The Point, Sept. 16, 2020: Hurricane Sally Could Give The Florida Panhandle Another Foot Of Rain


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• WUFT News: There Was An Increase In Alachua County Teacher Retirements Ahead Of The 2020-21 School Year. “While not all resignations were motivated by COVID-19, between mid-July and September, the Alachua County School District saw about 67 teacher resignations and 23 retirements, according to district records. In 2019, about 55 teachers resigned and seven retired in the same time span.”

• The Alligator: A look into ACPS’ controversial hybrid learning model. “When Alachua County Public Schools finalized its opening plan, many parents and teachers were frustrated by the HyFlex model, where teachers balance in-person and online students simultaneously. However, some worry they don’t have the technology tools to accomplish the feat.”

• WUFT News: Job Placement Organizations Adapt To Escalating Demand For Services. “In Marion County … the unemployment rate has been consistently high, peaking at 12% in April. For this reason, organizations like CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and CareerSource North Central Florida have made extensive changes to adapt to this influx of COVID-19 layoffs.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Receives First Proposal For $40 Million Sports Complex. “The Alachua County Commission received an unsolicited proposal for a public-private partnership regarding the $40 million multi-purpose sports venue that generated debate between the city and county commissioners at the end of last year.”

• WUFT News: Free COVID-19 Testing In Southwest Gainesville This Saturday. “The Alachua County Department of Health has partnered with the University of Florida to offer free COVID-19 testing on Saturday at the Southwest Advocacy Group Family Resource Center.”

• WUFT News: COVID-19 Postpones First Gator Soccer Game, Pauses Lacrosse And Baseball Practices. “Three Gators on the soccer team tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the team to enact widespread quarantines among those who were in direct contact with the positive players.”

• Chronicle of Higher Education: The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges. “For Bernie Machen, it started before he’d been hired. The University of Florida’s Board of Trustees was looking for a president who would commit to moving the institution up the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings. … While many people inside and outside of higher education today argue that a high ranking doesn’t necessarily translate to quality, Machen believed in many of U.S. News’s metrics.”

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Around the state today

• Florida Storms: Category 2 Hurricane Sally Moving Ashore. “Another foot of rain is forecast over the western Panhandle through Thursday, which is expected to exacerbate the ongoing flash flooding. Effects from the storm are possible as far east as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and the Nature Coast area, where occasional rain bands may lead to isolated areas of flash flooding and brief tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and night.”

• Northwest Florida Daily News ($): Area military bases shutting down to all but mission-essential personnel. “Area military bases were shutting down to all but mission-essential personnel Tuesday as the effects of Hurricane Sally intensified across the region ahead of the storm’s landfall.”

• WFSU: Hurricane Sally Causes Big Bend Closures, Voluntary Evacuations. “School closures are taking place across the region, and some residents are being asked to evacuate.”

• Politico: Biden woos Puerto Ricans in Florida — and gives new hope to state Democrats. “Buoyed by promised ad buys, new hires and Joe Biden’s visit on Tuesday to Kissimmee — home to a sizable Puerto Rican population — Florida Democrats are growing more confident of the party’s chances with Hispanic voters as Election Day approaches.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida’s elected state cabinet is finally meeting again, after nearly four months without. “An agenda released Tuesday for the Sept. 22 meeting doesn’t include a request by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to discuss state plans for spending federal stimulus money received because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

• Florida Politics: What kind of political future lies ahead for Andrew Gillum? “As the world explored the consequence of the former Tallahassee Mayor going on national television as a Black man professing his bisexuality, perhaps the most prominent Black man to do so, the Florida political world buzzed, whether in excitement or disbelief, at a renewed political prospect. Could Gillum seek — and win — elected office again?”

• Bay News 9: SeaWorld Laid Off Nearly 1,900 Workers in Orlando. “SeaWorld cited the pandemic as the reason behind the decision.”

• WUSF: Development In Florida Panther Habitat Could Be Expedited By Presidential Executive Order. “An executive order signed by President Trump in June to accelerate the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is helping developers sidestep key environmental laws in order to fast-track projects.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Jacksonville Zoo seeks to raise $250,000 by Sunday due to critical pandemic-related losses. “The nonprofit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has launched an emergency virtual fundraiser to help make up a critical funding gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): FGCU president says students could end up suspended for breaking COVID rules. “COVID-19 rule-breakers could end up suspended for the rest of the academic year, (President Mike) Martin said. This is a serious setback for a student because leaders throughout the State University System agree that a suspension from one school is a suspension ‘from all 12,’ he said.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Derek Jeter lists Tampa home, residence of Tom Brady, for $29 million. “Brady and his family have been renting the mansion. He has not moved out, but the two sports superstars ‘negotiated favorable terms for both of them so that the Jeters could market and list the property,” said Sarah Lesch, a spokeswoman for Smith & Associates.'”

From NPR News

• National: Inspector General Slams FEMA Over Repeatedly Flooded Homes

• National: Latinos Report Financial Strain As Pandemic Erodes Income And Savings

• National: Louisville Agrees To $12 Million Settlement With Breonna Taylor’s Family

• Health: NPR Probes Why Personal Protective Equipment Is Still In Short Supply

• Health: College Towns Welcome Students Back But Worry COVID-19 Tags Along

• Business: Should We Kill The $100 Bill?

• Business: Google Says It Doesn’t Monopolize Digital Ad Market. Senators Don’t Buy It

• World: Abraham Accords Fall Short Of Becoming ‘The Deal Of The Century’

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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