The Point, June 22, 2020: The Debate Over A Longer Hurricane Season


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• WUFT News: Stranded UF International Students Face Financial Barriers and Uncertainty. “When COVID-19 took the states by storm in early March, Annie Ramita watched the students in her University of Florida dorm slowly trickle out, until the only residents left were herself and a fellow resident assistant from China.”

• See who’s already claimed victory by running for office without a challenger and who still remains on the August ballot in our latest round of voter guides for Marion and Putnam counties. (WUFT News)

• Suwannee Democrat: Spike in cases continues in Suwannee County. “For the second straight day, more than 20 new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus were confirmed in Suwannee County by the Florida Department of Health. Twenty-eight cases were announced by the health department Sunday, raising the county’s total to 279 cases.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion County graduations peppered with protest gestures. “Several students knelt during Vanguard High School’s graduation on Monday. School Superintendent Heidi Maier, in her comments to the graduates, said she respected their peaceful gestures but also challenged them to follow up with action.”

• The Alligator: UF students and friends reflect on the death of activist Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau. “Salau, an activist who spoke at recent Tallahassee Black Lives Matter protests, was last seen June 6 after calling the Tallahassee Police Department and tweeting about a sexual assault. Salau was found in the woods covered in leaves. The body of Victoria Sims, a 75-year-old AARP volunteer, was also found in a nearby house.”

• NPR News: Tom Petty’s Family Doesn’t Want Trump Using His Music For A ‘Campaign Of Hate.’ “The family of the late American rock legend Tom Petty has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump campaign after it blasted the song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ at the president’s rally in Tulsa, Okla.”

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Around the state today

• WLRN: Hurricane Season Started Early For The Last Six Years. Is It Time To Extend The Season? “Forecasters have long pointed to improvements in technology and the ability to detect smaller tropical systems as the reason for the rise in pre-season storms. Ship and buoy observations used during the early days of record-keeping that date back to the 1850s would have missed such storms, they say. And in recent years, a fleet of new satellites have dramatically increased data.”

• Politico: DeSantis pivots on Covid-19 surge, says testing doesn’t account for spike. “But DeSantis said Saturday that some businesses — especially bars with young patrons seen packed close together and not social distancing — need to be reined in.”

• WJCT/News Service of Florida: UF Health Jacksonville ICU Is Full; Over 75% Of ICU Beds Occupied Statewide. “Fewer than 1-in-4 adult intensive-care unit beds statewide are empty, according to data from the state Agency for Health Care Administration.”

• Florida Today ($): Cape Canaveral sewage from Memorial Day, SpaceX launch week shows jump in coronavirus. “Throughout May testing of the raw sewage at the Cape Canaveral Wastewater Treatment Facility detected no presence of the novel coronavirus – that is, until the week of May 26.”

• New York Times ($): The Lapses That Let a Saudi Extremist Shoot Up a U.S. Navy Base. “…’extreme vetting’ did not stop precisely the sort of person Mr. Trump’s policy was supposed to root out: Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani of Saudi Arabia, a 21-year-old Qaeda loyalist who was part of a prestigious training program at the naval air station in Pensacola, Fla.”

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis Signs Bills On School Bus Safety, Bear Poaching. “The school-bus safety bill (HB 37) will increase penalties for motorists who drive improperly when buses are stopped to load and unload children.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): Polk schools to open in August, online learning will be an option. “Polk County’s school administrators plan to open school campuses to students in August, while at the same time offering distance learning for those whose parents aren’t ready to send them back into the classroom amid a COVID-19 pandemic.”

• WJCT: Vote Expected Monday On Removing St. Augustine Confederate Monument. “The fate of the Confederate monument in Downtown St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion will likely be decided at this Monday’s city commission meeting. The monument was erected around 1872 in honor of Confederate soldiers who died fighting in the Civil War.”

• FLKeysNews ($): The Florida Keys are one step closer to getting genetically modified mosquitoes. “The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services this week granted Oxitec an experimental use permit to release potentially millions of lab-made male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes throughout Monroe County. The goal is to wipe out the Keys population of the invasive bugs, which carry diseases like dengue fever, Zika and yellow fever.”

• Orlando Weekly: Well, at least there have been fewer shark attacks in Florida. “While Florida is breaking new COVID-19 records almost every day, it’s important to note the good things, like how we’re not getting chewed on by sharks as much.”

From NPR News

• Education: Inside The National Movement To Push Police Out Of Schools

• Politics: Kamala Harris Is Seen As The Clear Front-Runner To Be Joe Biden’s Running Mate

• Politics: Trump’s Tulsa Rally Comes Despite Increases Of COVID-19 Infections

• Health: Blood Plasma Treatments Could Be Helpful For COVID-19 Patients

• Health: Drinking Has Surged During The Pandemic. Do You Know The Signs Of Addiction?

• Business: AMC Theatres Will Now Require Guests To Wear Masks When It Reopens

• Books: John Bolton’s Big Paycheck For His Book May Be In Jeopardy

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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