The Point, July 23, 2020: How Heirs’ Property Impacts Gainesville’s Racial Equity Problem

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• WUFT News: The Hippodrome’s Production Of ‘Souvenir’ Highlights The Possibilities Of Virtual Theater. “The Hipp was able to showcase its socially-distanced production of Stephen Temperley’s “Souvenir” while also connecting with the community, sharing behind-the-scenes secrets, and reminding audience members that the arts are resilient. Over 50 audience members purchased tickets for the online opening night and entered the virtual ‘lobby’ program before the show. On the site, they found three tabs: the stage, the bar, and the mezzanine. Each tab imitated the actions that normally occur in each part of the theater.”

• WUFT News: Efforts Underway To Address Gainesville Racial Inequity Through Heirs’ Property Oversight. “The City of Gainesville is discussing the possibility of creating a position to handle ‘heirs’ property’ — land that has been passed down from generation to generation without a will. This informal system of ownership makes it difficult to determine the legal owners of a property, many of those impacted being Black. Landowners are left vulnerable to others obtaining their land, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has even recognized heirs’ property as ‘the leading cause of Black involuntary land loss.'”

• Gainesville Sun ($): School board urged to slow reopening plans. “Some teachers are so worried about returning to their schools as COVID-19 cases continue to spread that they’re preparing for the worst — writing living wills and buying life insurance, a fifth-grade teacher told school board members Tuesday night.”

• Associated Press: Ocasio-Cortez Rejects Yoho’s Apology In Verbal Spat. “Yoho made his remarks on the House floor a day after Ocasio-Cortez said he’d angrily harangued her outside the Capitol over her linkage of joblessness and some recent crimes.”


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Around the state today

• Politico: DeSantis’ White House cover erodes as coronavirus spreads in Florida. “Gov. Ron DeSantis has followed President Donald Trump’s lead for months while he waged a local battle against the coronavirus in Florida. That loyalty was rewarded with scorn from the White House this week as scrutiny on the state’s handling of Covid-19 ratchets up in the final months of the presidential campaign.”

• New York Times ($): Where the Virus Is Sending People to Hospitals. “The worst-hit areas in Texas and Florida have approached the peak rates of hospitalization that New York, New Orleans, Chicago and other cities hit in the spring.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Cuts Stone Crab Season By Two Weeks, After Proposing A Five-Week Cut. “After originally threatening to shorten the stone crab season by five weeks, the commission conceded to complaints in a virtually held meeting on Wednesday and shortened the season by only two weeks, with a new end date of May 1. The new rules go into effect Oct. 1.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Criminal Stalking Case Against Fired Florida Health Data Scientist To Drag Into August. “Rebekah Jones, 30, was charged in July 2019 with stalking a former boyfriend – long before the pandemic that catapulted her into headlines and television interviews. Police said she published a 68-page document online discussing private details of her relationship with her former boyfriend, including explicit texts and nude photographs, and shared the link with him.”

• WTSP: Florida contact tracing is a hot mess. “’If we’re taking 10-14 days to process tests, then contact tracing is almost worthless,’ said Dr. Marie Bourgeois, research assistant professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health.

• Florida Today ($): State Rep. Randy Fine first known Brevard politician to contract coronavirus. “His symptoms for now were ‘like a cold’ consisting of a recurring cough and running nose and feeling run-down, and had persisted since Friday when he was first tested along with his wife, Wendy, and children, David, 8, and Jacob, 12. Wendy tested positive on Monday, while Rep. Fine and his two sons confirmed the infection on Wednesday, following the Tuesday nasal swab.”

• NPR News: Jacksonville Residents Nervous As The City Prepares For The RNC. “Jacksonville, Fla., took on hosting the Republican National Convention at short notice. The city’s preparations aren’t inspiring confidence in residents and even local law enforcement.”

• WJCT: Start Of St. Johns County’s School Year Pushed Back Due To Coronavirus, RNC. “The St. Johns County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to push back the start of the school year until August 31, citing concerns related to the coronavirus and the upcoming Republican National Convention in Jacksonville.”

• WMFE: Florida Craft Beer Brewers Fear Cornonavirus Could Flatten Industry. “More than 100 Florida breweries could shut down permanently due to state restrictions on businesses in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a letter sent to the Governor by the Florida Brewers Guild.”


From NPR News

• Health: U.S. To Get 100 Million Doses of Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine In $1.95 Billion Deal

• Health: Can Masks Save Us From More Lockdowns? Here’s What The Science Says

• Education: As Georgia Governor Calls To Reopen Schools, Largest District Will Teach Online Only

• Science: Studies Suggest Immunity To The Coronavirus Is Likely To Be Short Term

• Politics: Trump Administration Is Considering Ban On TikTok In The U.S.

• National: Trump Expands Deployment Of Federal Agents To End ‘Explosion Of Shootings’

• Race: Sierra Club Denounces Founder John Muir For Racism

• Sports: Baseball Stadiums May Be Empty, But You Can Still Hear The Crowds

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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