The Point, Feb. 11, 2020: Felons Must Pay Fines And Fees Before Voting, But Florida Courts Struggle To Collect


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• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Ex-felons in Florida face a new barrier to voting rights after release from behind bars: Court fees. This comes after Floridians approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 to re-enfranchise the past convicts. Now a federal court decision on a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Florida could decide the voting rights for the ex-felons and, in turn, Florida’s turnout in the 2020 presidential election. (WUFT News)

• WUFT News: Changeville Brings Together Artists And Activists To Collaborate For Social Change. “For the past five years, artists have gathered at the two-day event to celebrate activism and help spark conversations about how they can contribute more to their communities. More than 50 local social activist organizations took part in the festival, which was designed as a safe space to discuss how to bring about social and environmental change in the city together.”

Gainesville Sun ($): Former inspector: county officials favor developers. A former Alachua County code inspector, in a letter distributed to elected officials, says that he and coworkers were pressured not to issue code violations to large developments.”

The Alligator: UF/IFAS ranked the No. 1 public institution for agricultural sciences. The university is ranked No. 2 overall, behind Cornell University, in a list of over 100 public and private agricultural science colleges.”

Gainesville Sun ($): Sheriff formally announces reelection campaign. Sadie Darnell, who has served as Alachua County’s sheriff for 14 years, formally announced Sunday her campaign to run for reelection.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Florida physician who traveled the globe seeking shells is donating them to UF museum. “Retired Jacksonville doctor Harry Lee is donating his million-dollar collection of shells to the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.”

• Florida Politics: Radical proposal would fold Florida Poly into UF, merge New College with FSU. “The proposal…would fold Florida Polytechnic University into the University of Florida while New College of Florida would become a satellite campus of Florida State University.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Hernando planning commission says yes to 5 of 6 housing plans for state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia’s company. “On Monday, more than 30 Spring Hill residents appeared before the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission for emotionally-charged rezoning hearings on the six separate parcels. They clearly considered these park lands, and used and maintained them as such.”

• WUFT News: West End’s Closure Leaves Community With Questions.Though it may be closed, threads from the years of community enjoyment fostered by the West End Golf Course aren’t entirely gone. On an average day, golfers on the driving range navigate the debris, spilled trashcans and overgrown greenery to hit and retrieve balls, which are left out again for the next person.”

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Around the state today

Miami Herald ($): White House hosts Parkland families for school safety event. “The White House announced a new federal clearinghouse to coordinate for school safety best practices on Monday based on the recommendations of a federal commission created after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two years ago.”

Florida Phoenix: Joe Gruters’ drones for law enforcement officers bill soars through final committee. “A proposal to let Florida law enforcement fly drones for surveying purposes cleared its penultimate committee Monday.”

Tampa Bay Times ($): FBI official addresses China influence investigations at Moffitt Cancer Center, UF. “A legislative committee lead by State Rep. Chis Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, met Monday afternoon to hear from officials with Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of Florida and the FBI address instances of Chinese meddling in American-funded research.”

TCPalm ($): Trump budget proposal seeks $250 million for Everglades restoration. “President Donald Trump has included $250 million for Everglades restoration projects in his proposed $4.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2021, released Monday afternoon.”

Politico: Republicans vow ‘revenge’ at ballot box after volunteers nearly hit by van. “‘The best revenge is victory,’ (chairman of the Duval County Republican Party Dean) Black said. ‘Righteous peaceful victory in November for President Trump and all Republican candidates.'”

Pensacola News-Journal ($): US Attorney for the Northern District opposed to sanctuary cities. “The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida (Lawrence Keefe) made it clear Monday that his office will take a hard-line stance on immigration through uncompromising prosecution of undocumented immigrants who are arrested in the Panhandle.”

Fort Myers News-Press ($): George W. Bush, wife Laura donate funds to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.(Incumbent Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno) also said that, cashing the check or not, ‘I will frame it.'”

Bay News 9: NASA to Partner with Startup Companies at Tampa Summit. “With NASA’s participation in this year’s summit, the stakes are high.”

St. Augustine Record ($): Bahamian family finds refuge in St. Augustine after Hurricane Dorian. “Crewsdon Williams considers his family one of the lucky ones.”

From NPR News

• Politics: Everything You Need To Know About The New Hampshire Primary

• National: Dixville Notch Has Always Voted First. Could It Be The Last Time?

• National: Controversial Trophy Hunting Council Disbanded Amid Legal Battle

• World: Chinese Hackers Charged In Alleged Cyber-Theft Of 145 Million Americans’ Data

• Health: 65 More Coronavirus Cases On Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Stuck In Japan

• Art & Design: An Art Critic Was Mocking A $20,000 Work She Didn’t Like — Then It Shattered

About Gabriella Paul

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

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