The Point, Nov. 11, 2019: Hammett L. Bowen Jr. Has An Elementary School Named After Him. Here’s His Family’s Story On Veterans Day


Subscribe to The Point, arriving in your inbox Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.

The top stories near you

• Tyson Hendrickson lives in Gainesville today and vividly remembers watching coverage of the 1983 Lebanon bombing that killed 241. He was worried his father was among the victims that day. (WUFT News)

Two brothers from the Bowen family in Ocala gave everything to fight the Vietnam War: Hammett Jr. died at 21 after diving on a grenade to save some of his men and Keith many years later from Agent Orange exposure suffered during his time there in the Air Force. Those who knew both reflected on their lives during recent interviews. (WUFT News)

Two sisters — Katalaya and Nevaeh Nunez — and their grandfather died Thursday in a car crash with an impaired driver. Students and teachers at Belleview-Santos Elementary School, where they attended, had a very tough Friday after receiving the news. The family members were on their way home from school when the crash happened. (Ocala Star-Banner)

• Marion County, home to an estimated 35,000 veterans, is seeking funding to build a veterans nursing home. (WUFT News)

• If you’ve only casually followed Alachua County’s effort to find a location for a new sports arena, our story brings you up to speed on the political and geographic issues the project has faced so far. The estimated cost is $30 to $50 million, to be paid with bed tax money. (WUFT News)

• Craig DeThomasis is the Eighth Judicial Circuit’s newest judge, and friends on Friday described him as a rock n’ roll loving, cowboy outfit wearing, Jerry Garcia admiring “dude.” (WUFT News)

• Prepare for colder temperatures midweek with this arctic front approaching. (Florida Storms)

Chris Bird has served Alachua County as director of its environmental protection department for 25 years and will retire early next year. (Gainesville Sun)

• While its residents don’t have the highest average student loan totals, Gainesville did rank atop this list of hardest-hit cities for student debt. (CNBC)

• The Bradley family has raised more than $1 million so far to ensure Jennifer takes over the seat from her husband and incumbent Rob Bradley. (Florida Politics)

Today’s sponsored message

There’s no denying the importance of a good education.

Millhopper Montessori is one of only two area private schools accredited by FCIS, due in part to our highly-credentialed teachers and STEAM-enhanced curriculum. Millhopper’s unique methods allow each preschool through middle school student to explore and learn, all in a safe and secure environment. Millhopper students develop into poised, compassionate and creative leaders who are prepared for the next level. Call 352-375-6773 or visit today to schedule your tour.

Around the state today

• The struggle for Vietnam War veterans to share their stories is typified by Randy McConnell of Sarasota County, who finally began to open up in the mid-2000s. With seven Purple Hearts, he retells his part in the war “because I know this isn’t taught in school anymore.” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

“What better python removal agents than highly trained veterans?” A South Florida group known as the Swamp Apes has taken up that mission, helping battle the invasive species while letting veterans work through their post-traumatic stress disorder. (Miami Herald)

• The conclusion of a health care navigator who helps people sign up for plans: “So basically, the Affordable Care Act is working in Florida.” (NPR News)

• The Washington Post reports on the sad phenomenon of “ghost groves,” which citrus farmers have steadily abandoned over the past 15 years during the industry’s struggles.

• The Keys want $150 million of the $630 million in federal funding designated to help hurricane-damaged and flood-prone communities be more resilient. (WLRN)

• There’s also a nearly $400 million federal grant coming to help the timber industry recover from Hurricane Michael. (Florida Politics)

• State Sen. Dennis Baxley has returned with a proposal to create a guide that he says would help married couples stay married. (WFSU)

“Although white sharks can elevate their body temperature, they are still sensitive to cold water,” and so a comparison to snowbirds is apparently apt. (Palm Beach Post)

From NPR News

• Politics: What People Are Asking About The Impeachment Inquiry

• Health: You Can Get A Master’s In Medical Cannabis In Maryland

• Books: In Memoir, Nikki Haley Hammers White House Team But Pledges Allegiance To Trump

• National: The Camp Fire Destroyed 11,000 Homes. A Year Later Only 11 Have Been Rebuilt

• National: With Blackouts, California’s Electric Car Owners Are Finding New Ways To Charge Up

• National: Hundreds March In Reenactment Of A Historic, But Long Forgotten Slave Rebellion

• National: As Backcountry Travelers Shift Load To Goats, National Forests Eye Risks

• World: ISIS-Linked Militants Fight On Despite Leader Baghdadi’s Death

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

Check Also

The Point, June 27, 2022: Protesters Locally And Across The State Are Speaking Out Against Last Week’s Roe V. Wade Overruling

Subscribe to The Point, arriving in your inbox Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. The stories …