The Point, April 21, 2021: The View Of The Chauvin Verdict In Florida And Nationally


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• The Alligator: Facing the numbers: COVID-19 in memoriam. “For the past three months, The Alligator staff has worked to identify local COVID-19 victims, contact their loved ones and write obituaries in their memory. This is the beginning of that effort.” Listen to today’s episode of our podcast to hear from one of the reporters behind this project.

• WUFT News: The Dream Defenders Offered A Mic To The Community Through Its Newest Installation, The Listening Project. “A new installation across Gainesville gave people this month a chance to step in a room and unravel their stories of hardships and concerns within their neighborhoods. … Through talking booths that were placed in key areas around the city, residents voiced their stories in hopes they’d reach the heights of local government. The locations of the talking booths were the Civic Media Center library, Porters neighborhood and Grace Marketplace, one of Gainesville’s homeless shelters.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): COVID-19 survivor Kristin Kay leaves hospital after 111 days. “Kristin Kay was at (North Florida Regional Medical Center) for 111 days and on a ventilator for around 100 of them. For most of January and February, she was heavily sedated and unconscious of her body’s fight.”

• WMFE: Ocala Council Drops Change To “Gender Neutral” Language In Charter After Public Outcry. “An attempt to update the Ocala City Charter with non-gender-specific language failed under a barrage of public opposition Tuesday night. The changes were seen as ‘a slippery slope’ tied to unisex bathrooms and transgender kids.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua jail COVID positivity rate mirrors county. “The Alachua County Jail reported Tuesday that it has 23 cases of COVID-19, which translates to the same 3.1 percent average positivity rate Alachua County is experiencing. The reported data contradicts local reports of an ‘outbreak’ at the jail.”

• WUFT News: ‘Air Horse One’ Made A Last-Minute Trip To The Gainesville Regional Airport This Month. “Tex Sutton President Rob Clark said one of the places the Air Horse One usually flies is to the Ocala International Airport, and the Gainesville Regional Airport is not one of the airports normally on the schedule for the Air Horse One. However, earlier this month, Air Horse One made a last-minute flight to Gainesville, a result of the Ocala airport plan falling through on April 6.”

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Around the state today

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): ‘Small victory in a very long battle’: Florida activists react to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict. “The unanimous decision by the jury is being viewed as a sign of progress by many allies and activists alike around the Sunshine State. Community leaders, organizers and activists all spoke out immediately following the reading of the verdict with their initial thoughts.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Online Shoppers To Pay More As Gov. DeSantis Signs Online Sales Tax Bill. “Get ready to pay more when you shop online. Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed into law a plan to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida transgender sports bill might have just died in the Florida Senate. “The Senate version of the bill, SB 2012, was set to be heard in a committee Tuesday — the last scheduled day of Senate committee meetings. But the measure’s hearing was temporarily postponed, meaning it will likely never make it to the Senate floor for a vote. (In order to become law, identical transgender athlete bills would have to pass the House and Senate, and then be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.)”

• Sun Sentinel ($): State Rep. Bobby DuBose running for Congress, shaking up race to succeed Alcee Hastings. “The entry of DuBose — the fourth currently elected official to declare his candidacy — shakes up the race. DuBose, 50, is a member of the Florida House of Representatives and currently serving as the Democratic Party’s co-leader in the House. Serving his fourth term in the Legislature, he’s ineligible to run for re-election in 2022 because of term limits.”

• Florida Politics: Telephone solicitation bill heads to Senate floor. “Nuisance calls may not be a thing of the past, but a bill headed toward the floor in the Senate aims to limit them. Sen. Audrey Gibson‘s SB 1120, a bill that would restrict telephone solicitors to three calls in 24 hours, cleared the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday.”

• NPR News: Scientists Hope New Techniques Will Reverse Florida Reefs’ Decline. “NOAA is overseeing a $100 million effort to restore Florida’s most important coral reefs. Over the last 40 years, they’ve been degraded by disease, development and environmental stresses.”

• Miami Herald ($): Will Florida’s anti-riot law change police posture? There’s a wide range of opinion. “…while local police departments were credited for avoiding the escalation of tensions, civil-rights activists worry that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial “anti-riot” law could spur officers to take a more heavy-handed approach during future gatherings.”

• Florida Today ($): Bill Nelson to testify at Senate confirmation hearing for NASA top job. “His confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday morning before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on which he served for many years.”

• Associated Press: Ted Nugent, who denied COVID-19 exists, says he has it week after Naples gig. “Rocker Ted Nugent is revealing he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus – months after he said the virus was ‘not a real pandemic.’ ‘I thought I was dying,’ Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday.”

From NPR News

• National: ‘Finally’: America Reacts To Chauvin Guilty Verdict

• National: Floyd Brothers React To Verdict: ‘This Is For Everyone Who Has Been Held Down’

• National: Revisiting Key Moments From The Derek Chauvin Trial

• National: Crowds Erupt In Cheers In Minneapolis After Guilty Verdict

• National: Biden Says Chauvin Guilty Verdict Can Be ‘A Moment Of Significant Change’

• Health: European Union Regulator Says Benefits Outweigh Risks Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

• Health: State Department To Issue Travel Warnings Amid ‘Unprecedented’ COVID-19 Risks

• Health: Lagging Vaccination Rates Among Rural Seniors Hint At Brewing Rural-Urban Divide

• Science: Anatomy Of A Spillover: We Failed To Stop SARS-CoV-2. How Do We Find Next ‘Big One’?

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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