The Point, May 12, 2021: Gas Shortage Hitting North Central Florida As Panic Buying Ensues


The top stories near you

• Gainesville Sun ($): Electric bills expected to rise as GRU credit slips. “The two-notch downgrade is the first of its kind for GRU and is the fifth bond rating downgrade since 2010.”

• WUFT News:  Porters Community Residents Are Growing Tired Of Noise And Dust Coming From Neighboring Cement Companies. “For the past several years, neighborhood residents like Fillie have been dealing with waves of dust and constant noise coming from the facilities across the street. Porters is one of very few — if not the only — Gainesville city neighborhoods that abuts a site zoned for heavy industrial usage.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Man mourns his brother after puzzling suicide at the Marion County Jail in Ocala. “An internal affairs report by Marion County Sheriff’s Inspector Sgt. Roselynn Collazo states “there were no violations of operational directives” and notes that detention staff and medical personnel “responded quickly and appropriately.” But the case still raises some questions.”

• WCJB TV20: NCFL gas stations running dry as Colonial Pipeline remains shut down. “This Circle K on Northwest 39th Avenue is one of many gas stations across North Central Florida with bags covering pumps with no gas to sell.”

• WCJB TV20: Cross City police chief uses phrase residents say is racial slur. “Vice Mayor Jovante’ Teague said the council meeting was scheduled to discuss an incident where some officers should have stepped up more than they didn’t.”

• The Villages Daily-Sun: Commissioners want taxpayers to fund study on raising taxes. “The Florida Legislature has voided a 75% tax increase on new businesses imposed by three newly elected Sumter County commissioners, and public outcry has thwarted their push to raise the fire tax cap on homeowners by 300%.”

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Around the state today

• First Coast News: Gov. DeSantis declares state of emergency over cyberattack targeting Colonial Pipeline. “At a news conference earlier on Tuesday, the governor said that Florida was monitoring the cyberattack and the impact it is having on communities in the northern part of the state. He also called for more action from the federal government.”

• WMBB: Body camera footage a main component of day two of Zachary Wester’s trial. “Wester is a former deputy accused of planting drugs on people during traffic stops and arresting them on fabricated charges. He is facing more than 60 charges.”

• WMFE: Mayor Demings Says Face Masks Might Only Be Required Indoors By The End Of The Week. “Demings says 47 percent of Orange County residents have already gotten vaccinated and anticipates the area should reach a 50 percent vaccination rate later this week.”

• WMFE: Population Stabilizing For Critically Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. “Some 300 captive-raised Florida grasshopper sparrows have been released on the Central Florida prairie, the only place on Earth where the tiny birds are found in the wild.”

• WGCU: Do Masks Work for Red Tide? “It seems those COVID masks might just be the thing to mitigate the harm of respiratory irritation due to red tide.”

• WUSF: Florida Lawmakers Cut Two Financial Programs For College Students. “Combined, the moves save $42 million — but may come at a cost to thousands of students.”

• TC Palm ($): Beachgoers discover about 53 pounds of cocaine on shore in Indian River County worth $1.4 million. “An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy said in a report that a white substance in one of the 19 “brick-like,” black packages washed on shore roughly 2 ½ miles south of South Beach Park tested positive for the drug.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Most long-term care facilities meet Florida’s backup power requirements. “The state Agency for Health Care Administration website shows that 17 nursing homes  and eight assisted living facilities have not fully complied with the backup power requirements.

• WSVN: Broward School Board reaches vote on Runcie’s exit. “The $743,052 offer as part of the separation agreement was approved with the decision. Originally, Runcie wanted $400,000 added to his Florida retirement account. However, Osgood agreed to $80,000.”

Miami Herald: Florida accounts for nearly one-third of the country’s new Obamacare sign-ups. “The state saw 264,088 new people enroll in the marketplace between Feb. 15 and April 30, higher than the number of new enrollees during the shorter enrollment periods of 2020 and 2019 combined, the White House told McClatchy on Tuesday.”

• Pensacola News-Journal: Removing Confederate flag from Pensacola police badges will cost $290,000. “The now-disbanded police advisory committee voted in February to recommend that the city remove the Confederate imagery from the police badges and uniforms.”

• News4Jax: Gov. DeSantis expands private school voucher program. “The bill (House Bill 7045) is projected to allow more than 60,000 previously ineligible students to seek vouchers. The cost to the state will be an estimated $200 million.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): DeSantis picks daughter of powerful state senator for Public Service Commission post. “The 29-year-old Passidomo, who graduated from law school in 2019 and is currently a PSC attorney, will move to a $135,997-a-year position on the five-member commission, which regulates and sets rates for electric, natural gas and water utilities.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Pinellas hospice collected millions from flawed Medicare claims, audit says. “The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended that Suncoast Hospice — which operates three hospice care centers — refund to the federal government the portion of the $47,363,971 that is within a four-year “claims reopening period.”

From NPR News

• National: In Ahmaud Arbery’s Name, Georgia Repeals Citizen’s Arrest Law

• COVID-19: 4th Wave Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hits Washington State

• COVID-19: South Carolina Governor Bans Mask Mandates

• Education: Warren, Sanders Call For Expanding Food Aid To College Students

• Politics: GOP Poised To Oust Cheney From Leadership Over Her Criticism Of Trump

• Politics: Judge Dismisses NRA Bankruptcy Case, Heightening Risk For Dissolution Of Group

• Politics: Former Trump Officials To Defend Federal Response To Capitol Riot

• Middle East: Hamas Rockets Hit Tel Aviv As Israeli Airstrikes On Gaza Continue

• Race: Knight Commission Task Force Examines Racial Equity In College Sports

About today’s curator

I’m Sky Lebron, a multimedia producer and Morning Edition newscaster at WUFT. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life, originally hailing from Broward County before eventually moving up here to attend UF. I believe Florida is a reporter’s dream, because there are so many fantastic stories to tell. From state politics, to the environment, to character-driven stories, this state has it all, and I think it’s a great honor to help curate these stories for our audience. If you have any feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed, contact me at

About WUFT News

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