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This week on NewsNight, as Earth Day approaches later this month, the panel looks at some of the most pressing environmental issues facing our state, and the establishment of a Resilient Florida Grant Program to fund local government efforts to tackle sea-level rise. Plus, are COVID-19 cases less likely to be recorded in rural parts of Florida than in urban counties?

NewsNight airs Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. on WUCF. Join the conversation about the stories in your community.

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A check-in on Florida politics and the legislative session

A look at the major news to come out of the Florida legislative session so far.

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We want to hear from you! Send us your story ideas about what you want to see covered in the community. Email NewsNight.

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Underreported COVID-19 Deaths in Florida

COVID-19 deaths are being significantly underreported in rural parts of Central Florida. That’s according to a new study which shows unexplained excess deaths are higher in rural counties than in urban areas. Researchers from Boston University believe many of those fatalities are likely attributable to the coronavirus.

Domestic Violence Uptick During Pandemic

The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice finds domestic violence incidents increased more than 8 percent during the pandemic. And there has been an uptick here in Central Florida.

Michelle Sperzel from the Harbor House of Central Florida talks about the kinds of cases they’re seeing in the pandemic.

Updates on the Florida legislative session

UCF Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett discusses the Florida legislative session so far, upcoming budget negotiations, and the reported investigation into Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.

As Vaccination Numbers Increase, So Do COVID Variant Cases

“We shouldn’t rely on natural infection or natural immunity to protect us much beyond three months."

As COVID-19 variant cases rise exponentially in Florida, AdventHealth reports reinfections. Centra Care’s Dr. Timothy Hendricks discusses variants with WUCF NewsNight’s Steve Mort.

NewsNight en Español | La vacuna en Florida.

Con las nuevas variantes del Coronavirus-19 y el contagio en nuestra comunidad, Nancy Alvarez comenta con Verónica Zaragovia de WLRN y Health News Florida los esfuerzos para expandir el acceso a la vacuna en Florida.

NewsNight en Español | El programa una “Florida Resistente”

El Gobernador DeSantis ha propuesto el programa una “Florida Resistente” Fuerte para enfrentarse al impacto de los cambios climáticos en nuestro estado. Incluyendo inundaciones y elevación del nivel del mar. Esto surge después que el Presidente Biden firmó una serie de ordenes ejecutivas con respecto al cambio climático.

About the Show

NewsNight Wins FABJ Award

NewsNight is a weekly, taped 30-minute segment, featuring WFTV’s Nancy Alvarez as the moderator along with a team of journalists in radio, tv, newspaper, and blogs across Central Florida. The show is a weekly round-table discussion that highlights local journalism around important community topics. It is the story behind the story. The panel will break down the big story or stories of the week and discuss what and how they’ll impact the community.

Your community.
Your concerns.
Your journalists.

NewsNight airs every Friday at 8:30 p.m. on WUCF.

NewsNight Wins Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists

WUCF’s weekly news program NewsNight took home an award during the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, May 9. NewsNight won first place in the transportation and traffic category in the large television market division for its work on transportation reporting in 2019.

About Moderator Nancy Alvarez

Nancy Alvarez is a bilingual news anchor and reporter for Central Florida’s ABC affiliate, WFTV Channel 9, and host of NewsNight on WUCF, Central Florida's PBS station.

Over the last 20 years, she has played a role in covering every major story in the region including hurricanes, political events, and the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in June of 2016.

Nancy began her career as a reporter covering the space program in Brevard County providing live coverage of countless launches and landings. She was on the runway in Florida waiting for the space shuttle Columbia when it broke apart over Texas during re-entry. She was among the first reporters on the air covering the tragedy from the Kennedy Space Center.

Nancy was also on the front line for the infamous 2004 Hurricane Season when three hurricanes hit Florida in less than two months.

More recently, Nancy was one of the first reporters on the ground in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. Over the course of multiple trips, she provided coverage of the impacts of the storm both on the island and in Florida as storm evacuees moved to the mainland. She was also there for the political unrest that led to the resignation of the island’s governor in 2019.

She also works as a public speaker and has used her reporting experience to advocate for issues including domestic violence and the challenges facing special needs kids in schools. Nancy is a first-generation Cuban American and lives in Orlando with her husband and two children.

Follow Nancy on Twitter here.

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