The Point, Jan. 27, 2021: Has The Pandemic Increased Homelessness In Alachua County? Annual Count Might Help Reveal The Answer


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• WUFT News: Alachua County Conducts 2021 Point-in-Time Count Amid Pandemic. “The volunteers found their team and zone assignments on a whiteboard. Each team gathered plenty of red care bags with toiletries, socks, ponchos and snacks to give to those without shelter. Their goal: Spending the day finding and counting as many of the homeless population within the county as possible.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Names Joseph W. Dixon Sr. As New Fire Chief. “Dixon, who holds a Master of Arts in Fire and Rescue from Waldorf College, most recently served as fire chief for Goldsboro, N.C., a city of about 35,000 people 50 miles southeast of Raleigh. He’s expected to start as Gainesville’s Fire Rescue chief on March 15.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Police, officials may talk traffic safety in wake of deaths. “(Gainesville police spokesman Graham) Glover said officals are working to possibly schedule a news conference will be held with various agencies and officials at 11 a.m. Thursday in front of the UF football stadium. Afterward a foot patrol will take place to educate and enforce traffic and pedestrian laws.”

• WFSU: Legislation Making Public University Presidential Searches Private Passes First Stop. “This year’s proposal would keep private the names of applicants until the top three finalists have been selected. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) says the current process scares away qualified candidates.”

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Around the state today

• Tampa Bay Times ($): DeSantis reverses COVID-19 vaccine strategy to ensure second doses. “In a reversal, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that the state is now withholding COVID-19 vaccines to ensure seniors and healthcare workers can get their second doses.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Publix vaccine deal leaves many seniors out in the cold; commissioner says she’s ‘absolutely disgusted.’ “With Publix assuming near full control over COVID-19 vaccines in Palm Beach County, irate public officials are concerned that the rollout is unfair and leaves minorities out of luck.”

• Spectrum News: Polk County Fire Paramedic Charged With Stealing Moderna Vaccine Vials. “The Moderna vaccines were meant to be administered to other PCFR first responders. Joshua Colon, 31, is accused of stealing three doses worth of the Moderna vaccine, then forging vaccine screening and consent forms, (Polk Sheriff Grady) Judd said. Colon told detectives he was directed to do so by his supervisor, who also is under investigation, according to the Sheriff.”

• Florida Politics: ‘More of a political issue’: Florida National Guard General says Florida troops were ‘fine’ in D.C. “The Florida National Guard’s top-ranking General on Tuesday said Florida troops experienced ‘fine’ treatment in Washington, D.C., and described the infamous parking garage debacle as a ‘political issue. … ‘We really had no complaints with the way D.C. treated our Guardsmen,’ Adjutant General James Eifert said.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Florida Republican lawmakers push to restore Donald Trump’s Twitter account. “Rep. Randy Fine, R-Melbourne, and Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, who doubles as the Republican Party of Florida chair, touted newly filed legislation aimed at punishing China for spreading COVID-19 and media companies for banning Trump.”

• News4Jax: Head of DCPS police department resigns in wake of scathing report. “Micheal Edwards submitted his resignation on Sunday and it became effective Monday. Edwards’s resignation comes a little more than a month after a statewide grand jury studying school safety pointed sharply to the Duval County school district as an example of how not to handle crime reporting.”

• WUSF: Renderings: Here Are The Proposals For Redeveloping Tropicana Field. “St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said Tuesday the city is moving forward with plans to remake the Tropicana Field site without the Tampa Bay Rays.”

• Miami Herald ($): She once sold real estate. Now she searches for predators at night. “For most people, encountering an 18-foot-long python can be a terrifying experience. For Donna Kalil, who left her lucrative job as a real estate agent to become a hunter of the powerful snakes, it’s ‘a very exciting thing.'”

• WMFE: Disney Will Update Its Jungle Cruise Ride in 2021: Take a Sneak Peek at Some of the Changes. “Disney is updating the Jungle Cruise ride at its Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks to address criticisms over its depictions of indigenous people.”

From NPR News

• Health: The Biden Administration Is Working To Buy 200 Million More COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

• Politics: Senate Confirms Antony Blinken As Secretary Of State

• World: Some European Countries Move To Require Medical-Grade Masks In Public

• National: Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s 100-Day Deportation Moratorium

• National: New Capitol Police Chief Offers ‘Sincerest Apologies’ To Congress

• National: 2020 Firearm Catch Rate At Airports Doubled From Previous Year

• Education: Don’t Call It A Comeback: School Districts That Never Opened Are Having Trouble Now

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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