The Point, June 29, 2021: Families Receive Briefings In Surfside As Death Toll Reaches 11


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Today’s top Florida stories

• WLRN: At Least 11 Found Dead At Surfside Condo Collapse As Search Efforts And Investigations Continue. “The county is having briefings with the victims’ families twice per day to provide them with information on the process. Over the weekend, families were able to visit the site in small private groups.”

• NPR News: Timeline: What We Know So Far About What Led Up To The Surfside Condo Collapse. “As the search for survivors continues, those who barely escaped the collapse or lost loved ones in the incident want to know how the 12-story structure could have failed so severely.”

• NPR News: Inquiries Into What Went Wrong In Surfside Could Take Years To Complete. “A team from NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is in the preliminary stages of an investigation into what caused the apparent building failure early Thursday at the Champlain Towers South condo building north of Miami Beach.”

• Miami Herald ($): Crews are tunneling under rubble of the collapsed tower in Surfside. Why that’s needed. “One of the reasons is to let rescuers search for survivors in other parts of the pile with their dogs, cameras, sonar and infrared technology. It was also part of an effort to combat a ‘deep’ fire that Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava described over the weekend as ‘hampering’ search efforts.”

• CBS Miami: ‘It’s About Coming Together’: Vigil Held On Surfside Beach To Remember Victims Of Condo Collapse. “On Surfside Beach, a vigil was held Monday night as the death toll rises and as so many remain unaccounted for after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South.”

• Miami Herald ($): Two days before condo collapse, a pool contractor photographed this damage in garage. “The contractor visited the condo building last week to put together a bid for a cosmetic restoration of the pool as well as to price out new pool equipment — a small piece of the multimillion-dollar restoration project that just was getting underway at the 40-year-old building.”

• WFSU: Nearly 100 Bills Passed In FL Legislature Remain In Limbo. “Two months after the regular session ended, the governor still must decide the fate of 97 of 275 bills that passed. Eleven are on his desk, and 86 more remain in control of the legislature, with the start of a new fiscal year just days away.”

• News Service of Florida: Here Are The New Florida Laws That Will Take Effect July 1. “More than 100 new laws passed during the 2021 legislative session will hit the books this week, ranging from a record $100 billion state budget to a ban on COVID-19 vaccine ‘passports’ and an expansion of school vouchers.”

• WMFE: Ocala Fires Fire Chief Over ‘Unprofessional Conduct.’ “Ocala has fired its fire chief with a letter citing ‘unprofessional conduct.’ The letter accuses Shane Alexander of campaigning to replace members of the City Council so that he could be appointed city manager.”

Bradenton Herald ($): ‘Nothing criminal’ found in investigation into Commissioner Baugh’s COVID vaccine list. “A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that Commissioner Vanessa Baugh did not break the law when she directed staff to add herself and four friends to a priority VIP list for a COVID-19 vaccine.”

• WUSF: Corcoran Warns Of ‘Serious Consequences’ After Hillsborough Vote To Not Renew Four Charter Schools. “Corcoran, who is a supporter of charter schools and school choice, sent a sternly worded letter to the district on June 23, saying the school board’s vote earlier this month ‘appears to be contrary to law’ because the board did not give the schools enough notice. Florida statutes require a 90-day notice period, prior to the end of the charter’s term. Corcoran pointed out that the June 15 board decision came 56 days before two of the schools — SouthShore and Woodmont — were set to reopen.”

• Atrium Magazine: Going to the chapel of love. “Florida legalized same-sex marriage in January 2015. Months later, on June 26, the Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, made gay marriage legal everywhere. As Pride Month comes to an end, Atrium tells the stories of three Alachua County couples who knew their love was eternal but were barred for years from saying, ‘I do.’”

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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

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