The Point, June 18, 2021: A Syrian Asylum Seeker Has Spent Nearly A Decade In Gainesville, Waiting In Limbo


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• WUFT News: In Limbo: Syrian Man In Gainesville Has Waited Eight Years To Plead His Case For Asylum. “…when (Jehad Al-Issa) landed in Gainesville in 2012 and applied for asylum shortly after, he became caught in a system in which his father’s name was not enough. It is a system that has kept him in limbo for nearly a decade without a case hearing.” 

• WUFT News: 384 Feet From Qualified: Florida Governor Removes Alachua County School Board Member Diyonne McGraw From Seat. “Seven months after a contested election decided by less than 3,000 votes, the 2020 Alachua County School Board District 2 race took a dramatic turn Thursday night. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order declaring incumbent Diyonne McGraw’s seat vacant. The move followed several weeks of activist and legal efforts to challenge her ability to represent a district that she — albeit just barely — does not reside in.”

• News4Jax: Cammack aims to bring high-speed internet to rural Northeast Florida. “The legislation backed by U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Florida, is known as the Gigabit Opportunity Act. It would provide incentives to internet service providers to expand access to rural communities. She’s also calling for the Federal Communications Commission to raise standards for broadband internet access speeds.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): East Gainesville grocery talks continue, but no deal yet. “City leaders moved forward with plans for a community grocery store in east Gainesville, but did not come any closer to striking a deal with interested parties. Instead, the city has given local developers and grocers 30 days to propose their own plans for an eastside grocery store.”

• WUFT News: UF Unified Flag Football Team To Represent Team Florida At The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. “The University of Florida Unified Flag Football Team — known as the Alachua All-Stars — has been chosen to represent Team Florida at the 2022 USA Special Olympics Games in Orlando. University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin surprised the team with the news on Monday evening.”

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Around the state today

• Associated Press: Florida Supreme Court Says No To Marijuana Ballot Proposal. “A proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana use in Florida won’t be on the 2022 ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the ballot language was misleading.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): DeSantis says red tide this year ‘not like 2018’ bloom. “The last major outbreak of the microorganism that turns the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico into the color of cola lasted from October 2017 to February 2019. It killed countless sea creatures, including fish, dolphins, turtles and manatees.”

• WLRN: California And Florida Took Diverging Pandemic Paths. Who Did It Better? “California just fully reopened Tuesday, while Florida has been open all year, save for a short lockdown last spring. The split mirrors the political divisions that have bedeviled the United States during the pandemic — with both sides claiming victory at various times. But now, more than a year of data is offering some clear takeaways on which state’s approach has produced better outcomes on a number of fronts.”

• WUSF: What Mosaic Is Doing With Its ‘Gypstack’ To Prevent Another Piney Point Disaster. “These mountains are made byproducts from the production of fertilizer. They contain heavy metals dug up by huge machines that scoop and scrape the earth for phosphate rock. Inside the stack are hundreds of millions of gallons of ‘process water,’ liquid that contains diluted phosphoric and sulfuric acids and ammonia.”

• WJCT: City Of Jacksonville Beach Mulling Over Potential Name Change. “The city last changed its name from Pablo Beach to Jacksonville Beach back in 1925 because city leaders at the time wanted to be associated with their larger neighbor to the west. The name change was also meant to help people outside the region know where the city was located geographically.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Sarasota Memorial’s ICU is COVID-free for first time in over a year. “Sarasota Memorial Hospital is celebrating a major milestone in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. For the first time in over a year, the hospital’s intensive care unit has no COVID-positive patients.”

From NPR News

• National: Juneteenth Is Now A Federal Holiday

• National: One Woman’s Decades-Long Fight To Make Juneteenth A U.S. Holiday

• National: New Wildfires Are At A 10-Year High In The Hot, Dry Western U.S.

• National: After 50 Years Of The War On Drugs, ‘What Good Is It Doing For Us?’

• Politics: Obamacare Wins For The 3rd Time At The Supreme Court

• Politics: Supreme Court Rules Catholic Group Doesn’t Have To Consider LGBTQ Foster Parents

• Politics: In Historic, Bipartisan Move, House Votes To Repeal 2002 Iraq War Powers Resolution

• Health: Unpaid Caregivers Were Already Struggling. It’s Only Gotten Worse During The Pandemic

• Science: To Keep Your Brain Young, Take Some Tips From Our Earliest Ancestors

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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