The Point, Sept. 25, 2020: Williston Faith Leaders Push For Racial Unity During A Difficult Moment For The City


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• WUFT News: Williston Prayer Vigil Calls For Citywide Unity Amid Racial Tensions. “The vigil was held in response to the current political turmoil, racial unrest and violence in Williston, (Pastor Johnnie) Jones said … Jones deliberately scheduled the vigil at the same time as the Williston City Council meeting to make a statement, he said. City council members were forced to walk through the crowd of people praying in order to reach the front door of the building.”

• WMFE: Marion’s former deputy superintendent resigns after probe finds misuse of authority. “Marion County’s former Deputy Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Grantham has been forced to resign after an investigation found he abused his authority.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Dispensary Will Begin Selling Cannabis Edibles In October. “Curaleaf, one of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Gainesville, will begin to include edible cannabis items in their product line starting in October.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Salons Struggle To Bring Back Customers As COVID-19 Continues. “Despite added cleanliness and safety precautions, many Gainesville beauty and nail salons have not regained the customer base they had before the pandemic began.”

• WUFT News: Safety Restrictions Force Mountain Biking Fundraising Event To Change Course. “The Friends of San Felasco Citizen Support Organization in Alachua is seeking alternatives for its main fundraising event, the Tour de Felasco.”

• Associated Press: Florida Governor Proposes College ‘Bill Of Rights’ — To Party. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would seek a ‘bill of rights’ for college students in the wake of crackdowns on parties and other social gatherings that some blame for a surge in coronavirus infections at campuses across the country. ‘I understand that universities are trying to do the right thing,’ the governor told reporters, ‘but I personally think its dramatically draconian that a student could get potentially expelled for going to a party. That’s what college kids do.'”

• The Alligator: ‘So you think we’re playing?’: Photo of crowd outside bar creates controversy in Gainesville. “A deleted Facebook post sparked conversations about the potential dangers of the Gainesville nightlife scene during the COVID-19 pandemic. A photo taken in front of DownTown Fats Bar, located at 112 S. Main St., shows at least 30 maskless people gathering on the sidewalk within 6 feet of each other.”

• WUFT News: Kickflips And COVID: Skating Makes A Comeback In Gainesville. “Skating has surged in popularity over the coronavirus pandemic, with searches for ‘how to skateboard’ and ‘how to roller skate’ both hitting a 5-year peak in May, according to Google Trends. Skating has also taken over social media, with TikTok videos posted under the hashtags #rollerskating and #skateboardbeginner gaining over three billion views combined. And it’s clearly gained a renewed foothold in Gainesville.”

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Around the state today

• Fresh Take Florida: Last Chance: Florida Considers Clemency Pleas By Felons For Last Time Ahead Of Election. “Wednesday’s clemency board meeting represented the first this year, and the first since a federal appeals court ruled earlier this month – in a major legal victory for Republicans – that only felons who have already paid all fines, fees and restitution will be allowed to vote. Ahead of November’s elections, the clemency hearing was the only way for Florida’s estimated 1 million felons to qualify to vote if they can’t afford to pay their debts or can’t find anyone else to pay for them.”

• NPR News: Florida Republicans Take Aim At Efforts To Pay Felons’ Fines So They Can Vote. “Florida’s attorney general is asking law enforcement agencies to open an investigation of a contribution made by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help pay the fines and court fees of felons. Bloomberg this week raised some $16 million for a fund established by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help felons who have completed their sentences vote in the upcoming election.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Cracks Down On Teacher Misconduct, Speeds Process Of Stripping Certifications. “Under the new rule, the Department of Education must within 24 hours flag teachers in its internal certification system who are implicated in misconduct investigations. It also allows the education commissioner within 30 days after an investigation to decide whether to invoke professional sanctions, such as revoking a teaching license and removing them from contact with students.”

• WJCT: Thousands Pack Jacksonville’s Cecil Airport For Trump Campaign Rally. “Social distancing and mask wearing were encouraged at the rally, according to the event registration. However, the majority of people at the event chose not to wear masks as they stood shoulder to shoulder for the speeches. The event registration form stated that the campaign and event venue were not liable for anyone who is potentially exposed to COVID-19 at the rally.”

• WKMG: Florida nears 14,000 deaths, reports 2,541 coronavirus cases. “Florida is likely to surpass a death toll of 14,000 by the end of the week. As of Thursday, there have been 13,961 deaths since March, including 166 non-residents who died in the state.”

• Florida Politics: Are Florida Republicans obsessed with pedophilia in the age of QAnon? “To read Florida’s headlines in the lead-up to a contentious presidential election, pedophilia stands as one of society’s most urgent challenges in 2020. Voices like Ashley Moody, Vern Buchanan and Ross Spano increasingly target kid touchers— perhaps the easiest political boogeyman to hate in the history of democracy, and not necessarily wrongly so.”

• USA Today Network: Florida couple wins $1 million lottery prize, plans to build ‘dream home.’ “The Florida Lottery gave a Tallahassee woman and her husband a million good reasons to start their ‘dream’ house.”

From NPR News

• National: Court Orders Census Counting To Continue Through Oct. 31; Appeal Expected

• Politics: Feds, In Unusual Statement, Announce They’re Investigating Discarded Ballots

• Business: Coroners Under Pressure As Pandemic Brings Budget Cuts

• Business: Pandemic Sparks New Businesses

• Science: ‘Light Years Ahead’ Of Their Elders, Young Republicans Push GOP On Climate Change

• Health: Data Begins To Provide Some Answers On Pregnancy And The Pandemic

• Sports: Pac-12 Reversal: Football To Start In November

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

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