The Point, June 17, 2021: Exploring The History Of Phosphate Mining In Florida


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• Mainstreet Daily News: BOCC eyes extra sales tax for roads, broadband. “In a meeting on Monday night with the City of Alachua Commission, Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Chair Ken Cornell introduced the idea of adding a half-cent sales tax to the ballot in 2022.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): City, county discuss funding East Gainesville UF Health facility with virus recovery aid. “The coronavirus recovery funds must be used by the end of 2024 to address negative impacts of the pandemic, support the public health response, replace public sector losses, provide premium pay for essential workers and make improvements to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. The City of Gainesville received about $32 million, while Alachua County received some $52 million.”

• WUFT News: UF Study On Antidepressants: Can Be Good For People, Bad For The Environment. “Due to low levels of antidepressant medications entering bodies of water, researchers found that crayfish behaviors are changing.”

• News4Jax: Clay Electric lineman killed repairing lines near Waldo. “Alachua Fire Rescue officials said the worker died of apparent electrocution about 6 p.m. while repairing lines in a rural area about 5 miles northwest of Waldo.”

• Health News Florida: All Children’s, UF Shands Get High Marks Among Southeast Pediatric Hospitals. “Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville shared top honors among the state’s pediatric facilities and were among the best pediatric hospitals in the Southeast in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospital Rankings.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Willie Green, 85, was Marion’s old-school blues musician, a legend and ‘local treasure.’ “…Green, who died on Monday at the age of 85, certainly knew something about playing the blues, as many who watched him at The Yearling Restaurant and other local venues will attest.” 

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Around the state today

• WUSF: History Of Phosphate Mining In Florida Fraught With Peril. “Long before Piney Point, phosphate processing plants in the greater Tampa Bay region have caused some of Florida’s worst environmental disasters. Accidents like these fill the history books in Florida.”

• WPTV: DeSantis says Florida to help Arizona, Texas in fight for southern border security. “During a news conference at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola, DeSantis said Florida is the first state to provide mutual aid to Arizona and Texas, whose Republican governors sent a letter seeking help after President Joe Biden rolled back the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump.”

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis Pushes Through Pardon For COVID-19 Violators. “With Gov. Ron DeSantis saying lockdown restrictions and mask mandates meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 did more harm than good, the state clemency board on Wednesday pardoned all Floridians who were arrested or fined for violating local-government requirements about wearing masks or social distancing.”

• Florida Politics: Survey: Misinformation, party affiliation driving vaccination decisions. “A majority of Floridians have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, but many still remain hesitant about the jab, according to a newly released survey from the University of South Florida.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Misses Deadline On Federal Money For Schools. “Florida missed a June 7 deadline to submit its plan, citing a delay “due to (the) legislative session and required State Board review,” according to the federal agency. The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to questions from The News Service of Florida about when the State Board of Education will review a plan and submit it to Washington.”

• Associated Press: Energy milestone: Florida utility topples last coal chimney. “Florida Power & Light imploded the towering chimney stack of its last coal-fired generating plant on Wednesday, a milestone in its transition to cleaner energy sources.”

• Spectrum News: Florida supervisors of election slam Arizona ‘audit’ of 2020 presidential election. “At the annual summer meeting in Tampa this week, there’s a sense of relief among many of the state’s local supervisors of election in attendance. While some still question the need for an election reform bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month, things could be much worse.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Incoming FSU president’s contract calls for base salary of $700,000. “Richard McCullough is scheduled to start in August, pending state approval.”

• WTSP-Tampa: Coastal farm on a mission to make sustainable farming possible and profitable. “Their aquaponics house, where all of the lettuce and greens are grown required constant fans. The electricity bill was regularly over $500 a month. So, the Curci’s installed 90 solar panels to provide energy for the entire farm.”

From NPR News

• Race: House Passes A Bill To Commemorate Juneteenth As A Federal Holiday

• Race: Companies Making Juneteenth A Paid Holiday Say It’s The Right Thing To Do

• Politics: Biden Administration Extends Protections To Transgender Students

• Politics: Biden And Putin Say Their Summit Was Constructive As The World Waits For Results

• National: Despite Odds Stacked Against It, New Mexico’s Vaccination Rate Is Near The Top

• World: Larger Than A Football Field (And Growing), Sinkhole Has Swallowed 1 House, 2 Dogs

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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