The Point, June 21, 2021: Palatka Holds First Celebration Of Juneteenth With Federal Holiday Status


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• WUFT News: ‘We’re Not Free Until Everyone Is Free’: How Palatka Celebrated Juneteenth. “History unfolded Saturday inside the Family Life Center gymnasium in Palatka as the community gathered to celebrate Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the first time. … The county health department was offering COVID vaccinations. Community services abounded and activists circled with petitions to make voting more accessible for everyone — glimpses that though freedom had been granted, the fight for equity was ongoing.”

• WUFT News: The Family Backbone: Friends And Family Reflect One Year Later On The Life Of Natisha Covert. “A stray bullet killed 36-year-old Natisha Covert one year ago — on June 21, 2020. The mother of eight was shot at a block party in Waldo amid the COVID-19 pandemic. About a year later, the Alachua County Sheriff Office’s investigative team has interviewed more than 100 people and has not found the killer, said spokesperson Art Forgey.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville 4 All Announces Plans For Innovative Family Learning Center. “Gainesville 4 All, a local organization formed to address systemic racial inequities and disparities in Alachua County, has announced its plans for a ‘transformative’ family learning center for parents and children facing economic hardships in the Gainesville area.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: FDEP investigating Crystal River-area lot for unsanctioned wetland clearing. “FDEP spokeswoman Shannon Herbon told the Chronicle Friday the agency performed an unannounced inspection of the 6.64-acre, single-family lot on Wednesday.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Judge rejects Clemons’ plea for court fees award in Twitter case. “The long-running legal fight over whether state Rep. Chuck Clemons had the right to block a constituent from his Twitter account can end, a federal judge has ruled.”

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Around the state today

• News Service of Florida: Piney Point Not Believed To Be The Cause Of Red Tide In Pinellas. “But Tom Frazer, now the dean and a professor at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, said during a discussion hosted by Gov. Ron DeSantis that nutrients from the Piney Point phosphate-plant site could be helping fuel the outbreak.”

• Associated Press: Florida vs. CDC cruise lawsuit: Court rules in favor of Florida against conditional sail order. “A federal judge on Friday ruled for Florida in a lawsuit challenging a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order making it difficult for cruise ships to resume sailing due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

• Pensacola News Journal ($): ‘Really, really scary’: Tropical Storm Claudette punch caused unexpected damage. “The remnants of Tropical Storm Claudette that made landfall three states away Saturday had an unexpectedly strong impact on Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, spurring tornadoes, downing trees, damaging homes and bringing flash flooding to some areas.”

• Associated Press: Officials: Deadly Pride parade crash appears unintentional. “A member of a men’s chorus group unintentionally slammed into fellow chorists at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida, killing one member of the group and seriously injuring another, the group’s director said Sunday, correcting initial speculation that it was a hate crime directed at the gay community.”

• Florida Politics: Rainbow lighting schemes for Florida bridges find sudden state support. “The Florida Department of Transportation has approved themed lighting schemes for the Sunshine Skyway and the John Ringling Causeway bridges. Requests to light both roadways had previously been denied.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Two Manatee County employees die amid COVID-19 outbreak among county staff. “The COVID-19 outbreak was announced in a tweet that stated ‘a number of COVID-19 cases were detected among County employees – including two deaths of our work family this week.'”

• News4Jax: Florida leads nation in number of new HIV cases. “Dr. Mohammed Reza, the medical director for CAN Community Health’s Jacksonville clinic, said while HIV numbers are always a concern, the reality is they’ve been declining for several years in Florida. But more work needs to be done.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: UF scientists brewing up a new crop for Florida farmers. “Hops, the key ingredient in making beer primarily comes from the Pacific Northwest. But University of Florida scientists have been working for five years to successfully grow them here at UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma.”

• WFSU: DeSantis Signs Purple Alert Bill Into Law. “If someone with a disability or brain injury goes missing, a purple alert could go out to help find them.”

• Spectrum News: Why New Smyrna Beach has so many shark attacks. “Volusia County has a five-year annual average of nine attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF). The county has more shark attacks than anywhere else on the planet but most are not severe, explained Gavin Naylor, who manages ISAF.”

From NPR News

• Business: Juneteenth Is A Federal Holiday Now, But What That Means For Workers Varies Widely

• Business: Cargo Is Piling Up Everywhere And It’s Making Inflation Worse

• World: Afghan Interpreters Who Await Visas After Helping The U.S. Now Fear For Their Lives

• Politics: After Debate On Biden’s Abortion Views, Bishops Vote to Rethink Communion Rules

• National: New Videos Underscore The Violence Against Police At The Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

• National: The Record Temperatures Enveloping The West Are Not Your Average Heat Wave

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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