The Point, Feb. 11, 2021: How Gainesville’s Black-Owned Food Businesses Have Fared Over The Past Year

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• WUFT News: ‘One of the Best Years of My Life’: New Gainesville Black-Owned Food Businesses Flourishing. “2020 brought about the need for social distancing and renewed calls for social justice, but it also ushered in a wealth of promise for Black-owned food businesses across north central Florida. ‘This is one of the best years of my life, especially financially,’ said Gregory Brown, 30, owner of Fat G’s BBQ & Catering in Gainesville.”

• WUFT News: UF Professors On Edge As Student Bars Remain Busy. “Many University of Florida professors are walking into work each morning in fear of being exposed to COVID-19, their union says. Across the street at Midtown, music booms as unmasked students are lined up eager to party. The stark juxtaposition is likely to continue.”

• The Alligator: Grace Pharmacy is giving away $600,000 worth of insulin to the public. “The pharmacy without a cash register is providing the medication at no cost to the impoverished, homeless and uninsured population.”

• WCJB: Gainesville Police begin median enforcement. “GPD will start issuing warnings for those found violating the new ordinance for a few weeks. Once the grace period is over, fines will start at $50. The third offense will be a $100 fine and then all instances after that, the offender will go to civil court. Glover also believes that once the warnings and fines start change will be seen on Gainesville’s roads.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County’s Presents Vision For The Future Of Cuscowilla. “Future plans are in place to renovate summer camp destination, Cuscowilla, to include accessible recreation amenities for Gainesville and Micanopy residents.”

• WUFT News: Citrus County Commission Passes Order To Collect Boat Ramp Fees. “Citrus County voted on Tuesday to collect boat ramp fees at four of the most used county-owned ramps. The $10 daily pass fee, along with annual passes, will be used for expansion efforts, parking improvements and upkeep of boat ramps.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Mask debate divides Haile Village Farmers Market. “Several maskless shoppers did not want to discuss it. Others who did talk about it did not want their names used. One didn’t see the need for masks in an outdoor setting, another said she had previously had COVID-19.”


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Around the state today

• WMFE: DeSantis: Florida ‘A Couple More Weeks’ From Vaccinating Groups Beyond Seniors. “Statewide, 694,ooo Floridians have gotten both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to state reports. That’s 3.2 percent of the state’s population – double the rate from a week ago.”

• WUFT News: What You Need To Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine. “Since vaccines began to arrive in the state in mid-December, more than 700,000 Floridians have been fully vaccinated. Despite the growing number of vaccines, some Floridians are still unsure of what the vaccine consists of, where to get it and more. WUFT compiled answers to some common questions.”

• News4Jax: Gov. DeSantis issues order allowing COVID-19 vaccines for those with Down syndrome. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults with Down syndrome are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. But in Florida, people with Down syndrome are not considered high-risk for severe illness from the virus … Currently, the vaccine is only available to health care workers, people 65 and older and people in long-term care facilities.”

• Miami Herald ($): One pandemic positive: Suicides in Florida actually plummeted. Experts worry it won’t last. “The coronavirus pandemic has clearly stressed out countless Americans. But in Florida at least, one mental health barometer actually improved — fewer people killed themselves in 2020 than in any time in recent years, newly released statistics show.”

• Spectrum News: Florida Task Force’s Goal: ‘Make Sure That All People of Color are Vaccinated.’ “The Statewide Coronavirus Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Taskforce says it has established a preliminary list of 156 churches and community centers that want to help administer COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities, said Rev. R.B. Holmes, the head of the task force and the pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Lawmakers, Elections Officials Propose Allowing ‘Super’ Voting Sites. “Florida lawmakers and election officials are proposing to allow ‘super’ voting sites intended to make casting in-person ballots more convenient for voters and less costly for counties in the days leading up to future elections. Super voting sites, or ‘early voting on steroids’ as Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen calls them, allows county elections offices to continue early voting procedures through Election Day.”

• WUFT News: Business Owners Optimistic Following Increased Unemployment Tax Rate. “Effective on Jan. 1, the Florida Chamber of Commerce increased the minimum unemployment tax rate from 0.1%, which was $7 per employee, to 0.29%, which is $20.30 per employee. The maximum rate remains the same from the previous year, which is 5.4% or $378 per employee. Businesses who have not had to lay off any employees in the past three years are responsible for paying only the minimum rate, whereas businesses who have had significant layoffs will have to pay a higher rate.”

• A WUFT News Special Report: Forever in Florida? We finish our four-part series on the chemical family known as PFAS with a look at solutions including the new federal regulations expected under President Biden’s nominee to the Environmental Protection Agency. Michael S. Regan oversaw PFAS clean-up efforts as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, he called PFAS a top priority and pledged “a full accounting of how these forever chemicals are entering into our water, as well as our air.”

• Florida Politics: ‘Roadmap to sustainability’: DEP Secretary talks up Everglades restoration efforts. “Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein said the state remains committed to fulfilling its $2.5 billion commitment to Everglades restoration and water quality protection. Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed to reach that $2.5 billion target during his first four years in office. The state is proposing more than $700 million in the upcoming budget to work toward that mark.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Union dues bill advances in Florida Senate, would require added steps before paycheck deduction. “A Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill to increase regulations on unions over the objections of teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other public employees.”

• WFSU: House Bill Gives Church Schools An Option To Allow Concealed Carry On Campus. “Concealed weapons license holders can carry their guns nearly anywhere in Florida –except schools. This holds true for private schools that share grounds with a church. Florida Republicans say there’ve been too many attacks on religious organizations to allow that exemption to continue.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Vacation rental push again looks to take oversight away from Florida cities. “Florida lawmakers’ latest attempt to advance vacation rental legislation narrowly cleared a House panel Wednesday, with critics condemning the move to strip away control from city and county governments.”

• Pensacola News Journal ($): UWF student involved in Capitol insurrection grabbed riot gear from police, court hears. “Tristan Chandler Stevens, 25, is charged with a slew of offenses for his alleged involvement in the insurrection Jan. 6 at the Capitol.”

• WUSF: Photos: Tampa Celebrates Bucs Super Bowl Win With A Boat Parade. “Thousands of joyful fans lined the shores of the Hillsborough River Wednesday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ boat parade celebrating their 31-9 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.”

• CBS Miami: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Lashes Out At Media For Super Bowl Virus Coverage. “On the same day Gov. Ron DeSantis came under fire for not wearing a mask at the Super Bowl in Tampa, he lashed out at the news media when he suggested a bias in coverage of the pandemic even as concerns swirl over more contagious strains of COVID-19 potentially spreading at gatherings celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory.”


From NPR News

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

• Politics: With New Video Footage, Managers Show How Close Rioters Got To Pence And Lawmakers

• Politics: Georgia District Attorney Is Investigating Trump’s Call To Overturn Election

• Health: CDC Says Double-Masking Offers More Protection Against The Coronavirus

• Health: Is The Biden Administration Doing Enough To Boost COVID-19 Testing?

• Health: The Unique Hurdles Of Vaccinating People Experiencing Homelessness

• National: NBA Pushes Back On Dallas Mavericks’ Plan To Omit National Anthem At Games

• World: Biden Holds 1st Call As President With China’s Xi As Trade, Security Issues Loom

• Books: U.S. Cyber Weapons Were Leaked — And Are Now Being Used Against Us, Reporter Says

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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