The Point, Feb. 10, 2021: Florida Legislative Black Caucus Details Extent Of Vaccine Disparity


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• Villages-News: COVID-19 death toll in tri-county area makes significant jump. “The death toll from COVID-19 spiked again in the tri-county area on Tuesday as 29 more local residents lost their battle with the fast-spreading virus. Twenty-one of the fatalities were in Lake County, while seven were in Sumter County and one was a resident of Marion County.”

• Gainesville Sun: Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie announce COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Alachua County. “Beginning Wednesday, Florida residents can make an appointment online at for a vaccination through the Publix pharmacy at stores in Alachua, Gainesville and Newberry.”

• WUFT News: Florida’s Electric Vehicle Market Is Geared For Exponential Growth But Awaiting Takeoff. “Florida’s Energy Office earlier this year released an electric vehicle roadmap outlining plans to deal with rapid EV growth that appears all but imminent. Still, without tax incentives for drivers or executive action for manufacturers, the state’s next steps are tentative.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Community Calls For “Not One More” With Programs To Address Spike In Pedestrian Safety Issues. “Many residents have been left to wonder what is being done to enact change on this issue. Transportation advocacy groups within Gainesville, such as Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation, were some of the first to call for change.”

• WUFT News: Location Moved For Meeting Surrounding Ginnie Springs Bottling Permit. “The meeting surrounds the water bottling permit for Seven Springs Water Company, a company contracted by multinational corporation Nestlé, to take nearly one million gallons of water a day from Ginnie Springs. The Suwannee River Management District previously opposed the renewal of the bottling permit. On Jan. 22, a judge recommended renewing the company’s permit.”

• WCJB: Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe says GRU water system is safe. “In a Facebook post, Poe broke down how GRU is ensuring the safety of tap water. … ‘The GRU water system cannot be accessed remotely. Rest assured, water security and cybersecurity are a top priority of the GRU water system.'”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville Police Department gears up to enforce median ban. “A Gainesville ordinance went into effect last week banning people from standing in medians 6 feet wide or less. The medians have been popular spots for panhandlers seeking money from drivers in idling cars, waiting for traffic lights to change.”

• WMFE: New Marion County Ordinance Leads To Arrest Of Two Workers At Internet Cafe. “The Sheriff Office had championed the ordinance, on the grounds that internet cafes attract violent crime.”

• Florida Politics: UF research, economic impact didn’t slow down in 2020. “The pandemic put a damper on many industries, but academic research wasn’t one of them. The University of Florida announced this week that it received $900.7 million in research awards last year — a record for the flagship university.”

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Around the state today

• WUFT News: Florida Legislative Black Caucus Town Hall Highlights Feb. 1 Data: African Americans Make Up Only 6% Of Vaccinated Floridians. “Legislators and members of the Florida healthcare community met Monday evening in the last of their four-part town hall meeting series to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, hosted by the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.”

• NBC Miami: Florida Adds More Than 7,000 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports Over 230 More Deaths Tuesday. “The positivity rate for new cases in the state was 6.93% in Tuesday’s department of health coronavirus report, a drop from Monday’s rate of 7.31%.”

• Panama City News Herald: New data refutes report that Panama City among worst in new COVID-19 cases. “Some local officials say they believe a ‘data dump’ of past COVID-19 tests might have skewed a recent New York Times study garnering a lot of online attention because it claims Bay County has among the most new cases of the virus in the nation.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Having trouble getting a COVID-19 vaccine? Sarasota County resident Stephen King got his in Pasco. “Sarasota County’s most famous resident has received a COVID-19 vaccine. But the celebrity author had to travel across two counties to get it.”

• Miami Herald ($): Judge tells Florida prison system: You can’t harass inmates just for complaining. “A federal judge granted a protective order on Monday to inmates suing the Florida Department of Corrections and its secretary, Mark Inch, for what they say are unconstitutional isolation practices.”

• Associated Press: Hack exposes vulnerability of cash-strapped US water plants. “A hacker’s botched attempt to poison the water supply of a small Florida city is raising alarms about just how vulnerable the nation’s water systems may be to attacks by more sophisticated intruders. Treatment plants are typically cash-strapped, and lack the cybersecurity depth of the power grid and nuclear plants.”

• WUSF: Hillsborough Tossing Nationwide Net To Track Coronavirus Cases Tied To Super Bowl. “The Hillsborough County Health Department is asking for help in tracking coronavirus cases related to Sunday’s Super Bowl and surrounding celebrations.”

• A WUFT News Special Report: Forever in Florida? Our series on the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS continues today with a look at whether and how they make their way into food. Environmentalists worry PFAS move from sewage sludge to waterways like the St. Johns River. We also take a look at what scientists know about PFAS and agriculture.

• WFSU: Department of Environmental Protection Asks Florida Communities To Assess Their Sea-Level Rise Risk. “The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says local governments need to know their risk for sea-level rise. Some agencies are already making their own projections. The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact estimates by 2040; seas will rise in some South Florida communities by more than three feet.”

• WFLX-West Palm Beach: School face mask lawsuit dismissed by judge. “Face masks will remain mandatory in Indian River County schools following a failed attempt by four parents to sue the school district over a mask mandate they felt was unconstitutional.”

• Bradenton Herald ($): ‘We can get to the finish line.’ Masks to remain for now, Manatee School Board says. “When the school board voted to approve a mask policy on Nov. 10, it also agreed to review the mandate every 90 days. The policy will remain in place until a majority of the board votes to change course.”

• WUWF: After Flawless Cycles, Florida Ballots To Stay Bilingual. “Ending a legal battle that started before the 2018 elections, a Tallahassee federal judge has approved a settlement in which 31 counties agree to take steps to provide Spanish-language ballots and other voting materials.”

• WTSP: Meacham Urban Farm hosts grand opening in Tampa. “Named after Tampa’s first African American school principal, the 2-acre organic farm is accessible to the public.”

• Orlando Weekly: Citizens of Florida, welcome your new ‘river monster’ overlords. “Florida already has invasive Burmese pythons, Nile crocodiles, herpes monkeys and capybara, but now it can also add one of the world’s largest predatory freshwater fish, which can grow up to 10-feet long and weigh over 400 pounds. While on a hike last weekend along the Caloosahatchee River, Cape Coral resident Leah Getts spotted a dead arapaima, which are massive non-native fish typically found in South America’s Amazon Basin, reports Fort Myers news station WBBH.”

• News4Jax: Seal spotted along North Florida beaches. “A seal has been spotted resting along some North Florida beaches over the last few days, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Southeast tweeted Tuesday.”

From NPR News

• Politics: Watch Live: Second Trump Impeachment Trial Proceeds In The Senate

• Politics: Senate Declares That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional

• Politics: A Pa. Swing County Claims Both A Trump Lawyer And Impeachment Manager As Its Own

• National: The Capitol Siege: The Arrested And Their Stories

• World: WHO: ‘Very Unlikely’ Coronavirus Leaked From Lab, More Study Needed To Trace Source

• Education: Teachers Knock On Doors Looking For Students Who’ve Disappeared From Online Learning

• Business: Fox News Asks Court To Dismiss $2.7 Billion Defamation Suit

• Science: 8-Year-Old Calls Out NPR For Lack Of Dinosaur Stories

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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