The Point, March 4, 2020: A Third Coronavirus Case Is Confirmed In Florida


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The top stories near you

• WUFT News: Gainesville Votes 2020: At-Large 2 City Commission Guide. “Anyone living in the city can decide between Scherwin Henry, Gabe Kaimowitz, Paul Rhodenizer and Reina Saco. Incumbent Helen Warren, who has served two three-year terms since 2014, is term-limited out of the seat this year.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): State audit knocks Preview, IFAS severance packages. “The report says UF paid $2.7 million more than the threshold for severance pay allowed in state law. State law says severance pay cannot exceed 20 weeks of compensation… UF officials said in the audit that they would discontinue that model for payments, but maintained the funds weren’t severance payments.

• Gainesville Sun ($): Water district experts: ‘No’ on Nestlé request. “The water management board that may next week decide whether to allow Seven Springs Water Co. to renew its water-use permit and allow Nestlé to continue to pump up to 1.152 millions of gallons of water from the springs a day is being told by its own experts to vote no.”

• WUFT News: Lawtey Lands Grant To Clear Irma-Related Drainage Problems. “Lawtey wants to use its $867,600 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to fix lingering water drainage problems left from (Hurricane) Irma.”

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Around the state today

• WUSF: Second Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Hillsborough, Third In Florida. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said that the sister of the first Hillsborough patient has tested positive for COVID-19.”

• Florida Phoenix: Here’s how some Florida hospitals are preparing for a global epidemic — the coronavirus. “Key preparations include mock patient training and ‘tabletop exercises,’ according to Scott Samples, senior director of communications at Cleveland Clinic Florida…The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines tabletop exercises as activities typically held in an informal setting to discuss various issues regarding a hypothetical and simulated emergency, such as dealing with a pandemic or disaster.”

• Bradenton Herald ($): Worried about coronavirus at the polls? Elections official suggests voting by mail. “It’s the best way to avoid dealing with crowds and risking possible contact with someone who may be infected with the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, said (Manatee County) Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett.”

• Northwest Florida Daily News ($): FHSAA moves forward with state tournaments after coronavirus confirmed in Florida. “The FHSAA is hosting the boys basketball state tournament Wednesday-Saturday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland and the state wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.”

• News Service of Florida: Federal Court Refuses To Block 17 Felons In Florida From Voting. “Monday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows the 17 plaintiffs in the case — felons who claim they are unable to pay “legal financial obligations” required by a state law — to cast ballots in the March presidential primary elections.”

• Florida Politics: State leaders predict an extended Session. “Senate President Bill Galvano told reporters an extension could resemble last year, when lawmakers tacked on a day to complete the then-record $90.98 billion spending plan for the current fiscal year ending June 30. ‘These things are complicated,’ Galvano said. ‘If you look at the (House and Senate) budgets as they were rolled out, we’re over $1 billion apart.'”

• WFSU: Letter Grades For Cities & Counties? Rep. Ingoglia’s Plan Gets Pushback From Local Government. “For more than two decades, Florida has graded its public schools from “A” to “F.” It was a key element of former Governor Jeb Bush’s A-plus plan, and it has been controversial ever since. Now the Legislature wants to take the concept a big step further and apply letter grades to every Florida city and county.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Senate Approves Controversial FPL Solar Plan. “The (20) plants will be built by mid-2021, with each having a 74.5-megawatt capacity. FPL has said all customers would see long-term savings from the plan because the solar plants would take the place of other types of more costly electric generation. The company estimates that $112 million of those savings would go to the general body of customers.”

• Miami Herald ($): Feds deport 119 Cubans back to Havana on Miami flight. “The Cuba repatriation flight is at least the third in the past six months. The Trump administration’s efforts to detain and send undocumented Cubans back to the island got a boost in September, when the agency announced it successfully completed what it called one of the ‘largest’ Cuba repatriation missions in recent history.”

• WTSP: Can I get a do-over? In Florida, you’re out of luck if you voted early and your candidate dropped out. “The ballot itself… never changes even as candidates suspend their campaigns.”

From NPR News

• National: A Look At The Death And Damage Toll After Tornadoes Ravage Tennessee

• National: 9 Coronavirus Deaths Now Reported In Washington State

• World: Why The Death Rate From Coronavirus Is Plunging In China

• Health: Are High Mask Prices The Problem Or The Solution?

• Business: Coronavirus Cancellations And Travel Bans: Google Is Latest

• Health: Pandemic Panic? These 5 Tips Can Help You Regain Your Calm

• Politics: Super Tuesday: Sanders Projected To Win Calif.; Biden Racks Up Victories

• Science: Staring At Seagulls Makes Them Less Likely To Steal Your Food, Scientists Find

• Arts & Design: For The 1st Time, Architecture’s Most Prestigious Prize Is Awarded To 2 Women

• Books: The Steel Mill ‘Becomes A Family’ Author Of ‘Rust’ Memoir Reveals

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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