The Point, Feb. 7, 2020: Abortion Bill Clears Florida Senate On Party-Line Vote

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The top stories near you

• Gainesville Sun ($): Jump in pedestrian, cyclist deaths spark worry. “After separate vehicle accidents resulted in the deaths of three pedestrians and a bicyclist in the same week in Alachua County in January, police say improving roadway safety is a priority.”

• The Alligator: ‘Rest in Power:’ Denise Griffiths remembered. “More than 150 people gathered in the Reitz Union Wednesday to honor Denise Griffiths, a 21-year-old UF senior who died from brain and spinal injuries on Jan. 29, almost two days after she was struck by a vehicle. Friends and family reflected on Griffiths’ life, and she was awarded a posthumous bachelor’s degree in English.”

• WFSU: Nestle’s Push To Extract More Water From Florida Springs Causes Concern. “Some lawmakers and advocates are concerned that the more than 1 million gallons of water withdrawn daily could cause water shortages. The bottling companies want to extend their permits so they can extract more water. Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) said that this should come at a price.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Nancy Stacy pitches one-year sales tax hike for capital security needs. “(Marion County) School Board member Nancy Stacy wants the School Board to consider backing a 1-cent sales tax, for one year only, to raise about $42 million to pay for capital security upgrades at 50 schools and district campuses.”

• Gilchrist County Journal: Commission approves vegetative buffer for Trenton Solar Plant. “The contractor that built the solar complex has submitted a buffer that will eliminate the public’s view of the solar panel from surrounding roadways. Gilchrist Planning and Zoning Director David Lang reported that Commissioner Thomas and County Administrator Bobby Crosby have filed memo 8B involving their possible conflict of interest in the action of the site plan for the Trenton Solar Plant.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: Citrus Memorial Hospital tries to help ambulance response times. “Nature Coast EMS is contracted with Citrus County to provide the emergency transport service to area hospitals. Patients tell commissioners Nature Coast EMS is not meeting its contract obligations by arriving in an average 7 minutes, 30 seconds or less.”


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Around the state today

• WTSP: ‘It’s very important to do this’: Archaeologists scan old Pinellas Co. school for graves from black cemetery. “Archaeologists with the University of South Florida and T2 Utility Engineers began searching on Thursday for lost graves from an African American cemetery that once sat at the old Curtis Fundamental school and extended to the other side of Holt Avenue in Clearwater.”

• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Florida Senate Passes Parental Consent Bill. “Florida’s Republican-majority Senate passed a bill Thursday requiring underage girls to obtain consent from a parent before they can have an abortion. Senators voted 23-17 along party lines… Gov. Ron DeSantis has already said he would sign the bill and make Florida the 27th state to impose parental consent legislation for abortion.”

• WUSF: Cranes Toppled, Tornado Reported As Strong Winds Hammer Tampa Bay. “The storms left a trail of damage, according to the National Weather Service, and knocked out power to thousands across the area. It reported wind damage in several areas throughout Tampa Bay, and stiff winds continue to blow early Friday morning with gusts of 62 mph reported on Anna Maria Island, and 56 mph in St. Petersburg.”

• Florida Politics: Miami-Dade Democrats file bar complaint against Matt Gaetz for alleged obstruction of impeachment process. “The Miami-Dade Democratic Party is filing a bar complaint against Rep. Matt Gaetz, alleging he violated House rules during President Donald Trump‘s impeachment inquiry by attempting to enter secure rooms.”

• WMFE: Florida House Approves Stiffer Bear Poaching Penalties. “The measure would boost the minimum fine for bear poaching up to $750, from the maximum of $500 dollars under current law.”

• Miami Herald ($): Prescribed fires help keep the Everglades alive. “‘We are trying to reintroduce fire in these ecosystems so it can play the natural role it used to in keeping hazardous fuels under control and renewing native plants,’ said Michael Gue, the Everglades National Park’s prescribed fire specialist.”

• Florida Politics: Mike Bloomberg becomes first Democratic Presidential candidate to open a Tampa Bay office. “Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg opened his St. Petersburg campaign office Wednesday, becoming the first Democratic Presidential candidate to open an office in the Tampa Bay Area. It’s the second Florida field office opening this week.”

• NPR News: Florida Family On The Way To The Hospital Runs Out Of Gas. “Paramedics took the sick family member to the hospital. Three firefighters pushed the family’s car a quarter-mile uphill to a gas station and paid to refill the tank. Plus, they fixed a flat tire.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): ‘Inside Edition’ features 107-year-old Sarasota driver. “This week, ‘Inside Edition’ posted a video featuring Joe Newman, who celebrated his 107th birthday on Jan. 13. He drives his 99-year-old fiancee around in a red Mercedes convertible he bought from his doctor for $4,000 at age 103.”


From NPR News

• World: Chinese Doctor Who Sounded Early Warning About Coronavirus Dies After Contracting It

• World: China Will Cut Tariffs In Half On $75 Billion Of U.S. Products

• National: U.S. Charges Walmart Gunman In El Paso With Hate Crimes

• Politics: Democratic Party Appears Fractured After Iowa And Before N.H. Primary

• Politics: Attorney General Barr Issues New Rules For Politically Sensitive Investigations

• Politics: Trump Administration Finalizes Plans To Allow Development On Downsized Monuments

• Business: Cities And States Are Saying No To Cashless Shops

• Science: Dates Like Jesus Ate? Scientists Revive Ancient Trees From 2,000-Year-Old Seeds

• Books: Author L.L. McKinney: Barnes & Noble ‘Diverse Editions’ Are ‘Literary Blackface’

About Kristen Altus

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.

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