Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
› 25 days that shook New College: How Ron DeSantis swiftly transformed the Sarasota school
The 25 days between Jan. 6 and Jan. 31 are among the most momentous in New College’s 63-year history. The college was founded in 1960, but these weeks in January were akin to a new founding. In less than four weeks, the college morphed from a sleepy, though well-regarded, backwater in Florida’s public university system to a national conservative showcase, a high-profile experiment and a key political talking point for a governor who has presidential ambitions.
› Spiffy new water plant to cost Fort Lauderdale $700M. Critics say old one’s not dead, can be rebuilt
Mounting pressure is on to replace Fiveash, the very same 1950s-era water plant the mayor once described as being held together by spit and chewing gum. Fort Lauderdale officials are on the verge of making a deal with a private company to build a new water plant that will cost $666 million and have the capacity to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The new plant would also get rid of the yellow tinge in the drinking water produced by Fiveash, Fort Lauderdale’s main water treatment plant.
› Former Central Florida science teacher Joe Acabá to lead NASA’s Astronaut Office
For now, the moon is off the table for NASA astronaut and former Central Florida science teacher Joe Acabá. Instead, he will be at the head of the table as chief of the Astronaut Office. The first Hispanic to hold the prestigious post, Acabá will decide which astronauts fly where, including the first woman to land on the moon. Acabá, 55, taught science and math at Melbourne High School in Brevard County as well as Dunnellon Middle School in Marion County before being chosen in 2004 as an astronaut candidate.
› After Tyre Nichols, Tampa group pushes for police reform
Since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee has been a mainstay of the Tampa social justice movement. They’ve marched for abortion rights. They’ve shown up at Tampa City Council meetings with demands for the mayor and the police department. But their calls for heightened local scrutiny of policing have gotten louder in recent weeks in the wake of Tyre Nichols’ death at the hands of Memphis police officers.
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