The Point, March 5, 2020: New Gainesville Organizing Effort Aims To Help Ex-Inmates

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• WUFT News: Ex-Inmates In Gainesville Make It Their Job To Ease The Stigma For Others Like Them. “Kevin Scott is one of Community Spring’s five fellows. Scott was in a Florida prison for three and a half years and is now organizing for other returning ex-inmates.”

• WUFT News: ‘Best Dish in the Galaxy?’: Eastside High Culinary Students Await Word From NASA. “(Four students) from the Institute of Culinary Arts at Eastside competed against teams from the International Studies Preparatory Academy (ISPA) in Coral Gables and Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, near Tampa. The prize is one of 10 spots in a national competition at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Food Lab in Houston in April.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): No decision on ‘swing school’ site. “With two weeks before a scheduled vote, there is little consensus about where to send displaced Alachua County Public Schools students whose campuses are set to undergo major construction.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Ocala City Council empty seat weighing heavy. “The District 2 seat came open in December after councilman-elect Tyrone Oliver was disqualified when a 33-year-old felony conviction came to light. A special election is set for March 17, but it’s possible neither of the three candidates will get 50% of the vote, forcing a runoff election.”

• WCJB: GPD to discuss with commissioners backing out of joint aviation unit. “It’s estimated one helicopter in the sky is worth 15 officers on the ground when it comes to setting or searching a perimeter. The city in a statement said they value the aviation unit but want commissioners to assess if its the most cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars.”

• Programming note: The Point will return to your inbox on Monday.


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Around the state today

• WFSU: Legal Action Filed After Exorbitant Compensation Exposed At Domestic Violence Agency. “Florida’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its former CEO Tiffany Carr are now facing two state lawsuits in addition to investigations from the House and Inspector General’s office. This comes after questions arose about the payment and compensation Carr and other executives in the coalition received while handling taxpayer dollars intended to help domestic violence victims.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Will Florida primary be decisive blow in Biden-Sanders ‘mano-a-mano’? “The fast-forward narrowing of the Democratic presidential field in the past four days may mean Florida, along with three other state primaries on March 17, could insurmountably widen the delegate gap between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.”

• WUSF: Florida Polling Locations Taking Extra Steps To Lower Coronavirus Risk During Primaries. “Mail-in ballots are another way for voters to avoid risk, while still participating in the primary. However, anyone interested in requesting a mail-in ballot has to do so by Saturday.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Long before coronavirus, Florida caught Spanish flu. How bad was it? “Spanish influenza came to Tampa Bay at the end of September 1918. A month later, the disease had killed 2,712 Floridians. The state lost a total of 4,000 that year, and thousands more weakened survivors would die from pneumonia.”

• Florida Phoenix: FL lawmakers try to take on the youth nicotine crisis, but can’t agree on vaping regulations. “From what constitutes tobacco and nicotine products to vaping flavors, the legislation has become a thorny issue that may or may not lead to compromise as the spring legislative session wanes.”

• WFSU: House Passes ‘Kaia Rolle Act’ To Curb Arrest Of Children. “The Florida House has approved a measure that includes a plan to curb the arrest of children under 10. It came after last-minute negotiations and personal pleas from six-year-old Kaia Rolle and her grandmother.”

• WMFE: In Search For New President, UCF Narrows Field. “The University of Central Florida is interviewing seven candidates Thursday as it searches for a new president… UCF has been without a permanent president since Dale Whittaker resigned more than a year ago amidst allegations of the misspending of university funds.”

• Orlando Weekly: Another Florida panther killed by vehicle, car-related death toll jumps. “In all of 2019, there were 27 reported Florida panther deaths, 23 of which were caused by car strikes. So far this year, the death toll is off to a discouraging start. Of the nine panther deaths logged by FWC, eight were killed by cars.”

• Naples Daily News/Fort Myers News-Press ($): Here’s how you could end up on Florida’s ‘inactive’ voter list — even if you’ve voted recently. “Florida has put nearly 300,000 registered voters who voted in 2016 or later on “inactive” lists — the first step toward being purged from the voter rolls.”

• USA Today Network ($): High housing costs, low pay force Florida teachers to stretch limits. “Reporters obtained salary data from nearly all 67 school districts and compared median teacher income to median rental costs. In nearly every corner of the state, teachers spend more than a third of their monthly income on housing costs.”

• Florida Keys News: A pelican thought it was a fish, but swallowed a cellphone. And then the intern stepped in. “Emma McCarthy, the (Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center) intern, and hospital technician Adam Manglitz, worked together to remove the phone from the bird’s stomach. It involved reaching down into the pelican’s mouth. And beyond.”


From NPR News

• Health: Coronavirus Deaths In Washington State And California, Where Gov. Declares Emergency

• Health: Italy Sees Worst Of Europe’s Coronavirus Outbreak

• Health: Trump Administration Announces New Scrutiny Of Nursing Homes

• World: Why China’s Air Has Been Cleaner During The Coronavirus Outbreak

• World: U.S. Launches ‘Defensive Strike’ At Taliban As Fragile Afghan Peace Deal Teeters

• National: What To Know About The Election Security Situation After Super Tuesday

• Politics: Supreme Court Weighs Abortion Case; Schumer Remarks Draw Rebuke From Roberts

• Politics: Mike Bloomberg Suspends His Presidential Campaign And Endorses Joe Biden

• Business: States Take The Wheel Promoting Electric Vehicles

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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