The Point, Jan. 16, 2020: Alachua County’s Recycling Industry Sees Declining Market, Rising Costs

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• If you’ve wondered why the local and national recycling industry has been difficult for the past few years, this story will get you up to speed. While Alachua County’s overall recycling rate is the third-highest in the state, a declining international market and low household awareness about what can actually be recycled has made it difficult to turn a profit. (WUFT News)

• Florida voters won’t have a chance to decide on legalizing recreational marijuana this year, but there was a discussion last night about the potential for the industry to help the state’s racial disparities. The state’s cannabis director took part in the panel, along with several other marijuana industry and criminal justice experts. (WUFT News)

• The Alligator: City Commission to discuss future of GRU“Gainesville City Commissioners will discuss a potential 30-year contract between Gainesville Regional Utilities and Florida Power & Light during its Thursday meeting.”

• The Alligator: Two UF students lose loved ones in Ukranian plane crash in Iran. “At least two UF students lost loved ones in the plane crash Jan. 8 in Tehran en route to Kyiv. On the Boeing 737, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, had nine crew members, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, four Britons and three Germans who were killed, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Man killed in deputy-involved shooting in The Villages. “Marion County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man who attacked them with a knife late Tuesday outside a convenience store in The Villages. Sgt. Paul Bloom, the agency’s public information officer, said two deputies had just finished gassing up their vehicles about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when a man jumped out of his vehicle and came at them with a large knife.”

• WCJB: Alachua County commissioners select first poet laureate. “Alachua County commissioners unanimously voted to name E. Stanley Richardson as its first poet laureate.”

• WCJB: UF Health opens new Oaks Mall location. “A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new Oaks Mall location of UF Health Wednesday. The old Sears space will now feature services like audiology in the 139,000 square-foot space as well as an outpatient surgical center.”


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Around the state today

• News Service of Florida: E-Verify Divides Republican Leaders. “The governor kicked off the session Tuesday by reminding lawmakers about one of his top priorities: a proposed mandate for all Florida employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify system to check new hires to make sure they are not undocumented immigrants.”

• WUSF: Red Tide Has Dissipated In The Gulf: What Happened, And What’s Next? Kate Hubbard, a researcher with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said, “There is a chance that it could come back, but, in general, the surface conditions have been really conducive for pushing the bloom both offshore into the south– that’s helped kind of keep things away and off of the coast and then also dissipated offshore.”

• News Service of Florida: Senate Moves Quickly To Thwart Sunscreen Bans. “The Florida Senate is moving quickly to prevent towns like Key West from banning the sale of sunscreens that contain potentially coral reef harming chemicals.”

• Orlando Sentinel: Corporate lobbyists, Florida House write $50 million tax break for a handful of big companies. “…after the Orlando Sentinel began asking questions about it, the business group that helped draft the tax break — the Florida Chamber of Commerce — said it has decided to stop lobbying for the measure.”

• Florida Politics: March For Our Lives sue Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. Southern Poverty Law Center on Wednesday announced it was filing a suit on behalf of March For Our Lives and other groups against the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. The complaint alleges violations of the Florida Sunshine Law, which requires meetings of state government advisory boards to be open to the public.”

• Politico: Florida GOP chairman in political hot seat as gun bill advances. “The bill would require non-licensed gun sellers to record, among other things, a purchaser’s identification and criminal background history, the make and model of the gun and the date of the sale. The information would have to be notarized and saved.”

• WLRN: Florida Agrees to Buy Broward Wetlands To End Everglades Oil Drilling Efforts. “Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday the state expects to pay between $16.5 and $18 million to Kanter Real Estate for land the family began amassing decades ago. The deal came together quickly in the last couple of weeks, officials said, after the state concluded its legal attempts to block the drilling would fail.”

• Orlando Weekly: Orange County environmentalists scramble, as officials move swiftly on highway extension through Split Oak Forest. “A plan to extend Osceola Parkway into Split Oak Forest was approved by the Central Florida Expressway Authority Dec. 12, Osceola County Dec. 19 and Orange County Dec. 17. The plan is not a done deal, but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has spent more than 20 years maintaining the forest, untouched in centuries by Central Florida’s rampant development.”

• Miami Herald ($): Virgin Islands allege Jeffrey Epstein trafficked girls as young as 11 as recently as 2018. “A lawsuit filed Wednesday by the top law enforcement officer in the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges that multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private island, some as recently as 2018, aided by a web of shell companies to carry out and conceal his crimes.”

• WUSF: State Closing Offices That Help People Sign Up For Food Stamps, Medicaid. “The closures by the Department of Children and Families come as more people are signing up for public assistance online, causing fewer applicants to rely on the regional offices for assistance, a spokeswoman said.”

• WJCT: Facial Recognition Tech Now Being Used To Find Lost First Coast Pets.“The same kind of facial recognition technology that helps police identify criminals is now being used in Northeast Florida to help reunite dog and cat owners with their lost pets. The software company claims to be 98% accurate.”


From NPR News

• Business: Trump Signs ‘Phase 1’ China Trade Deal, But Most Tariffs Remain In Place

• Science: 2019 Was The 2nd-Hottest Year On Record, According To NASA And NOAA

• National: Months After Blowing Deadline, Trump Administration Lifts Hold On Puerto Rico Aid

• National: 24 Hour Fitness Closes For The Day, Utah Man Trapped Inside

• World: In Rare Move, Pope Francis Appoints A Woman To A Senior Vatican Position

• Politics: Months After Blowing Deadline, Trump Administration Lifts Hold On Puerto Rico Aid

• Politics: Around The Country, Statehouses Expect Another Busy Year For Abortion Legislation

• Health: Embryo Research To Reduce Need For In Vitro Fertilization Raises Ethical Concerns

About Blake Trauschke

Blake is a student reporter for WUFT and can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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