George made history and broke racial barriers when he became the first Black football player signed by the University of Florida. In the 1960s, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, George also broke barriers … in Tampa. He was the first Black player on Jesuit High School of Tampa’s football team. He led the team to its first state championship.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Citrus Memorial Hospital to change name in March. “Citrus Memorial Hospital is changing its name to HCA Florida Citrus Hospital.”
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Around the state
• Politico: Florida Senate approves DeSantis’ controversial pick for surgeon general. “The Senate voted 24-15 in favor of Ladapo after about 40 minutes of debate, mostly from Democrats who criticized the Harvard-trained medical doctor for not fully supporting Covid-19 vaccines. State Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-Miami) said Ladapo’s reluctance to offer definitive answers about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines or wearing face masks left him convinced the nominee posed a threat to the state’s 21 million residents.”
• WFSU: A man suspected of shooting a Taylor County deputy has been shot dead. “Gregory Miedema, the suspect in the shooting of a Taylor County Sheriff’s deputy, is dead. Law enforcement confirmed his death at a news conference Wednesday. Miedema was shot and killed by a Dixie County homeowner while trying to break into the person’s house as law enforcement was searching for him.”
• News Service of Florida: St. Augustine senator revamps controversial elections bill. “The amendment would keep one of the highest-profile parts of the bill — creating a state Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election irregularities. Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed for creation of the office.”
• NPR News: Florida has become the GOP’s favorite destination, and not just for its beaches. “Florida is a big draw for snow birds from around the country looking for warm weather in the depths of winter. But Republicans are flocking to the state to pick up connections and campaign cash year-round.”
• Florida Politics: Bob Saget autopsy photos case echoes Dale Earnhardt’s. “When the family of the late comedian Bob Saget sued Orange County officials last week to prevent public release of autopsy and death scene photos, the action echoed a similar high-profile case and lawmaking from 21 years ago. After NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in the 2001 Daytona 500, Florida’s famously-broad open records laws were tested — and changed — in a prolonged, high-profile, bitter battle involving various news outlets, Earnhardt’s family, Gov. Jeb Bush and Senate President Jim King.”
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.