The Point, April 26, 2019: High-Profile Departures At UF Follow Investigation Into Improper Spending


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• Two executives within the University of Florida Division of  Student Affairs resigned amid allegations of improper use of funds. The university began investigating after an anonymous complaint in March alleged the student affairs group was improperly using funds. Although the investigation found no misuse of state funds, it did find evidence of improper financial administration within Student Affairs. In March, two UF Student Affairs executives were relieved of their positions, as well. (The Alligator)

• Ishmael Keith Daniels, 31, has been sentenced to 34 years in prison in connection with the 2016 killing of rapper Rashay Garrison, known as “Shay Baby.” According to a police report, Daniels told his passenger that he was offended by a rap video Garrison put on YouTube. This was our story from March previewing the possible trial and looking back on the rapper’s budding career. (WUFT News)

• A church and Alachua County government are at odds over who forced the closure of well-used walking and mountain biking trails off of Newberry Road. They issued dueling press releases yesterday afternoon. (WUFT News)

• Hawthorne Mayor Matt Surrency this week won an unopposed sixth term in that position. Here’s more on how he came to hold and love the job. (WUFT News)

• October will mark 16 years since the Kennedy Homes housing project in East Gainesville burned. By this summer, there could be new houses built there, as the Heartwood project goes up in its place and site construction nears completion. (WUFT News)

• At a biological preserve in Archer, employees are trying to socialize a gopher tortoise to serve as an ambassador for the species and bring more attention to its survival in a state constantly under development. (WUFT News)

• Forest High School senior Cody Moore won a gold medal in the state SkillsUSA competition in early April. Now, he qualifies for the national SkillsUSA Food and Beverage Service competition in Kentucky in June. Chef Ken Adamic, Forest High’s culinary instructor, said the win was even more poignant as Moore has battled anxiety and socialization issues most of his life. (Ocala Star-Banner)

“This is Gainesville… People are into all this.” Witches in Gainesville — yes, really — have found an economic foothold in the city selling all types of goods. (WUFT News)

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Around the state today

• The Florida House approved a bill that could lead to more people with concealed-weapons licenses carrying guns on the grounds of religious institutions. Currently, the law generally allows people with licenses to have guns at religious institutions, but it also bars most people from having guns at schools. (News Service of Florida)

• Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd announced this week that the district will not arm teachers, rather, it will continue to place armed guardians or school resource officers in the district’s 150 schools. This came hours after the Florida Senate passed a bill updating the 2018 school safety act to allow for the arming of teachers in the state. (Lakeland Ledger)

• A former Palm Beach Gardens police officer was sentenced to a 25-year prison term yesterday for the shooting of a motorist in 2015. (Palm Beach Post)

• The forceful arrest of a black teenager in Tamarac brought the NAACP to the area this week to ask that the police involved be arrested. (Sun Sentinel)

• Broward County Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci says Russians attempted to hack into the Broward County elections system leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Two Broward elections officials and the elections office’s main email account were sent phishing attempts. Anyone who opened the email and then opened an attachment found in it would allow the hackers access to the elections’ office’s internal systems. The FBI is planning to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis about the issue. (Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald)

DeSantis favors a House plan to crack down on texting while driving. It features a measure that would only allow motorists to use hands-free wireless devices while on the road. DeSantis says he supports efforts to make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense. By the state making it a primary offense, police could pull over motorists for texting behind the wheel. Currently, motorists can only be cited for texting behind the wheel if they are pulled over by police for other reasons. (NWF Daily News)

Florida lawmakers continue to plead for aid for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. Over 2,000 letters were written by Calhoun and Liberty County constituents complaining about their damaged hospital. The Category 5 hurricane struck the Panhandle in late October of 2018. (Tallahassee Democrat)

• A few state Democrats allegedly violated Florida’s Sunshine Law with a late closed-doors meeting on Wednesday night. (Orlando Sentinel)

There might be funding for a Pulse nightclub shooting memorial in this year’s budget after all. (Miami Herald)

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens was forced to euthanize a rescued Florida panther due to its declining health. Babs was one of two panthers saved 13 years ago after her she was abandoned by her mother. It was the first time in years the state had removed panther kittens from the wild with no plans to return them. (Florida Times-Union)

News from NPR

• World: North Korea-Russia Summit Intended To Send A Signal To U.S.

• Health: How Communities Affected By Measles Work To Contain Outbreaks

• Health: Hundreds Of People At 2 LA Universities Quarantined Due To Measles Exposure

• Health: Federal Judge Blocks Trump Changes To Reproductive Health Program

• Business: Selling A T-Rex On eBay

• National: Trump Administration Puts Offshore Drilling Plan On Hold After Setback In Court

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