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COVID Weekly Update
The Florida Department of Health reported 12,880 additional COVID cases to the state's totals for the seven days ending Thursday, according to its latest weekly report.

According to the report, a total of 59,670 Floridians have died from COVID-19 related complications, an increase of 867 for the week. The state recorded that 56,340 more COVID-19 vaccinations were administered this past week.

UWF Exhibit Shows Beauty and Fragility of the Antarctic
“Antarctica: Seasons of Water and Ice” is an exhibit of photographs by University of West Florida Oceanographer, Dr. Wade Jeffrey. Dr. Jeffrey has visited the continent several times since 1981 for research trips. Read more about the exhibit here.

Okaloosa Environmental Council Active Again After 10 years
Okaloosa County environmental groups and citizen activists have formed a new community-led Environmental Council after the previous council disbanded in 2017. The council, which is open to the public, aims to provide local organizations and citizens with a place to organize, coordinate, and carry out environmental efforts and initiatives. Read more here.

The University of Florida bars professors from testifying in a voting rights case
Three University of Florida professors were denied permission from the school to testify in a major voting rights case against the state. Documents filed late last week reveal that the University of Florida denied the professors permission to testify, saying it was a "conflict of interest" — marking a departure from normal procedure and bringing up a concerning limitation of free speech. Read more here.

Astronaut launches are returning to the U.S. For each, this family sends NASA roses
NASA and private rocket company SpaceX are set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It's the fifth human launch into orbit from the U.S. since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. The return of launches means a return of another tradition, a bouquet of roses from Mark Shelton and his family. Read more here.