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Today’s Florida stories
• Associated Press: Jurors see gruesome video of Florida school shooting. “The video was played over the objection of (Nikolas) Cruz’s attorneys, who argued that any evidentiary value it has is outweighed by the emotions it would raise in the jurors. They argued that witness statements of what happened would be sufficient. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer dismissed the objection, saying a video that accurately reflects Cruz’s crimes does not unfairly prejudice his case.”
• First Coast News: Gov. DeSantis admin. sending out $450 checks per child to 59,000 families. “The letters are part of the new state budget. A press release from First Lady Casey DeSantis lists this budget item as $450 per child payments to 59,000 families. Casey DeSantis says that foster families, adoptive families and single mothers are eligible for the checks.”
• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida teachers say they’re being silenced amid the rise of Moms for Liberty. “School board meetings around Florida have turned into contentious battles in the past few years. It started with debates over mask mandates and has turned to how public schools should handle issues of race and LGTBQ inclusion in classrooms. Now some people are blaming the rise of groups like Moms for Liberty for the increasing harassment of local school officials.”
• WUSF-Tampa: Florida activists say young people need to know the risks they are taking when they organize. “Some Florida activists are alarmed at what they say is an increase in counter-protesting and police presence at their events. And young people are especially at risk. Gen Z activists harness social media and physically organize on political issues, but were less likely to vote in the 2020 election. While Gen Z protesters can be quick to put themselves in harm’s way, organizers say they are trying to buck the myth that young activists are invincible.”
• News Service of Florida: FSU, UF weigh in on Potbelly’s court case. “Florida State University and the University of Florida plan to file arguments at the state Supreme Court in support of a woman who suffered catastrophic injuries when she was hit by a pickup truck in an incident that involved underage drinking.”
• WESH-Orlando: Florida emu goes viral for phone-hating ways. “Emmanuel the emu is pecking his way to fame with his disdain for cell phones. Whenever Taylor Blake tries to make a video at Knuckle Bump Farms in South Florida, someone takes issue with the recording device. ‘Emmanuel don’t do it. Emanuel! Don’t. do. it,’ Blake is heard scolding him in the now-viral videos.”
• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Crystal River Mall to close even sooner. “Most of the shopkeepers have already moved out. The mall was practically deserted as of Tuesday morning, with only a handful of stores remaining open. Fortunately, most of the tenants have found leases elsewhere in the community and will land on their feet. Others decided to either close or move out of the county.”
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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.