The Point, June 23, 2020: Florida Fashioned To Be Epicenter Of Political Bipolarity, Coronavirus Spikes


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The top stories near you

• Review our last in a series of election guides for the upcoming August primary if you’re a voter in Suwannee or Union counties. (WUFT News)

• Gainesville Sun ($): 2 dead in Paynes Prairie crash. “Troopers at the scene said a northbound vehicle crossed the median and hit a southbound vehicle, killing two people in the northbound vehicle and sending one driver from the southbound vehicle to the hospital.”

• The Alligator: ACSO says it has already met calls for police reform, community members say they want more. “To activist Jhody Polk, compliance with #8cantwait policies isn’t enough.”

• Spotlight on Levy County Government: County Commission Facing Red Ink in EMS Budget; Sheriff’s Office Gets $675,000 Increase. ” At the same meeting where the EMS budget deficit was announced, the board voted to give Sheriff Bobby McCallum a $675,000 increase in his budget. His budget for next year stands at $14.9 million with the increase.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Appeals court strikes down Ocala’s fire service fee. “Nearly a year after a circuit court judge decided that Ocala’s fire service user fee was lawful, the Florida 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the decision, declaring the fee an unconstitutional tax.”

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Around the state today

• NPR News: Florida Passes 100,000 COVID-19 Cases. “Like some other states, Florida has seen a surge of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks. A new record high of 4,049 new cases was set Saturday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has linked the rising number of cases to increased testing.”

• Politico: Trump’s Maduro comments create political mess in must-win Florida.“The mere flirtation with diplomatic talks with Maduro could hurt Trump’s standing in the nation’s largest swing state, which he needs to win in November in order to return to the White House for a second term.”

• Florida Politics: Republican National Convention host city Jacksonville will not issue mask order“Despite spikes in transmission, Jacksonville won’t mandate masks.”

• WUFT News: Orlando Protest Movement Marches Forward; City Dodges Destruction Seen Elsewhere. “The protest marches, which took place daily from late May to early June, were some of the largest mass demonstrations in Central Florida in decades.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): 66 Jacksonville firefighters self-quarantining due to exposure to coronavirus.“Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers said a total of 66 Jacksonville firefighters and 13 lifeguards were off the job and self-quarantining Monday because of exposure to COVID-19.”

• WTSP: Sales boom and fire-rescue concerns grow as firework shows get canceled.“With so many local cities canceling their professional pyrotechnic shows due to COVID-19, firework sales are booming.”

• USA Today Network ($): Hundreds of complaints, zero penalties for bars, restaurants violating Florida reopening rules.“But no fines were levied and no enforcement action was taken in those 335 cases discovered by the USA Today Florida Network.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Graves have been found at Tampa’s lost Zion Cemetery. “Nearly 800 pioneering black residents of Tampa were buried in the segregation-era Zion Cemetery from 1901 through 1929.”

• St. Augustine Record ($): St. Augustine commissioners vote 3-2 to remove Confederate memorial.  “After about 10 hours spent on the issue at City Hall, St. Augustine commissioners decided 3-2 on Monday night to move the city’s Confederate memorial from the Plaza de la Constitucion.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): FSU Student Senate upended by social media posts: President ousted, successor faces outcry. “Less than a week after Jack Denton, former Student Government Association (SGA) Senate President at Florida State University was removed from office for derogatory speech against the LGBTQ community, students are calling for his successor Ahmad Daraldik to also be removed.”

• Orlando Weekly: Carnival cancels all cruises out of U.S. ports for the entire summer. “In a statement released Monday, Carnival Cruise Line says it’s voluntarily canceling all cruises through Sept. 30, 2020, amid concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Orlando Pride withdraw from NWSL Challenge Cup due to COVID-19 cases.“The Orlando Pride will not participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup after six players and four staff members tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.”

From NPR News

• National: NASCAR Fans React To A Noose Left In Bubba Wallace’s Garage

• World: Delta To Resume Flights Between The U.S. And China

• Business: Get A Comfortable Chair: Permanent Work From Home Is Coming

• Race: Theodore Roosevelt Statue To Be Removed From New York Museum Entrance

• Race: Police Researcher: Officers Have Similar Biases Regardless Of Race

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at

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