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The Wrap: A student's efforts to keep Black trailblazers at the forefront

"The Wrap" brings you Central Florida headlines, deep reporting dives, and insightful conversations from 90.7 WMFE news. From the Governor calling for reform to the state's book banning process to a concerning rise in syphilis cases in the region, here's what happened this week.

One student's efforts to keep Black trailblazers, past and present, at the forefront

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Carrington Meyer, 14 of Windermere, is a student at Windermere Preparatory School. At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, she started the school's first Black Student Union. She did so after setting up a Black History Month project for WPS's Instagram page last year.
Carrington Meyer is a 14-year sophomore at Windermere Preparatory School. She's also the president of the school's first Black Student Union, which she started after noticing a need.

It’s Black History Month, and this year WMFE put out a call asking all of you to nominate people you believe we should highlight.

This week, WMFE's Joe Mario Pederson brings us a profile of Central Florida high schooler Carrington Meyer about her efforts to honor Black History in Central Florida.

Governor wants reform of state policy on challenging books in schools

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DeSantis said he’s calling on the Florida legislature and Florida Department of Education to “reform” the state’s book ban policies.
DeSantis is calling on the Florida Department of Education and state legislature to rework certain policies that make it easy to challenge or ban books in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is walking back Florida’s policies that make it easier to challenge or ban a book in the state.

As WMFE’s education reporter Danielle Prieur explains, the announcement comes days after a Miami school required students to get a signed permission slip to read books for Black History Month.

Health care officials grow concerned over rising syphilis cases

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National syphilis cases increased by 80% between 2018 and 2022. Likewise, Florida saw a 62% increase in cases during the same time. Orange County was among the areas with the highest cases. In 2021, it made up nearly 10% of all state cases.
Central Florida saw huge increases in syphilis cases between 2018 and 2022. Experts aren't sure why. Meanwhile, doctors think cases are likely to continue increasing.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published research that showed syphilis cases had spiked from 2018 to 2022. Cases of babies born with syphilis were a particularly concerning spike.

WMFE's health reporter Joe Mario Pederson finds among the counties with the largest case rates were Brevard and Orange in Central Florida. In 2021, Orange County made up about 10% of nearly all cases in the state that year. Black men, in particular, showed the largest increase in cases in the county

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."
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