The Point, June 3, 2021: Florida’s Governor Signs Record-Setting Budget

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• Associated Press: DeSantis Signs $100B Florida Budget After Vetoing $1.5B. Even with the vetoes, the budget is nearly $8 billion above the current state spending plan. The budget year starts July 1. He said the state continues to far exceed revenue projections, helped in part by tourism.”

• Politico: Nikki Fried amended past financial disclosures before jumping into Florida governor’s race. “In both instances, Fried reported earning substantially more money from her lobbying business than she initially disclosed — money that in part came from work she did on behalf of a Gainesville-based nursery that was eventually acquired by a medical marijuana company.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County School Board Approves Take-Home Backpacks As Part Of A Summer Extension Project. “This summer extension project cost $414,381.39, and it will provide 10,513 backpacks with materials for educational support to each student K-9. The district bought each filled backpack for $45.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Friends of West End hijack BOCC meeting. “At the June 1 special meeting, the group that is trying to prevent a developer from replacing the closed, 75-acre West End Golf Course with 487 houses and apartments, had its say.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Prepares For A Potentially Busy Hurricane Season. “With the season starting Tuesday, the Emergency Operations Center for the county has been preparing in advance by walking through shelters and protocols with the Emergency Operations Center.”

• Villages-News: The Villages hospital crippled by ransomware attack. “UF Health-The Villages Hospital has been forced to operate by pen and paper thanks to a ransomware attack which has shut down the computer system. The hospital has not officially acknowledged the attack, but an official with knowledge of the situation confirmed what has taken place, both at the hospital in The Villages and Leesburg Regional Medical Center.”


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Around the state today

• WMFE: Orlando International Airport Almost Reached Pre-Pandemic Travel Levels This Memorial Day Weekend. “Some 360,000 passengers departed from Orlando International Airport between May 27th and June 1st. That’s compared with the only 55,000 passengers that used the airport last Memorial Day Weekend at the height of the pandemic.”

• WUSF: Florida’s 1,234 New Coronavirus Cases Are Lowest 24-hour Total Since September. “The 1,832 hospitalizations for COVID-19 was also the lowest recorded since Health News Florida began tracking hospitalization data daily in late July.”

• WLRN: State Tightens Rules For Sewage Sludge Used As Fertilizer But Leaves A Loophole In Place. “The state began developing the new rules in 2018 but tabled the effort in 2020 after Gov. Ron DeSantis convened a blue green algae task force to come up with ways to address the state’s worsening water quality. Among the recommendations was better monitoring to detect the source of damaging nutrients.”

• New York Times ($): A 20-Foot Sea Wall? Miami Faces the Hard Choices of Climate Change. “Three years ago, not long after Hurricane Irma left parts of Miami underwater, the federal government embarked on a study to find a way to protect the vulnerable South Florida coast from deadly and destructive storm surge. Already, no one likes the answer.”

• News Service of Florida: Hurricane Irma Nursing Home Lawsuit Dismissed. “Hurricane Irma in September 2017 knocked out the facility’s air conditioning, with authorities attributing as many as 12 resident deaths to sweltering conditions in the building. The deaths and an evacuation of the facility drew national media coverage, and the nursing home contended that former Gov. Rick Scott’s administration rushed to take disciplinary action for political reasons.”

• WFSU: FSU Researchers Testing What Works In Oyster Recovery Efforts In Apalachicola Bay. “The Apalachicola Bay oyster fishery crashed in 2012, and it still hasn’t recovered. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently closed the fishery for five years. This experiment is part of a larger effort to make it viable again.”

• CBS Miami: Jason Campbell, Son Of Former State Sen. Daphne Campbell, Shot To Death In North Miami. “Jason Campbell, the 23-year old son of former state Sen. Daphne Campbell was among the shooting deaths in an unusually violent week in Miami-Dade.”

• WSVN-Miami: Former Broward Schools Supt. Robert Runcie requests court to drop perjury case against him. “Runcie was arrested in April accused of lying to a grand jury. He pleaded not guilty but agreed to resign as superintendent later this year.”

• Florida Politics: Bill Nelson lays out lofty space exploration goals in first NASA address. “In his first State of NASA Address Wednesday, Nelson also announced two new satellite missions to study Venus and marveled at previously announced manned and satellite missions to return to the moon, explore asteroids, reach toward Mars, and see so deep into space as to come very close to seeing the beginnings of the universe.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Tampa man who took selfie during January 6 breach at US Capitol pleads guilty. “According to court documents, Paul Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida, entered the U.S. Capitol building at about 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 6. Around 3 p.m., Hodgkins entered the Senate chamber, walked among the desks, and then removed eye goggles. He took a “selfie-style” photograph with his cell phone and walked down the Senate well where, a few feet away, several individuals were shouting, praying and cheering using a bullhorn, officials say.”

• FLKeysNews: Florida boating is deadlier and holiday waters were packed. Cops were ready for the worst. “The relatively peaceful weekend is in contrast to the growing surge of deadly boating crashes across the state over the past year. In 2020, the number of incidents increased to 113 over the previous year, a 16% jump. And 79 people died, 14 more on-the-water fatalities than in 2019, according to a report from Fish and Wildlife. The majority of the accidents — 58% — happened in 10 counties, with Monroe County in the top spot.”

From NPR News

• World: Israeli Opposition Parties Say They Have Finalized A Deal To Oust Netanyahu

• National: Why Agricultural Technology Is So Susceptible To Being Hacked

• National: Sackler Family Empire Poised To Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits

• Health: How Contact Tracing Has Changed Since COVID-19

• Sports: The NFL Will Stop Assuming Racial Differences When Assessing Brain Injuries

• Sports: NBA Arenas Have Been Opening — With A Rash Of Fan Incidents Toward Players

• Books: Historian Uncovers The Racist Roots Of The 2nd Amendment

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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