The Point, Dec. 4, 2019: Why An Ocala City Councilman-Elect Was Not Allowed To Take Office Last Night

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• There was drama at Ocala City Hall last night, as a newly elected councilman wasn’t allowed to take his oath of office because of a 33-year-old felony drug conviction. “We’re in a limbo land,” the city attorney said. (WUFT News)

• This goal is getting lost in a battle about state oversight of a local employment agency, but Alachua County leaders are trying to keep a focus on serving those who need workforce training. (Gainesville Sun)

A 2% merit increase for four of Gainesville’s charter officers approved yesterday means the head of Gainesville Regional Utilities will now earn over $300,000 annually. (WUFT News)

• Traffic headaches and an alleged lack of transparency were two big concerns among parents of Westwood Middle School students, along with the school’s neighbors. The school’s campus will serve as a home to Howard Bishop Middle School students during a year of renovations. Howard Bishop is among the first of 42 Alachua County schools to be renovated between now and 2030. (WUFT News)

“We want to be Levy County and remain that way,” longtime resident Robbie Blake told state transportation officials yesterday. She was among the people raising concerns about a proposed toll road that could cut through the rural county. (WCJB)

• A change is coming at the University of Florida that will help transgender students and employees display their chosen name and not their birth name. (The Alligator)

• A sad reality for many newlyweds today: The student debt load that at least one of the spouses carries with them into their marriage. (WUFT News)


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Around the state today

• A $44 million pot of state money will be divided between Florida’s cities and counties who discovered during Hurricane Irma that their areas have particularly vulnerable property subject to severe flooding. (WLRN)

• The Florida Supreme Court is weighing whether to allow an open primary system in future state elections. Currently, only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in those closed party primaries. (WFSU)

• A state representative from Boca Raton opened up about her post-traumatic stress disorder and involuntary hospitalization earlier this year. “When you don’t take care of trauma and you don’t ask for help, you don’t deal with those issues as they arise,” state Rep. Emily Slosberg said. (Palm Beach Post)

• State wildlife officials will discuss one week from today whether to hold another bear hunt. (News Service of Florida)

• Gov. Ron DeSantis has this take on the impeachment inquiry unfolded in the nation’s capital: “My sense, just talking to people, is I think the public generally views it as typical Washington stuff. Obviously, the people who love the president think it’s bad. People who hate him think that it’s good they’re doing it. But I think the average person in between is just kind of like, ‘Typical Washington.'” (Florida Phoenix)

• Florida’s top elected Democrat is very unhappy with the state’s current clemency process. The Clemency Board’s next meeting is happening this morning. (Florida Politics)

• A large new sand sculpture does not depict your typical South Florida traffic jam. (New York Times)

• A semi-automatic rifle with live ammunition ended up in a baby bouncer box at a Panhandle Goodwill store. (Northwest Florida Daily News)


From NPR News

• World: Syrians Say Innocent Civilians Were Killed In U.S. Raid On Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

• Politics: House Intelligence Committee Releases Report On Its Phase Of The Impeachment Inquiry

• Politics: Banks Must Provide Trump’s Financial Records To Congress, Federal Appeals Court Rules

• Politics: Kamala Harris Drops Out Of Presidential Race

• Business: Google Founders Sergey Brin And Larry Page Step Down From Top Roles

• Business: What Does It Mean When 2 Giant Newspaper Companies Merge?

• Health: White House Announces Program To Distribute Free HIV-Prevention Medication

• Science: No, Koalas Aren’t ‘Functionally Extinct.’ But They Are In Danger.

• Books: It’s Back! NPR Unveils 2019 Book Concierge

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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