The Point, Nov. 26, 2019: A McIntosh Town Council Candidate Might Have Been The First Ex-Felon To Run For Office In Florida


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• A retired handyman who served 16 months in prison quietly ran for public office earlier this month in the small town of McIntosh in Marion County. Although he was not elected for the town council position, the election is believed to be the first time an ex-felon ran for office in Florida without appealing to the state’s clemency board for permission or being granted a pardon. (WUFT News)

• A team of University of Florida students developed a plan to combine hunger-relief with the reduction of campus food waste. Now, one student from the team will work with Accenture’s Innovation Hub in San Francisco to roll out their strategies at a pilot campus, before going nationwide in the next five years. (UF News)

The Gainesville City Commission approved the purchase of a zero-emission RTS bus at a cost of more than $1 million. “This is just an important step to look at how we can reduce our carbon footprint. And it is just one of many things that we can do,” City Commissioner Helen Warren said. (WUFT News)

• As the oak trees near Ocala’s downtown square outgrow their available space, some of the trees may not make it over the next few years as their root systems have nowhere to go. “As we continue to grow and become more urbanized, we have to start to think how we’re going to continue to maintain the health of these trees,” said Aubrey Hale, the city’s urban design coordinator. (Ocala Star-Banner)

• It looks like Westwood Middle School in Gainesville could get a lot more crowded next year. (Gainesville Sun)

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Around the state today

An 8-foot ball python was found in the Lowe’s Home Improvement store parking lot in Lake Park last week. The ball python is the less troublesome cousin to the Burmese python, which has been ravaging the Everglades for years. (Palm Beach Post)

• Since 1987, Florida has barred cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state firearms laws. Pointing to that “hierarchical relationship” with local governments, on Friday the state asked an appeals court to uphold a 2011 law that threatens penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations. (News Service of Florida)

Florida is on its way to deputizing state correctional officers as federal immigration agents at a state-run prison as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program. As part of the program, about five correctional officers per prison would be trained by federal immigration authorities and designated to identify undocumented immigrants booked to their facilities. (News Service of Florida)

At the end of the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill removing the requirement that financial literacy be taught in high school economics. While supporters of the law feel offering financial literacy as an in-depth elective course will give students the chance to learn more about topics that can’t be covered in a week or two, critics say making it an elective could mean fewer students are exposed to financial literacy. (WJCT)

• As Sen. Bill Montford approaches his term limit, he will end his lawmaking career in the 2020 legislative session, once again seeking an across-the-board pay hike for workers. (Tallahassee Democrat)

It’s been 545 days since the state began what was supposed to be a six-day overhaul of its SunPass electronic tolling system.  While the Florida Department of Transportation indicated the system and the department’s response to customer questions are both high-performing machines by now, many questions remain unanswered. (Florida Politics)

From NPR News

• National: Investigation: There’s A Ban On Isolated Timeouts In Illinois Schools

• National: U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Adnan Syed’s Appeal, Keeping ‘Serial’ Subject In Prison

• World: What The U.S. Can Learn From Free College In Chile

• World: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Still Rising, U.N. Report Says

• Politics: Guns & America: The Good Guy with a Gun

• Business: McDonald’s Agrees To Pay $26 Million To Settle Accusations Of Wage Theft

• Health: How Much Should Big Tech Know About Our Personal Health Data And History?

• Health: Department Of Veterans Affairs Thinks Telehealth Clinics May Help Vets In Rural Areas

About Jasmine Dahlby

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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