The Point, April 12, 2021: Back On Track? High Springs-Newberry Rail Trail Idea Resurfaces

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• WUFT News: High Springs Officials Resurrect Idea To Transform Railway To New Recreational Trail. “Discussion of the project was terminated in 2019. Now, the idea is back on the table. On Thursday, Alachua County and High Springs officials again brought up the future of the project in a joint meeting. In the 1800s, High Springs was a hub for railroads. High Springs City Commissioner Ross Ambrose explained that the railroads were key to the economic development of High Springs. Today, the railroad remains dormant and serves little purpose for the community.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Formation Clinic’s Weekend Agenda Featured Flying, Reconnecting, And Learning. “The roar of planes over Gainesville’s airspace that may have startled some this weekend was that of North American Trainer Association members flying in their vintage World War II-era planes. The association hosted the Gainesville Formation Clinic at Gainesville Regional Airport.”

• WUFT News: Here’s How Veterans In North Florida And South Georgia Are Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine Through The VA. “The North Florida/South Georgia Veteran Health System has delivered over 81,000 vaccines. The next vaccination site will be held in Chiefland on April 15. Veterans may schedule an appointment by calling 352-548-6000 ext. 103755.”

• WUFT News: Putnam County School District Trudges Forward With Revitalization Plan; No Teachers Will Be Laid Off. “The Putnam County School District is slowly beginning to implement its revitalization plan, voted on in February. The plan calls for the closure of several schools at the end of this school year, with the hope that new ones will be built in the future.”

• WUFT News: Bradford County Jail Inmates Begin Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines. “Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Colonel Bradford Smith said the vaccines will help bring down the level of concern regarding a possible outbreak at the jail. The event followed similar efforts in Marion County over the past few weeks.”

• The Alligator: “Death by design”: University Avenue’s problems began with its construction. “For decades, experts warned University Avenue wasn’t safe. They warned the road was too fast and pedestrians were too exposed. But the city and state ignored their caution. Traffic thickened, the road expanded, development boomed and foot traffic increased.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion County seeks federal funds to provide Lowell area with central water. “More than two years after several drinking water sources in Lowell, near the Florida State Fire College, tested for fire retardant compound levels above health advisory levels, the area is one step closer to accessing central water.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Hernando County teen electrocuted by downed power lines during severe thunderstorms Sunday. “According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the teen was driving north on Evenglow Avenue in Spring Hill around 11:30 a.m. when she collided with a downed power line near Hyacinth Lane.”


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Around the state today

• WUSF: Measuring Piney Point’s Impacts On Tampa Bay Will Take Time, USF Researchers Say. “A team of scientists from the USF College of Marine Science on Wednesday took a vessel into Tampa Bay to study the area and bring back water samples. But they don’t expect to have some of the results for days or weeks because some chemicals take longer to process and involve more resources, said Tom Frazer, Dean of the USF College of Marine Science.”

• New York Times ($): ‘Like the Tiger King Got Elected Tax Collector’: Inside the Case That Ensnared Matt Gaetz. “Joel Greenberg, a onetime local official in Florida, is accused of an array of crimes, including bribery, stalking and corruption.”

• Daytona Beach News-Journal ($): Matt Gaetz case leads to Volusia state Sen. Jason Brodeur’s race. What will they find? “District 9 — which represents much of Seminole County and part of West Volusia — is one of a handful of state races that involved so-called ‘phantom’ candidates. One of the other races, in south Florida, has already led to an indictment of former Republican state senator Frank Artiles. The money that helped the phantom candidate in south Florida race came from the same source as the money that helped the phantom candidate in District 9, campaign records show.”

• Miami Herald ($): When births go terribly wrong, Florida protects doctors and forces parents to pay the price. “A Florida program designed to protect OB-GYNS from huge malpractice bills deprives families of their right to sue in the event of a birth gone terribly wrong. It provides a one-time payment and promises to cover lifetime medical expenses. Some hard-pressed parents report a bureaucratic nightmare that’s anything but supportive.”

• WUFT News: A Florida Bill Could Make Reporting A Sexual Assault Safer For Survivors. “…HB 1189 is intended to help resolve the issue by making a number of changes to the sexual assault response teams’ statute in Florida. The bill creates four key changes to current policies.”

• News Service of Florida: Protest Bill Backed In Senate After Emotional Debate. “With critics warning that the bill would chill free speech and have a disparately negative impact on Black people, a key Senate committee Friday approved a controversial measure that Republicans argue is needed to crack down on violent protests.”

• Florida Politics: Florida citrus production faces sour predictions for 2020-21 season. “In the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent estimate of orange production, Florida fell behind California as it continues to see declines in predicted production — a telling sign of how the Sunshine State’s citrus industry is faring.”

• Associated Press: Florida woman who coughed on cancer patient gets 30 days in jail. “A Florida woman whose image went viral when she coughed on a customer at a Pier 1 store last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.”


From NPR News

• Health: Can Vaccines Stop Variants? Here’s What We Know So Far

• Health: More Colleges Say They’ll Require Students To Have COVID-19 Vaccines For Fall

• National: Colorado Assault-Style Weapons Ban Doesn’t Look Likely

• National: Conspiracy Charges Bring Proud Boys’ History Of Violence Into Spotlight

• National: ‘Can You Hear Me?’ The Annoyances That Lead To Zoom Burnout

• Business: Heinz Promises To Catch Up To Americans’ Demand Amid Ketchup Packet Shortage

• Science: Newly Discovered Dinosaur Was Top Carnivorous Predator In Argentina

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 WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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