The Point, April 27, 2021: 2020 Census Results Show Florida Population Grew Nearly 15% During The Past Decade


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• WUFT News: Gainesville, UF Police Using License Plate Cameras To Fight Car-Related Crimes. “Three of the largest law-enforcement agencies in Alachua County have installed license plate recognition cameras to help them better respond to vehicle-related accidents and crimes. … While GPD and some Gainesville residents look positively to the installation, others have raised concerns about 24/7 surveillance and possible racial targeting.” Listen to our podcast today for an interview with the reporter who wrote this story.

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County sales tax for infrastructure: What would it buy? “Possible projects funded with the tax increase include: pedestrian safety projects around UF, countywide high-speed Internet service, affordable housing and the expansion of the Wild Spaces, Public Places conservation program…”

• WUFT News: Gainesville’s Residential Water Usage Two-Thirds Of What It Was 25 Years Ago, Despite Population Growth. “Now, residential water use in Gainesville is 59 gallons per person per day, which is a remarkable decrease compared to 25 years ago, when it was about 87 to 89 gallons per person per day. The number is also much better than the regional average, which is about 89 gallons per person per day.”

• WUFT News: Child Abuse Prevention Month Follows ‘Increase In Child Abuse Cases’ In Alachua County. “The Child Advocacy Center works in tandem with an emergency pediatrician at Shands Hospital, and they treat children who have been abused. According to (center Development Director Sabrina) Harris, the child abuse cases seen at the hospital during the pandemic have been far worse than anything they have ever seen.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Newberry to fund report for multi-city wastewater plant. “Of the 10 cities that Newberry reached out to—Fort White, High Springs, Bell, Newberry, Trenton, Fanning Springs, Archer, Chiefland, Bronson and Williston—four have expressed interest in exploring the regional wastewater treatment facility. Those municipalities are High Springs, Trenton, Archer and Newberry.”

• WUFT News: City of Gainesville Adopts New Rental Ordinance, Takes Effect in October. “The city of Gainesville adopted a new ordinance called “Residential Rental Unit Permits,” which will lower permit fees, introduce new energy efficiency standards for rentals and include mandatory compliance inspections. The new ordinance will go into effect Oct. 1, giving landlords about five months to make these changes.”

• WUFT News: ‘Our Children Are Loving Every Second Of This’: Youth Sports Return to Micanopy. “Town officials say a total of $84,200 in grant funding from Alachua County Wild Spaces Public Places and the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program helped support the effort. There are now three T-ball and baseball teams practicing after over 30 children registered.”

• WTSP-Tampa: Hernando County NAACP president wants Confederate statue outside courthouse removed. “Reminders of dark times sit in the shadows of the Hernando County Courthouse. Paul Douglas said he’s been fighting for decades to break white supremacy.”

• WMFE: The Villages Wins Federal Suit Against Breakaway Real Estate Agents. “Five breakaway real estate agents will have to pay the Properties of The Villages a total of $603,700 after a federal judge found they violated a non-compete agreement. The ruling last week reinforces the developer’s grip on an army of sales associates.”

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Around the state today

• Associated Press: Florida Population Boom Boosts Its National Political Clout. “Florida’s surging population growth is expanding the state’s reach over the nation’s political landscape, giving it one more congressional seat and greater influence on the path to the presidency.”

• NPR News: Florida State Senate Approves Tighter Rules On Vote-By-Mail And Drop Boxes. “A stronger version of the Florida legislation is still under consideration in the state’s House of Representatives. The two chambers must approve an identical measure for it to reach Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for signature. Florida’s legislative session is scheduled to end Friday.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Florida House passes police reform bill that tackles use-of-force concerns. “Police agencies must adopt guidelines for the proportional use of force and how to de-escalate situations without using force. They also are banned from using chokeholds unless the officer ‘perceives an immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death.'”

• Florida Politics: Senate OK’s bill to raise smoking age. “The proposal would raise Florida’s smoking age to 21 and preempt local lawmakers from passing protections stricter than state law. It also empowers the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco with broader oversight on the marketing, sale, or delivery of tobacco or nicotine products.”

• Miami Herald ($): Miami-Dade’s wealthiest areas are 100% vaccinated. Black communities are at 31%. “Now almost half of adults in Miami-Dade have received at least one dose of the vaccine. But the disparities between Black and white communities, and rich and poor, have remained largely unchanged. Despite a month of door knocking, mobile vaccine campaigns, the addition of federally supported vaccination sites in minority neighborhoods, and loosened state eligibility restrictions, vaccination rates in majority-Black areas were still nearly 40% lower than the county as a whole as of April 17, the Herald analysis found.”

• WLRN: Nation’s First Trial Of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Starts In Florida Keys. “The genetic modification is intended so that female offspring won’t survive. Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite and can transmit diseases like dengue and zika. The genetically modified males are supposed to breed with wild females — and then their female offspring won’t survive, either.”

• New York Times ($): Urban Meyer’s Renewal in Jacksonville. “After retiring from coaching in 2018, Meyer, 56, had a cushy television gig and a secure legacy as one of the best, and most polarizing, coaches in recent college football history. But he was still unfulfilled. He wanted to coach again, and despite the N.F.L.’s history of conquering celebrated college coaches trying to recreate their glory in the pros, Meyer determined his best fit was with the worst team of the last decade.”

From NPR News

• Health: U.S. Will Share 60 Million Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine With Other Countries

• Politics: 100 Days: How Biden Has Fared So Far On His Promises

• Business: 1st-Time Gun Buyers Help Push Record U.S. Gun Sales Amid String Of Mass Shootings

• World: Vaccinated U.S. Travelers Will Be Allowed To Visit Europe Again Starting This Summer

• National: Study: Body-Worn Camera Research Shows Drop In Police Use Of Force

• National: Outpacing The U.S., Hard-Hit Navajo Nation Has Vaccinated More Than Half Of Adults

• Science: Billions Of Cicadas Will Be Emerging Soon

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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