The Point, Feb. 27, 2020: Why The Gainesville Driverless Shuttle Service Is Suspended For Now


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• WUFT News: Gainesville Driverless Shuttle Suspended After Woman Hurt On One in Ohio. “For the past three weeks, the EasyMile shuttle bus had inched out of the downtown Gainesville parking garage on Southwest Second Street and chimed its way onto Southwest Second Avenue… The small black and blue bus won’t be leaving its parking spot anytime soon, however.”

• WUFT News: As Micanopy’s Cemetery Runs Out Of Space, Seminole Battleground May Prevent Expansion. “The Micanopy Historic Cemetery Association proposed plans to expand the 200-year-old cemetery into the adjacent lot, which is comprised of three plots of land owned by the Town of Micanopy. However, the plan is facing pushback from some community leaders because the 4.5-acre expansion would mean tampering with historic land where the Battle of Welika Pond took place in 1836.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): St. Francis Catholic Academy to get namesake’s relic. Saint Francis Catholic Academy has received a portion of a staff used by St. Francis, the only relic the school has from the saint. The Vatican transferred the relic to the school at the request of a bishop from the academy’s diocese in St. Augustine.”

• WCJB: Gainesville mayor Lauren Poe delivers State of the City Address. “Mayor Poe talked about the city offering city-owned parcels to non-profits to create affordable housing and to eliminate equity gaps in the city over wages, hiring, and promotion.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): UF no. 2 in Peace Corps volunteers. “The agency announced Wednesday that 70 UF students are volunteering in various countries this year, jumping UF’s 2019 rank from ninth place to its current No. 2 spot in the large-school category.”

• News Service of Florida: University Merger Plan Headed For House Vote. “The measure, approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a near party-line vote, would strip New College of Florida and Florida Polytechnic University from their independent status and merge both institutions with UF in Gainesville.”

• The Alligator: Congressman Ted Yoho from North Central Florida Votes ‘No’ to Antilynching Act. “Yoho was one of three Republicans to vote “no” on the bill. He told CNN Wednesday that he voted against the legislation because it’s an ‘overreach of the federal government and tramples on states’ rights.'”

• The Alligator: Florida Museum of Natural History opens exhibit featuring notable women. “The new exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History, “Women of the Everglades: Activism and Conservation,” features three notable women who were involved in Everglades conservation efforts from 1880 to 1998: May Mann Jennings, Minnie Moore-Willson and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Community brainstorms about Camp McConnell. “Two public sessions at the former YMCA campground brought together several representatives of local agencies, nonprofits and organizations to pitch possible events and camps to hold on the property.”

• WUFT News: Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo’s Otter Pups Take To The Water. “Five new members of a threatened species have begun emerging from their dens at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo to take swimming lessons from their parents, in view of the public.”

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Around the state today

• WUFT News: Data Reveals Drones Flying Dangerously Close In Increasingly Crowded Skies. “WUFT’s Hasley Pitman sifted through the last six months of available Federal Aviation Administration data and found more than 1,000 cases of drones flying unusually close to airports, helicopters or planes. More than 150 of those reports took place in Florida, including two reports of drones flying a mile from the Gainesville Regional Airport runway.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Two north Florida Democrats file lawsuit to disqualify Bernie Sanders from primary ballot. “Frank Bach, a retired letter carrier, and George Brown, a retired social worker, filed a lawsuit this week in Leon County Circuit Court asking a judge to disqualify Sanders from the ballot and block Florida from certifying his votes.”

• Florida Phoenix: Lawmakers want to make it much harder for citizen groups and voters to amend the FL Constitution. “This year is no different as bills (SB 1794 and HB 7037) and a legislative-backed constitutional amendment (SJR 7062 and HRJ 7093) are moving toward final approval in the Legislature. Those measures would impose new restrictions on the signature-gathering process related to putting initiatives on the ballot.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Disney World, Universal Studios and the U.S. tourism industry brace for coronavirus. “The theme parks are closely monitoring the updates after top U.S. health officials warned the burgeoning coronavirus is certain to spread more widely in the United States at some point.”

• Boston Globe ($): Red Sox prospect arrives from Taiwan — and is immediately quarantined over coronavirus concerns. “Chih-Jung Liu arrived in Florida last week eager to start his first spring training with the Red Sox. But instead of playing catch and getting to know his new teammates, the 20-year-old righthander from Taiwan is being quarantined in a hotel room by the Sox to guard against the coronavirus.”

• Florida Politics: House push to reduce solitary confinement of pregnant prisoners clears final committee. The measure is called the ‘Tammy Jackson Act.’ It’s named after a prisoner who gave birth last year after being placed in an isolated jail cell in Broward County. Jackson said she complained of contractions overnight. Seven hours later, she delivered the child without being taken to the hospital.”

• WTSP: Weeki Wachee Springs named to National Register of Historic Places. “It was designated as a state park more than a decade ago, and now the iconic, mermaid-filled Florida springs have landed on the National Register of Historic Places. Weeki Wachee Springs joins the more than 1,800 places in Florida on the list.”

From NPR News

• World: Coronavirus: More New Cases Are Now Reported Outside China Than Inside

• Business: Alaska Feels The Brunt As Investors Promise Retreat On Fossil Fuels

• Business: The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of NASCAR

• Politics: The 8 Key Places That Will Explain The 2020 Election

• Politics: With An Election On The Horizon, Older Adults Get Help Spotting Fake News

• Politics: House Approves Bill Making Lynching A Federal Crime

• National: ‘Multiple Fatalities’ In Shooting At Molson Coors Brewing Headquarters In Milwaukee

• Science: From Allergies To Declining Business, Warming Winters Affect Everyday Life

About Blake Trauschke

Blake is a student reporter for WUFT and can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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