The Point, Oct. 16, 2020: The Florida Supreme Court Has No Black Justices For The First Time In Decades


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• WUFT News: Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For UF/IFAS Extension Building In Newberry. “The new building, located at 22712 W. Newberry Road, is scheduled to be finished by this time next year. Funding for this project came from Alachua County, the city of Newberry and a Florida Department of Agriculture grant.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville’s Self-Driving Vehicles Are On Public Roads Again. “Gainesville’s autonomous shuttles are once again something you’ll see quite regularly if you are traveling along Southwest Second Avenue near the University of Florida.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Remains Undecided On Development Moratorium For Black Communities. “In a debate that has taken place since at least July, city commissioners weighed whether or not to place the moratorium on new development projects in neighborhoods like Pleasant Street and Spring Hill that have had predominantly Black populations for decades.”

• WUFT News: What’s On Your Ballot? In Gainesville, Four City Charter Amendments. “On Monday, polls will open in Florida and registered voters will have the chance to vote for the next president of the United States, as well as to make choices in several local elections. In Gainesville, voters will say “yes” or “no” to four amendments to the city charter and six Alachua County charter amendments — one of which led to a lawsuit against the county.”

• WUFT News: What’s On Your Ballot? In Marion County, One Sales Tax Referendum. “Voters in Marion County will soon have the choice to extend a one percent sales tax for four more years, going into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, and ending on Dec. 31, 2024.”

• WMFE: More than 2 million votes already counted in Florida. “In Central Florida, including Marion County, at least 438,000 votes have been cast.”

• WUFT News: St. Augustine Artist’s Work Aims To Inspire Social Justice Conversation In Gainesville. “One piece – “I fear you and although I do not know you I know your kind” – calls out the fears people can have when they do not understand others’ perspectives outside their own. It is hanging above the front door of the (Matheson) museum’s main building on East University Avenue.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Artists Plan To Engage The Community Through Arts Grants. “The extra money from this specialty license plate provides a way for artists to create on a larger canvas. This year, Kenya (Robinson), Terri Bailey, and Wendy Free are three of the 10 local artists who were awarded art grants. Each of these three artists spoke with WUFT and said they plan to use the money in a different way…”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Public Schools Donate Buses To Local Churches And Nonprofits. “The district has purchased 80 new buses, and typically any surplus buses would be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Given the strain of the pandemic, however, the district will donate them to support the community instead.”

• WUFT News: Nearly 50 Years Ago, Jimmy Norris Was Killed In Florida. The Cold Case Is Accelerating Thanks To New Leads. “Since 2011, (James) Norris’ case has been labeled a homicide, and that question has burned in the minds of (his sister), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. Still, it’s been a decade with little to no advances in their search.”

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Around the state today

• Fresh Take Florida: Legal Dispute Leaves Florida Supreme Court Without Black Justice For First Time In Nearly Four Decades. “The court’s new makeup is especially notable after a summer of simmering racial tensions nationwide and ahead of important, upcoming civil rights cases on its docket. The Republican governor’s backup choice to fill a vacancy on the court – whom he appointed last month – was Jamie Grosshans, 41, who is white.”

• WUSF: USF Is Eliminating College Of Education Undergraduate Programs. “The move comes as the university looks to cut $36.7 million over the next nine months.”

• Associated Press: Florida Democrats have voter advantage, but it’s shrinking. “Democrats have just more than 5.3 million voters registered for the Nov. 3 election, compared to nearly 5.2 million for Republicans.”

• Politico: Florida acts to remove felons from voter rolls as election looms. “Florida will seek to push former felons from voter rolls if they have outstanding court debts, a surprise, late-hour move that comes after more than 2 million people already have voted in the presidential battleground.”

• Florida Politics: Shevaun Harris elevated to Acting AHCA Secretary. “Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed Shevaun Harris as Acting Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, filling a spot left vacant when Mary Mayhew left the department earlier this month.”

• WUFT News: Increased Demand In Florida For Concealed Weapons Carry Licenses During The Pandemic. “Many Florida residents are obtaining a concealed carry license during the pandemic. According to the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, over 60,000 concealed weapon or firearm license applications were distributed in September.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Sheriff fires two jail administrators after inmate gave birth in cell. “A Broward inmate screaming for help in her jail cell was forced to give birth there, ignored by jail staff standing outside her cell until just before her son was born, according to the Broward Public Defender’s Office.”

• WMFE: Motorcyclists Roll In For Biketoberfest 2020. “Daytona Beach knew they couldn’t stop bikers from coming into town but they didn’t go out of their way to encourage the event either. Back in September, Commissioners voted against issuing permits to vendors for Biketober fest that runs through Sunday.”

• Florida Storms: Cold Front Approaching This Weekend; Tropics Active Again Next Week. “A cold front will pass through the northern half of Florida this weekend, while attention turns to the Caribbean early next week for possible tropical development.”

• New York Times ($): A Florida City Is Selling Some of Its Beloved Swans. “Lakeland’s swan population has thrived since Queen Elizabeth II donated a pair in 1957. Now, however, the city has too many of the birds and is seeking to offload some by holding a lottery.”

From NPR News

• Race: Doctors’ Unconscious Bias Affects Quality Of Health Care Services, Research Shows

• Business: United Airlines Reports $1.8 Billion Loss But Looks Ahead To Friendlier Skies

• Business: Twitter And Facebook Limit Access To A ‘New York Post’ Story On Biden’s Son

• Politics: Amy Coney Barrett Faces Gendered Questions From Senate Judiciary Committee

• Politics: Kamala Harris’ Travel Suspended After 2 People Near Her Test Positive For Coronavirus

• World: City In China Tests 10 Million People After 13 COVID-19 Cases Are Found

• Science: A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science

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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