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The stories near you
• WUFT News: Campus tragedy: New details in UF student’s hit-and-run death as driver to be sentenced to prison this week. “… months later, police arrested the mysterious driver, who already has pleaded no contest to killing (Maggie) Paxton and fleeing the scene that night – a tragedy that changed how Gainesville and the state’s flagship university serve pedestrians, with new speed humps and lowered speed limits around campus. Joshua Figueroa, 32, of Gainesville is expected to be sentenced to prison Wednesday on a felony charge of leaving an accident scene involving a death.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: DeSantis opens funds to ACPS, 11 other schools. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday moved to give a reprieve to 12 school districts that kept mask mandates during the 2021-2022 school year—including Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS).”
• Palm Beach Post ($): COVID comeback: Much of Florida at high risk of straining hospitals; indoor masks urged. “The CDC’s ‘COVID-19 Community Levels’ system says the disease has a high risk of straining hospitals in much of Florida, including its east coast south of St. Johns County; Alachua County; counties along Interstate 4; and the parts of Interstate 75 stretching from Tampa Bay through Sarasota County.”
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Around the state
• Florida Storms: PTC One dropped nearly a foot of rain over South Florida, widespread flooding continues. “Four days into the Atlantic Hurricane Season, parts of the Sunshine State have already had to deal with flooding rains from a ‘no-name’ tropical system. Potential Tropical Cyclone One never mustered the organization to become Tropical Storm Alex before coming ashore near Naples Saturday morning. What it lacked to help it become a named system, it more than made up for in torrential rainfall across South Florida.”
• Inside Climate News: Forecasters tap high-tech tools as the US warns of another unusually active hurricane season. “Hurricane experts have gotten very good at forecasting the path or track that hurricanes, also known as tropical cyclones, take as they spin across the ocean, making it easier for emergency managers and the public to make smart, life-or-death decisions on when to evacuate and where to go as a hurricane approaches. At the same time, hurricane experts say forecasting storm intensity remains a big challenge. That’s especially true in an era of climate change that scientists say is likely producing more powerful and deadly storms.”
• Politico: Murphy calls Florida gun law ‘the right one’ as senators negotiate federal legislation. “The senators at the helm of negotiating gun legislation are looking to the Florida law passed in 2018 after the school shooting in Parkland as a potential blueprint for the nation, Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday.”
• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): NOAA seeks input on Gulf of Mexico aquaculture sites, including 3 off Florida. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has identified a total of 10 ‘aquaculture opportunity areas’ off of California in the Pacific Ocean and nine areas in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Texas, Louisiana and Florida.”
• Associated Press: Fences dramatically cut suicide at Sunshine Skyway Bridge. “For decades, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been one of Tampa Bay’s most iconic landmarks. But the 190 foot-high peak has also drawn hundreds of people wanting to take their own life. Most who have jumped from the top of span have died. Each time, witnesses, first responders and loved ones are left traumatized.”
• USA Today Network ($): Facing $27.5 million fine from DeSantis, Special Olympics drops vaccine requirement. “DeSantis touted the decision Friday, joined by state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, whose Health Department notified the organization about the possible fine a day earlier. The amount is based on penalties assessed for the 5,500 athletes expected to compete June 5-12 at the Special Olympics USA Olympic Games.”
• WFTS-Tampa Bay: After historic year of book challengers, FL’s prolific book challengers explain why they’re doing it. “Most of the challenges accused the books in question of being too sexually explicit for students. In one, the complainant stated a book addressing LGBTQ issues found in a fifth grade homeroom classroom promoted, ‘religious level social justice propaganda.'”
From NPR News
• Politics: Jan. 6 hearings hit primetime TV this week
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.