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The Point, Jan. 24, 2020: Gainesville Writer Chronicles Forgotten Jazz Giant’s Triumphs and Tragedies In New Biography

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The top stories near you

"You would think that the two sides were living on different planets." That's the conclusion of former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham about the 2020 political landscape and part of what he and another former Senator, Bill Nelson, said yesterday at the University of Florida during an event about national division. (WUFT News)

• Ocala is dealing with a treated wastewater spill in excess of a million gallons, but it happened in a spot that made the incident far from catastrophic. (WUFT News)

• AP: Florida Lawmakers Consider Rules On Naming College Arenas. "Florida’s public colleges and universities may have to ask permission from the Legislature before they can rename sports arenas and other facilities after companies who are willing to pay for the right."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Tall buildings could be in Depot Park's future. "Potential land-use and zoning changes could result in 12-story buildings at the southern end of Depot Park."

• Spotlight on Levy County Government: Duke Energy Proposes Big Electric Rate Hike for Williston. "Williston City Manager Scott Lippmann advised board members Tuesday that Duke Energy has notified the city of a proposed 30 percent increase in electric rates by 2022 ... but Lippmann hasn’t decided what to do about the coming increase."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Saint Francis first in area to use virtual dissection table. "Saint Francis Catholic Academy is the first Gainesville high school to use a virtual dissection table ... Students can use it to view the detailed anatomies of humans and hundreds of other animals, such as dogs, alligators and gorillas, to learn subjects like biology, marine biology and even history in a new, hands-on way."

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Downtown Ocala's annual cattle drive set for Feb. 8. "Several cowboys will drive cattle to Tuscawilla Park, paying homage to the old Florida days of the 1800s. A four-hour music festival will begin about 10 a.m. at Tuscawilla as the cowboys finish their drive from downtown."

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Local sixth-generation barber keeps things old school. "For Nick Romero, barbering is in his blood ... Nick's Classic Barbershop, at 214 E. Silver Springs Blvd., is part barbering museum and part neighborhood barbershop."

• WUFT Morning Edition host Glenn Richards spoke with Gainesville musician and writer Travis Atria about his new bookBetter Days Will Come Again: The Life of Arthur Briggs, Jazz Genius of Harlem, Paris, and a Nazi Prison Camp. Atria was the featured guest last night for a book release event during Creators Night at Heartwood Soundstage in Gainesville. (WUFT News)

Around the state today

• WFSU: On Anniversary Of Roe V. Wade: Parental Consent For Abortion Bill Heads To Senate Floor. "On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a bill requiring parental consent for a minor’s abortion passed its last committee stop. The measure will now be heading to the Senate floor."

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida Supreme Court says unanimous jury not needed for death penalty in major reversal. "Thursday’s ruling opens the door for state lawmakers, if they wish, to return Florida to one of the few states that don’t require a unanimous jury to impose the death penalty."

• Florida Politics: Nine finalists named to fill open Supreme Court spots. "Gov. Ron DeSantis will select from a group of nine finalists as he seeks replacements for former Supreme Court Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck. The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission named the set of finalists Thursday."

• WFSU: Bill To Stiffen Fines For Bear Poachers Heads To House Floor. "The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) estimates about 14 black bears were illegally killed each year between 2009 and 2018."

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Anti-LGBT Florida schools getting school vouchers. "Florida’s scholarship programs, often referred to as school vouchers, sent more than $129 million to these religious institutions. That means at least 14 percent of Florida’s nearly 147,000 scholarship students last year attended private schools where homosexuality was condemned or, at a minimum, unwelcome."

• TCPalm ($): Audubon scientist: Lowering Lake O not good for its environment, could prompt discharges. "Setting a goal of lowering Lake Okeechobee to 11 feet threatens snail kite nesting and underwater grasses, according to an Audubon scientist."

• WLRN: Beekeeping Is Getting More Popular In Florida; Online Courses Now Available To The Public. "The number of Floridians who’ve started beekeeping has increased by over 500 percent in the last 14 years. The demand has gotten so large, that the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab recently added more to the Master Beekeeper Program that’s open to the public — online."

• Orlando Business Journal ($): Let's play: Comcast execs confirm this is coming to Epic Universe theme park. "Universal Orlando's next major theme park venture, Epic Universe, will be home to Super Nintendo World ... Executives with Comcast said the new land will be part of its 'fourth gate' in Orlando — Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay water park make up its first three local theme parks, also referred to as gates."

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Sarasota County to Siesta Key couple: Tear down beach barrier. "County officials want Siesta Key homeowners who built a rope fence next to a public beach access to remove it by Friday ... The barrier sparked outrage on social media and led to a Change.org petition calling for the barrier's removal. More than 7,000 people signed."

• Bay News 9 - Tampa: Bradenton Brewery Puts Dogs in Need of Homes on Beer Cans. "Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton collaborated with Manatee County Animal Services to showcase dogs currently in the shelter on their beer cans ... During the first day of the promotion's launch, two dogs were adopted."

• Florida Times-Union ($): Former Mayor Jake Godbold has died (1933-2020). "Former Jacksonville Mayor Jake Godbold, who rose from a poor childhood in public housing on the city’s Northside to the pinnacle of power in City Hall, whose populist 1980s administration permanently transformed the city with high-profile development projects, parks, festivals and other initiatives, and whose acid tongue far outlived his political career and continued to shape politics for decades, died Thursday."

From NPR News

• World: The Scene In Wuhan, Where Transportation Is Restricted Due To Viral Outbreak

• National: Trump Administration Targets 'Birth Tourism' With New Visa Rule

• National: The Surprising Legacy Of Occupy Wall Street In 2020

• Politics: Impeachment Trial Recap: Congress Has The Power, Democrats Argue

• Business: Pharmaceutical Executive John Kapoor Sentenced To 66 Months In Prison In Opioid Trial

• Health: Can Airport Screening Help Stop The Spread Of Wuhan Coronavirus?

• Science: How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

• Books: In 'Sexual Citizens,' Students Open Up About Sex, Power and Assault On Campus

Kristen is a web editor and reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing kaltus@ufl.edu. Follow her on social media @kristenaltus.