The Point, Feb. 24, 2020: Florida Legislature Works To Ban Shark Fin Sales


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• WUFT News: Buchholz High Teacher Calls Using N-word In Classroom A ‘Lapse In Judgment.’ “Calling himself a loving husband and father, the teacher added: ‘I’m getting slandered on the internet, you know, being accused of being racist, but I’m – I’m far from being racist. And that’s unfair. That’s a negative consequence. And, of course, I partly take responsibility for that.'”

• Miami Herald ($): Complaints by Florida domestic violence workers shed light on funding, lack of oversight. “(Lisa LeBel’s) experience lines up with dozens of former domestic violence staffers who submitted hundreds of complaints to the coalition. Those complaints were obtained by the Herald/Times, and they showed a pattern of missing oversight and a lack of funding for employees and programs meant to serve domestic violence survivors and their children statewide.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Silver River monkey population grows unchecked. “(Steve) Johnson, a University of Florida professor of wildlife ecology and conservation, co-authored a recent study that estimated the monkey population on the Silver River will double by 2022. That could mean somewhere near 400 monkeys prowling the marshy banks of the river.”

Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Bill abolishing New College as independent school on fast track in Florida House. “Instead of putting New College under the umbrella of Florida State University as originally proposed, the bill that will go before the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. instead would make the Sarasota school a satellite of the University of Florida. Florida Polytechnic also would become part of UF.”

• WCJB: Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens continues to drain as lower level reopens. “The floodwaters had risen to 11 feet at one point, completely covering many of the bridges and making the lower level inaccessible.”

• The Alligator: UF to close parking lot near Reitz Union. “The surface parking lot at the corner of Museum Road and Center Drive across the street from the Reitz Union will close by the end of 2020, according to UF Transportation and Parking Services’ current master plan.”

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Around the state today

• From our Fresh Take Florida team: Florida Fishermen Fret As Shark Fin Sale Ban Moves Forward. “In the U.S., shark finning — the gruesome process of stripping living sharks of their fins, dumping the fish back in the water and leaving them to struggle for life, drown or bleed to death — has been outlawed since the Shark Finning Prohibition Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton Dec. 21, 2000. Many states since then have also banned the import, export and sale of fins, which is different from finning but nonetheless controversial. Two bills — HB 401 and SB 680 — are currently moving through the Florida legislature to ban all fin sales.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Dark Money Nonprofit Wants Florida Voters To Vote Twice On Future Amendments. “After high-profile efforts in Florida to restore the voting rights of felons and ban greyhound racing, it could become much more difficult to make future changes to the state’s constitution. A political organization with mysterious backers has won approval by the Supreme Court to move forward with an effort requiring voters to approve future amendments twice.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Ethics loophole allowed mayor, city officials to take lobbyist-paid trip. “The trip likely cost between $8,000 and $11,000, according to a Times-Union review of ticket prices and charter airplane rates. (Three Jacksonville officials) each paid Conventus $400 for the entire trip, which they have said was enough to comply with Florida’s ethics law prohibiting them from receiving gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists.”

• News Service of Florida: Lawmakers Back Increased School Bus Safety. “The proposal (HB 37 and SB 290) would increase from $100 to $200 the minimum fine for failing to stop for school buses.”

• WMFE: Lake County unveils monument remembering the Groveland Four. “Some 200 people gathered in front of the old courthouse in Tavares for a ceremony and to see the monument. It tells the story of four black men killed or wrongfully prosecuted for rape decades ago.”

• Reuters: As Florida, Georgia battle over water, panhandle oystermen struggle to survive. “Their future may be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule later this year on a seven-year-long legal battle between Florida and Georgia. Florida accuses its northern neighbour — and particularly the fast-growing city of Atlanta — of drawing too much water from the rivers that feed the bay, causing its salinity to rise and driving down the oyster population.”

From NPR News

• Politics: After The Nevada Caucuses, Bernie Sanders Is The Man To Beat

• Politics: Judge Rejects Roger Stone’s Attempt To Remove Her From His Case

• Politics: Rahm Emanuel Says Mayors Are Democracy’s Real Engines Of Change

• World: ‘Antarctica Melts,’ NASA Says, Showing Effects Of A Record Warm Spell

• Health: Coronavirus Cases Surge Outside Of China

• Business: Growers Of New, Pricey Strawberry Are Selling A Sweeter Experience

• Arts & Design: The Lessons To Be Learned From Forcing Plants To Play Music

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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