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Today’s Florida stories
• WUFT News: Gainesville’s seller’s market is pricing out homebuyers. “For two years now, many local homebuyers have slowly been priced out of the housing market. Gainesville, and the nation as a whole, is currently in a seller’s market. That’s when the demand for houses exceeds the number of houses being sold. Homes sell faster because buyers want to avoid competing with each other by getting into a bidding match. That scenario is advantageous for sellers because they can set higher than usual asking prices.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Florida’s COVID cases jump to highest level in 2 months, but hospitalizations remain low. “Florida has logged an average of 29,715 new infections each week since April 22, data released Friday by the state Health Department shows, the biggest jump since Feb. 25. Hospitals across Florida tended to an average of 981 COVID-positive patients per day during the week ending Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
• WMFE: Florida hospitals are stuck in the middle of an ongoing battle over immigration. “The DeSantis administration is asking Florida hospitals to determine how much money they spend on health care for undocumented patients.”
• Florida Politics: Lauren Book’s multiyear effort pays off: Baby diapers will be tax-free as of July 1. “Parents soon won’t have to pay sales tax to keep their babies fresh and clean, as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stroke of a pen Friday delivered tax relief on baby diapers and a host of other items. The sweeping tax relief package DeSantis signed Friday will save Floridians an estimated $1.1 billion in taxes.”
• News Service of Florida: A Leon county judge will hear a request to block a legislative effort to eliminate Al Lawson’s seat. “The battle — at least the first round of it — will play out Wednesday, when Circuit Judge Layne Smith holds a hearing on the motion for a temporary injunction.”
• Associated Press: An appeals court reinstates portions of Florida’s new election law. “A federal appeals court granted Florida’s request to reinstate portions of the state’s election law on Friday while it appeals a lower court’s decision that the law was aimed at suppressing Black voters. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said that Judge Mark Walker’s March ruling that the law intentionally targeted Black voters was flawed. The three-judge panel said there wasn’t evidence that the law was passed with the intent to discriminate, and issued the stay as an appeal continues.”
• New York Times ($): Florida Releases Reviews That Led to Rejection of Math Textbooks. “To explain its puzzling rejection of dozens of textbooks, the state released 6,000 pages of comments, revealing an often confusing and divisive process.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida’s child support ‘carousel’ exhausts parents, costs kids. “The Department of Revenue struggled to get child support initiated for families, performing worse than 44 other states, the latest federal data from the Office of Child Support Enforcement show. It failed to compel 38 percent of parents to pay on time, below that of 35 other states. And payments for children were held up due to errors, missing information and legal snags more in Florida than anywhere else in the country.”
• Washington Post ($): As community veers right, political division tears apart Sarasota, Fla. “Residents here say this level of rancor in local government is no longer uncommon. From county commission meetings to neighborhood association gatherings, Sarasota County has become an example of just how deeply the nation’s partisan divisions are bleeding into local government, curdling the relationship between residents and their civic leaders.”
• NPR News: A ‘space jellyfish’ soared over Florida, thanks to the SpaceX launch. “Jellyfish are a common sight along the Florida coast — but people who watched the latest rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center were treated to a unique sight. Friday morning’s SpaceX launch generated a visual phenomenon known as a ‘space jellyfish,’ rewarding people who got up early to see the Falcon 9 rocket’s launch with a striking spectacle: an ethereal cloud of illuminated gases, highlighted against the pre-dawn darkness.”
• Spectrum News: Beauty of Silver Springs is clear for all to see in unique kayak tour. “…the best way to experience the springs might be with Get Up and Go Kayaking, and their unique floating windows into the depths of the springs.”
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.