The Point, Sept. 30, 2020: Assessing UF’s Progress On Its Racial Reckoning Promises


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• Fresh Take Florida: After 100 Days, Slow Start On Race Reforms At University Of Florida. “Amid tumultuous racial protests this summer, the University of Florida promised an ambitious, campus-wide reckoning that included recruiting more Black students and faculty, sensitivity training for students and professors, more money for research about racism and more contracts with minority-owned businesses. Just over three months later, progress on many of those promises has been mixed, according to a review of the initiatives and interviews with key campus officials.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Commission Postpone Vote On Solar Facility Because Of Power Outage. “In perhaps another sign of the times Tuesday, a Duke Energy power outage prevented residents from airing concerns about a proposed solar facility that would be managed by the utility.”

• WUFT News: Marion County School Administrator Caught In Dispute Between Federal And State Marijuana Policy. “Former Belleview High School Dean of Students Michael Hickman is caught in a legal dispute over state and federal policy regarding medical marijuana rights for employers and employees. It’s an incident that has become more common in recent years, policy experts say.”

• WUFT News: Sister Hazel Newberry Drive-In Concert Approved. “The Gainesville alternative rock band Sister Hazel will be allowed to perform a drive-in concert at an abandoned mine in Newberry scheduled for Oct. 23. The motion for approval passed unanimously.”

• The Alligator: UF Board of Trustees approve furlough policy for faculty and staff. “UF’s Board of Trustees unanimously passed an amendment Tuesday to implement furloughs, an unpaid leave of absence while employees still retain their jobs. But some faculty and staff members are concerned they’re being targeted as administrators’ salaries stay untouched.”

• WUFT News: ‘We Thought We Could Fill That Niche’: Couple Starts Tropical Plant Company In Gainesville. “(Yazmin Almarez and Nadia Mourad) quit working for Costa Farms and started Tropical Roots Plant Co., which moved to Gainesville in 2020 when Mourad did for her Ph.D. The business has been growing faster than the plants they sell.”

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Around the state today

• NPR News: Florida’s Miami-Dade Pushes Back On Loosening Of Coronavirus Restrictions. “Miami-Dade County says it will not fully comply with a decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift most restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus, saying it’s too soon to safely reverse the precautions.”

• WUSF: DeSantis: Millions Of Rapid Test Kits On The Way. “The state will get 6.5 million rapid coronavirus test kits, DeSantis said. First on the list for distribution will be high-risk nursing homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals. DeSantis said the tests are part of the 150 million kits purchased by the federal government.”

• ClickOrlando: Disney announces thousands of layoffs as coronavirus pandemic continues.After a series of financially devastating months caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Disney is laying off thousands of employees, according to a statement from the company. The company has announced it will lay off at least 28,000 U.S. employees, of which 67% are part-time, according to the statement.”

• WLRN: Under State Pressure, Miami-Dade School Board Moves Up Campus Reopening To Next Week. “In a stunning turnabout, and under pressure from state officials, the Miami-Dade County school board voted Tuesday to begin bringing students back to campuses in less than a week.”

• Associated Press: Tampa airport says it will test passengers for coronavirus. “The Florida airport and BayCare Health System will offer voluntary testing for any passenger departing from or arriving at the airport. The tests are open to anyone who has flown, or is flying, within three days, and can show proof of travel.”

• Florida Politics: Key West voters to decide on banning big cruise ships. “Large cruise ships could soon be banned from docking at the Key West port if locals approve a referendum Nov. 3.”

• WLRN: Unmute Yourself! Public Comment Pushing Through The Pandemic. “In the Keys, commenting at public meetings before the pandemic sometimes required a 100-mile drive. Holding meetings remotely has allowed people to chime in from wherever they are. Some have interesting Zoom handles — like one commenter at a Monroe County commission meeting from the summer when they were discussing new rules for vacation rentals. ‘The next speaker is Shady Lady,’ the county IT staffer running the Zoom session announced.”

From NPR News

• Politics: Recapping The 1st Presidential Debate Between Trump And Biden

• Politics: Biden, Harris Release 2019 Tax Returns Hours Before The First Debate

• Politics: ‘Russia Doesn’t Have To Make Fake News’: Biggest Election Threat Is Closer To Home

• Books: ‘Leave The World Behind’ Is A Signature Novel For This Blasted Year

• Business: Ski Industry Prepares For The Season In The Pandemic

• World: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Iconic Collar To Go On Display In Israel

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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