Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida goes along with hold in J&J COVID-19 vaccinations
“My hope would be that this is something that is a little bit of a speed bump and that you will be able to get back [to the vaccine],” Governor Ron DeSantis said this morning. “But we’re going to wait and see what ends up happening.” DeSantis said there have not been any significant side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Florida. As of Monday, more than 473,500 people had received this vaccine, state health department numbers show. More from Bay News 9.
UF researcher sends cells to space to understand muscle loss
Adults lose muscle mass and strength as they age. Astronauts in microgravity lose it even faster. University of Florida research led by Siobhan Malany, Ph.D., sends human cells into space to understand muscle loss, which could lead to treatments here on Earth. “Our experiment should provide some great insight into muscle cell biology by using the unique stress environment of microgravity,” Malany said. Microgravity speeds up changes to muscle mass, making it possible to study what’s happening to the cells More from UF News.
Bill would force CDC to cancel cruise industry’s no-sail order
U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida, along with Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, on Tuesday introduced the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, which would revoke the CDC’s current no-sail order on cruises and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations. Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar, R-Florida, is leading this legislation in the House of Representatives. More from WWSB.
Marion school board eyes Sears building as combined MTI, MTC campus
The former 129,000-square-foot Sears building at Paddock Mall is now being considered by the Marion County School Board as a new home for a joint vocational campus that would house both Marion Technical Institute and Marion Technical College. Under the proposal, the current MTC campus off State Road 200, just a block east of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, would become the district’s new administrative headquarters, consolidating dozens of offices spread across the city of Ocala. More from the Ocala StarBanner.
Gov. DeSantis: State to shut down Piney Point
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the Piney Point facility on Tuesday morning and announced that he has directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop a full plan to permanently close and rehabilitate the Piney Point. "We want this to be the last chapter of the Piney Point story," DeSantis said. "This will ensure the state is moving forward with a thoughtful, scientific plan toward closure to avoid another chapter in this long history. More from the Herald-Tribune.
Florida won't hold standardized test scores against students this year, but what about teachers?
Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order to help with the "expanding [of] statewide testing windows." Emergency Order 2021-EO-02 will leave it to local school districts and schools to make "the important decisions on graduation, promotion school grades and improvement ratings." According to the seven-page order, a student's test scores won't be held against them in ways seen in years past.
» More from WSTP.
USF students gather thousands of signatures against preserve development
The University of South Florida is asking developers to submit proposals for a project on 769 acres it owns near the Tampa campus. The area includes a golf course and nature preserve. Environmental students started a petition about a week ago to protect the land, and have already garnered more than 7,600 signatures as of Monday night. The property off Fletcher Avenue, just north of the USF Tampa campus, is one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels along Interstate 75.
» Read more from WUSF.
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