The Point, June 18, 2020: Florida Youth Sports During The Summer Of Coronavirus

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The top stories near you

• Our primary election guides continue this week with a look at who’s going to be on the ballots in Dixie and Gilchrist counties on Aug. 18. Registration closes on July 20. (WUFT News)

• Fresh Take Florida: Students, Others Forwarding Racist Online Posts For Public Shaming, Real-World Consequences. “Students and others across the U.S. are publicly shaming young authors of racist social media posts and in some cases forwarding copies to college admissions offices, athletic coaches and employers to press them for punishment… The University of Florida, which has struggled to attract black students, announced last week on Twitter that a student who posted racist comments on social media will not be attending school there in the fall.”

• News Service of Florida: UF Fights Lawsuit Over Student Refunds. “Attorneys for the trustees last week filed a 17-page motion to dismiss the case, which alleges breach of contract and ‘unjust enrichment’ by the university after students were forced to take online classes to finish the spring semester.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Haile Plantation residents debate name change. “Since the Haile Plantation subdivision was developed late 1970s, it has been a suburban address of choice for many. Few knew its history — at least initially. The land really was a plantation that enslaved people who did much of the work for the Haile family.”

• Spotlight On Levy County Government: Demolition Crews Removing Old Williston High School. “BluRock Development plans to build a retail development at the site. An Aldi’s grocery store and a Popeyes Louisiana Restaurant are two of the retail establishments planned for the development.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): County Commission cautious as budget season begins. “The coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown have led to drops in standard revenue sources, such as taxes and user fees. No one knows what the near future holds.”


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Around the state today

• Politico: DeSantis offers Election Day help as Republicans say they’ll cast ballots in person. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday took steps to help localities prepare for what could be high voter turnout this year, but stopped short of extending early voting or letting counties consolidate polling places in the battleground amid signs that President Donald Trump’s disparagement of mailed ballots could be resonating with Republican voters.”

• Bay News 9: Elections Association Head Questions Timing of Governor’s Executive Order. “Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer is president of the association, and in a statement said, ‘…many of the state’s Supervisors of Elections have already solidified their plans for the August primary election.’ The association says it may be too late for local offices to make adjustments for Coronavirus based on the governor’s order.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Amid New Surge In Florida Virus Cases, Children Resume Sports Across State. “In Tallahassee, the owner of a children’s baseball league has banned young players from shaking hands, high-fiving and huddling at practice. Welcome to the summer of youth sports in America in 2020, the year of the virus. Anxious parents are balancing the threat of exposing their kids against a desire to return to childhood normalcy, to let them run and play outside with friends and teammates. It doesn’t help that kids are impatient and unconcerned about health risks.”

• Florida Politics: Models show virus growing in Florida in the coming months. “Both models, which reflect estimated cases rather than confirmed cases, show the state in the early days of a second resurgence. Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the rising number of cases to expanded testing and communities where people live in close conditions, such as the prison system, agriculture and airports.”

• WJCT: FSCJ Data Scientist Says The Way Fla. Presents COVID-19 Numbers Is Misleading. “A Jacksonville-based data scientist says the way Florida presents COVID-19 data to the public is misleading, and he worries it’s being done deliberately to help support efforts to reopen the state.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): Another Lakeland nursing home hit by COVID-19 outbreak. “Lakeland Hills Center, a 120-bed nursing home, is the third local facility to have more than 20 residents test positive for the novel coronavirus. It is also one of five facilities with at least five deaths attributed to COVID-19.”

• Bay News 9: St. Pete Mayor: Masks Required for All Business Employees Starting Friday. “Pointing to recent increases in positive coronavirus cases in the city, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Wednesday that employees of businesses operating in the city will be required to wear masks starting Friday at 5 p.m.”

• Florida Phoenix: Chief justice’s order sets Florida on the path toward reopening its trial courts. “The order authorizes chief trial judges to order in-person proceedings if necessary to protect someone’s constitutional rights or if the court, the court clerk, or parties to the matter lack the necessary technology. Additional proceedings, including involuntary commitment, bail hearings, juvenile dependency hearings, and protective order cases, are eligible for in-person hearings. But even there, the preference for now will remain on remote proceedings.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): USF announces $20 million in tuition help for students. “The University of South Florida is steering $20 million in scholarships and waivers to students who may be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19… The school established the fund in hopes of enticing students back to campus in the fall.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Python hunter alone in Everglades suffers bloody bite, brings home behemoth. “While Florida’s unique Burmese python hunts have taken on a Disneyesque air with the hype of this year’s showy Python Bowl, and the likes of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey taking made for-TV field trips to hunt for snakes, (Mike) Kimmel’s brief but bloody battle shows how deadly serious the eradication of the invasive reptile can be.”

• WUSF: Meet the Family Behind Mykonos Greek Restaurant in Tarpon Springs. “Miami has Little Haiti and Little Havana. Orlando has Little Vietnam. And in northern Pinellas County, you’ll find an ethnic enclave like no other: Tarpon Springs. In the late 1800s, Greek immigrants established the town’s sponge-diving industry. Today, visitors flock to Tarpon Springs not only to buy sponges but also to sample the authentic Greek food.”


From NPR News

• Politics: Senate Republicans Unveil Police Reform Bill

• Business: Target Makes Extra Coronavirus Pay Permanent, Boosts Hourly Minimum To $15

• Business: Quaker Oats To Retire Aunt Jemima Brand Named After Racist Stereotype

• National: With Season Still In Jeopardy, Fauci Says MLB Should Finish Before Fall

• Science: Scientists Find The Biggest Soft-Shelled Egg Ever, Nicknamed ‘The Thing’

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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