The Point, Jan. 21, 2020: ‘Do-It-Yourself DNA Kit’ May Have Solved a Cold Case in South Florida


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Today’s top Florida stories

“What are we doing with the freedom Dr. King has given us?” That question from state Rep. Clovis Watson permeated yesterday’s celebration of the late civil rights leader in Alachua and elsewhere around our area. (WUFT News)

• Tallahassee Democrat ($):  From mental health to gun violence: Youth address local leaders at MLK Day ‘Wake-Up Call’. “A crowd of roughly 100 people gathered at the foot of the Old Capitol steps Monday for a ‘Wake-Up Call Youth Forum,’ hosted at the end of the annual march to the Capitol in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

• WCJB: Former UF basketball superstar Chandler Parsons severely injured after car crash. “Attorneys representing Parsons say he ‘suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation, and a torn labrum.'”

• Florida Storms: Coldest Air in Two Years Headed for Florida Peninsula.This blast of cold air is strong enough to prompt the National Weather Service to issue a Freeze Warning for portions of north and northeast Florida.”

• Miami Herald ($): Suspected ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ who terrorized South Florida women in early 1980s arrested.Increasingly, do-it-yourself DNA tests, which are then submitted to companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA — have led to breaks in decades-old cases.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Trump impeachment: Will Boca’s Lev Parnas testify? Should he?Among the handful of Floridians in President Trump’s impeachment trial spotlight, there is Lev Parnas. But could he be a breakthrough witness?”

• Florida Politics: Senate to review school safety changes following scathing grand jury report.The measure to be heard by the Senate Education Committee (today) (SPB 7040) would include a provision requiring that sheriff’s office to review and approve an applicant’s psychological and drug tests to ensure they are eligible to perform as a guardian.”

• WTSP: There are cold weathers concerns for kumquat fans.With sub-freezing temperatures possible north of Tampa Bay, kumquat farmers are bracing themselves ahead of this weekend’s annual festival…’Yes, we are gambling,’ (one Dade City farmer) said.”

• TC Palm ($): Blue-green algae toxin: People along St. Lucie River breathed it in, but didn’t pee it out.Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute led by Adam Schaefer, an epidemiologist, studied 86 people who lived and worked around the St. Lucie River during the massive blue-green algae blooms in the summer of 2018 and found the toxin microcystin in all their noses.”

• Associated Press: SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test.The nine-minute flight ended with the Dragon crew capsule parachuting safely into the Atlantic, after separating and speeding away from the exploding rocket.”

• Orlando Sentinel: Slain Todt family remembered at Celebration vigil. “Last week, Anthony John Todt, 44, was ordered held without bail as he faces first-degree murder charges for the killings of his wife, 42-year-old Megan Todt, and their three kids: Alek, 13; Tyler, 11; and Zoe, 4.”

• NWF Daily News ($): Former Medical Examiner Sues Claiming Sex Discrimination.Andrea Minyard, the former medical examiner for Florida’s First Judicial Circuit, has sued three of the four counties within the district she served, alleging her successor is being paid more than she was, purely because he is a man.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Tim Tebow weds in South Africa. “Tim Tebow tied the knot…According to People, the couple exchanged vows during a 30-minute sunset ceremony at La Paris Estate in Cape Town, South Africa, before about 250 guests.”

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From NPR News

• National: McConnell Lays Out Plan For Senate Impeachment Trial Procedure 

• National: Richmond Gun Rally: Thousands Of Fun Owners Converge On Virginia Capitol On MLK Day

• Politics: Roe v. Wade: Settled Law Or Bad Precedent? States Prep For An Overturn

• Politics: Political Unrest In Puerto Rico After Discovery Of Unused Hurricane Aid

• Politics: Migrant Caravan Crosses River into Mexico In Standoff With Security Forces

• World: Destructive Hail And A Massive Dust Storm Descend On Fire-Ravaged Australia

• Health: Coronavirus In China: Over 200 Cases, Human-To-Human Transmission 

• Science: NASA Taps Snowstorm-Chasing Team To Improve Forecasting

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at

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