The Point, March 9, 2020: Florida Legislators Approve $25M In Coronavirus Funding


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• The Alligator: UF cancels more study abroad programs, tells some students to stay away from campus. “UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said all study abroad programs to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran planned for this Summer were canceled. Japan’s study abroad programs are still being evaluated. Approximately 400 students are affected by this cancellation, and the UF International Center is working to find them alternative programs.”

• WUFT News: Percentage Of Black Youths Arrested Remains High, Even As Juvenile Arrests Decline in Alachua County. “Despite a decrease in the total number of juvenile arrests in Alachua County, the percentage of black youths arrested by police has remained higher than the percentage of white and Hispanic youth arrests. Between 2017 and 2018, 81% of the juveniles arrested in Alachua County were black, according to data provided by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.”

• New York Times ($): Where Mermaids Play, a Nasty Water Fight. “In High Springs, the battle over water has sharply divided the small, rural community. On one side are environmentalists, who rail against the notion of a corporation using Florida’s natural resources for its own profit while adding to the problem of single-use plastic bottles… They are facing off against the Wray family, which has owned (Ginnie Springs,) the popular recreational spot for generations. The Wrays argue that even the increased amount of water that will be pumped represents less than three-quarters of one percent of the water flowing into the nearby river from the springs on their property. Some family members say the real problem is overpumping by large agricultural operations.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Peaceful Paths shelter safe despite lawsuit, director says. “The Gainesville shelter, which sees an average of 450 people annually, was said to be in extreme crisis last month after the governor’s office cut the state’s contract with FCADV, the main distributor of funds to Florida’s 42 local shelters.”

• Spotlight on Levy County Government: Say Goodbye to the Levy County Fair. “The Levy County Fair has closed its doors for good… Debra Jones, a charter member of the Levy County Fair Association, said lack of volunteers forced the closure of the fair.”

• Alachua County Today: Miller Unopposed, Alachua Election Cancelled. “Current City Commissioner Dayna Miller was the only individual who submitted the necessary documents to qualify for the Seat 3 election (that was to be held April 14).”

• NBC News: Google tracked his bike ride past a burglarized home. That made him a suspect. “The email arrived on a Tuesday afternoon in January, startling Zachary McCoy as he prepared to leave for his job at a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida. It was from Google’s legal investigations support team, writing to let him know that local police had demanded information related to his Google account.”

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Around the state today

• Florida Phoenix: From last Sunday to this Sunday, the coronavirus epidemic has quickly taken root in Florida. “In just one week, the cases rose quickly to at least 11 — with two deaths and three new cases reported Saturday evening by the Florida Department of Health. Those three new cases are in Volusia and Okaloosa counties, as well as a new case in Manatee.”

• Florida Politics: Mike Pence: Risk for the average American ‘remains low’ after first two Florida coronavirus deaths. “Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. Ron DeSantis called for calm Saturday afternoon amid news two Floridians had died after contracting the new coronavirus (also known as the COVID-19 virus).”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Can vulnerable Florida contain coronavirus? Experts are concerned. “Health analysts also point to the state’s large population of seniors, who are most susceptible to the virus, and millions of service workers who rarely get sick leave and are less likely to seek treatment.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Dozens of Fort Myers hospital workers at risk after coronavirus patient dies. “So far, no hospital staffers have shown signs of the virus, but those most at risk are being kept in isolation for further monitoring, according to Lee Health, which operates the health center in south Fort Myers.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida lawmakers approve $25 million for coronavirus. “The decision by legislators to respond quickly to DeSantis comes after his administration has come under some criticism – including from fellow Republicans – for the way information has been released about the outbreak.”

• Bay News 9: Publix Places Limits on Cleaning, Sanitizing Purchases Amid Coronavirus Fears. “Maria Brous, Director of Communications for Publix, said increased demand for some of their products amid COVID-19 concerns is forcing the company to place limits on items.”

• WMFE: Conventions Hurt by Coronavirus Fears but not Theme Parks. “Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the cancellations of the three conventions represented a local economic impact of $154 million. No case of the new coronavirus has been detected in the county.”

• WFSU: Florida Will Keep 12 Public Universities For Now After Plan To Merge Florida Poly, New College Fails. “Plans to merge Florida Polytechnic and New College of Florida into the University of Florida died Friday due to a lack of support in from the Senate.”

• Daytona Beach News-Journal ($): Revelers at Daytona Bike Week shrug off coronavirus fears. “‘It’s a bunch of boo-ha-ha,’ said ‘Doc,’ 63, from Titusville, who would not give his real name and jokingly referred to himself as Julio Iglesias.”

• WTSP: Giant, pink flamingo will greet guests at Tampa International Airport. “It’s big, pink and will soon be greeting travelers at the Tampa International Airport… a 21-foot flamingo sculpture.”

From NPR News

• Health: A Look At Seattle, The City At Epicenter Of The Coronavirus Outbreak In The U.S.

• Health: Coronavirus: Italy Orders Massive Shutdown; Cruise Ship Gets OK To Dock In California

• Health: Laundry Between Emails: Working From Home Goes Viral In The Time Of Coronavirus

• Business: Oil Prices, Stocks Plunge After Saudi Arabia Stuns World With Massive Discounts

• Education: Schools And Businesses Grapple With How To Cope With Coronavirus

• Education: 6 Ways Universities Are Responding To Coronavirus

• Politics: Of The 6 States That Vote In Tuesday Primaries, Michigan Is The Focus

• Politics: What The End Of Warren’s Campaign Means For The Prospect Of A Woman As President

• National: Combating Fear And Disinformation Regarding The 2020 Census

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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