The Point, Jan. 31, 2019: State Officials Share Their Top Priorities For The 2019 Legislative Session


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Today’s top stories

• The Florida Commission on Ethics dropped a complaint against 8th Circuit Judge Gloria Walker, who serves Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties. The complaint alleges that Walker put incorrect information in financial disclosure forms, but the Ethics Commission said it doesn’t have jurisdiction in the matter. (Gainesville Sun)

• Marion County Sheriff’s deputies revived an unconscious woman with Narcan, a nasal spay used to treat opioid overdoses. With 81 confirmed drug-related deaths in Marion County last year, all deputies, bailiffs and school resource officers are now equipped with Narcan. (Ocala Star-Banner)

• The first story to come from Fresh Take Florida covered the Associated Press’ annual Legislative Day yesterday in Tallahassee. Top state officials — including Gov. Ron DeSantis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Senate President Bill Galvano — gathered to discuss their priorities for the 2019 legislative session. (WUFT News)

• If you see an unusual number of cheerleaders around Gainesville today and tomorrow, this would be why. More than 3,500 are competing on the University of Florida campus for the Florida High School Competitive Cheerleading State Championships — the most ever, according to event organizers. (WUFT News)

• Researchers from the University of Florida found Venezuela’s public health system has collapsed amid the country’s unrest. Cases of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are at a record high and are beginning to affect neighboring countries. (UF News)

• Three more members of the South Florida Water Management District board have resigned, giving DeSantis full control of the panel. (Florida Politics)

• An investigation by USA TODAY and Naples Daily News found one clinic that helped transform Florida into a destination for plastic surgery has led to the deaths of eight women in the past six years. Read the full report and the stories of the women who died.

• The FBI is currently investigating a tunnel that was found in Pembroke Pines. The tunnel, which was 2 to 4 feet in diameter and 50 yards long, led from a wooded area to a local bank. (WPLG – Miami)

• Parents of 18 victims of the Parkland massacre are requesting to be part of a case about government liability for alleged negligence if the Florida Supreme Court decides to pick it up. They have requested to file a friend-of-the-court brief in order to support the plaintiffs in the case. (Florida Politics)

• Scott Israel, the former Broward County Sheriff, was removed from his position two weeks ago for his handling of the Parkland massacre. He is now requesting a hearing to be reinstated at his job. (WLRN)

• Atlantic Beach City Commission unanimously passed a resolution to address sea level rise. While mostly symbolic, the resolution is the first step in dealing with the issue. (WJCT)

• In animal news, SeaWorld employees rescued a 725-pound manatee that was suffering from hypothermia. Also, a mako shark named Pico is spending time in the Florida’s waters along with two great white sharks. (Florida Today, Naples Daily News)

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News from NPR

• Politics: Bipartisan Group To Meet To Discuss Border Security Funding

• Politics: Several Democrats Eyeing A Presidential Run Embrace ‘Medicare-For-All’

• Business: Oil Prices Edge Upward After U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Venezuela

• Business: How The Trump Administration’s Tariffs On China Have Affected American Companies

• National: Trump Administration Gets An Earful On New Campus Sexual Assault Rules

• World: Juan Guaidó Calls For Protests In Opposition To Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro

• World: Trump Faults Spy Bosses As Break Widens Between What They Advise And What He Does

• Health: Study Found Vaping Beat Traditional Smoking-Cessation Options

• Science: With Better Climate Data, A Push To Use It To Prepare For Climate Impacts

About Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson is a reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached at or 352-392-6397.

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