The Point, Feb. 2, 2021: See Who’s Running In This Year’s Gainesville City Elections


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• WUFT News: Two Candidates Qualify In Each Of Gainesville’s Two 2021 City Commission Races. “District 1 incumbent Gigi Simmons will face challenger Desmon Duncan-Walker in the March 16 election. For the at-large seat, incumbent Gail Johnson will face Gabe Kaimowitz…”

• WUFT News: President Paul Broadie II Recounts His First Year Leading Santa Fe College. “He previously served as president for two colleges in Connecticut, but no amount of experience could have prepared Broadie for the year ahead when he took the job. A month after taking his role, the COVID-19 virus upended the country. One year later, Broadie reflects on what he’s learned from a year of adapting and the challenges that remain.”

• WUFT News: Sharply Colder Air And Low Wind Chills For The Next Few Days. “A strong front moving through Florida early Monday is driving yet another chilly air mass into the state and it is likely to last several days before moderating.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Former UF student charged with trying to aid ISIS. “A former Gainesville resident and University of Florida student was charged with attempting to join and give money to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly known as the foreign terrorist organization ISIS, in a criminal complaint released Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

• WUFT News: Florida Hit-And-Run Fatalities Jumped 18% From 2019 To 2020. “Gainesville was not alone in experiencing hit-and-run fatalities in 2020. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched an awareness campaign on Monday aimed at reducing the number of incidents in 2021 and beyond. There were 254 in 2020, an increase of over 18% from the past year. Department data revealed pedestrians and bicyclists to be at the highest risk, making up nearly 64% of these fatalities. The department found 85% of the incidents happened during low-visibility hours such as nighttime, dawn or dusk.”

• WUFT News: Bradford County Delays Until April Its Search For A County Manager. “Until then, the county’s nine departments will continue under the oversight of Will Sexton, the county attorney and interim county manager. It also solidified plans to set up meetings with nearby current and former county managers to gain more insight into the search process.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): ‘Trailblazer’ attorney Stephan Mickle remembered as true gentleman. “To say Stephan Mickle was a trailblazer would be the ultimate understatement, his long-time friends and acquaintances said. Mickle, who died on Tuesday at UF Health Shands Hospital, was among the first seven African-American students to integrate the university in 1962. He was 76. It was a segregated time in American history when it was a major accomplishment for a Black man to be accepted into to the University of Florida, they said.”

• The Alligator: Sustaining UF professor Charles Kibert’s legacy. “Kibert, a UF construction management professor who worked at the university for 31 years, died Jan. 25 after a car crash on West University Avenue. He was 73.”

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Around the state today

• WUSF: State Reports Fewest Number Of COVID-19 Cases Since November. “Statewide, the deaths of 214 people from complications related to COVID-19 were recorded since Sunday. The deaths reported Monday may have occurred in the days or weeks prior.”

• Spectrum News: DeSantis Sets Aside 30K COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for Younger High-Risk Floridians. “The majority for people with serious underlying conditions are already spoken for. Because it’s such a limited quantity from the state, the hospitals getting these vaccines for people with comorbidities are contacting those patients directly.”

• Fresh Take Florida: In Test Of Florida’s Self-Defense Law, Appeals Court Throws Out ‘Stand Your Ground’ Claim In Murder Trial. “A Florida appeals court is denying a Jacksonville man’s legal appeals to invoke the controversial “stand your ground” law over the death of his girlfriend, the latest case to define limits on claiming that a killing might be justified as self defense. In a brief written decision, the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee agreed with a lower circuit judge’s order that Lee Rodarte Jr., 32, was not entitled to immunity under the law in an ongoing second-degree murder trial involving the August 2017 death of his girlfriend and restaurant coworker, Savannah Page Gold, 21.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Florida sees slight rise in organized hate groups as nation sees decline. “Florida has long been among the states with the highest number of hate group each year but only once in the past two decades has the (Southern Poverty Law Center) identified more active hate groups in the state than it did last year — 75 in 2018.”

• Politifact: Will Tampa’s Super Bowl be a super spreader? Experts worry about what NFL can’t control. “With a smaller stadium crowd and requirements for masks and social distancing in and around Raymond James Stadium, league and city officials say they’ve done all they can to prevent the game from doubling as a coronavirus superspreading event.”

• WMFE: SpaceX Announces First All-Civilian Mission To Space, Launching From Kennedy Space Center. “SpaceX is targeting a launch of the private mission called Inspiration4 no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2021. Participants will undergo training including a specific focus on orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, and other forms of stress testing.”

• Florida Politics: ‘I’m opening my brain to it’: Charlie Crist contemplates 2022 bid for Governor. “Crist would face a lot of challenges. Republicans hate him for dumping the party and, as a former Republican, he doesn’t pass many Democrats’ purity test. Still, even before Crist was asked about the Governor question, he already sounded like a man on the campaign trail.”

• St. Augustine Record ($): St. Augustine was a winter wonderland 70 years ago when a snowfall blanketed city. “According to the U.S. Weather Service, 2 inches of snow fell on St. Augustine, and it stayed cold enough long enough for people to pull out the heavy winter gear and get out in the white stuff. For some transplants, it must have awakened a bit of maybe-not-so-welcome nostalgia. For natives and children, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The last snow had fallen in 1917.”

From NPR News

• Health: U.S. Cuts $231 Million Deal To Provide 15-Minute COVID-19 At-Home Tests

• Health: The Mystery Of India’s Plummeting COVID-19 Cases

• Health: Moderna Increases COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments While Pfizer Lags Behind

• Politics: McConnell Slams Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Conspiracies As ‘Loony Lies’

• World: Myanmar Coup: With Aung San Suu Kyi Detained, Military Takes Over Government

• Business: Biden Administration Wants Electric Vehicles To Replace Gas Guzzlers

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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