The Point, Aug. 23, 2021: Florida’s Masks-In-Schools Drama Accelerates With U.S. Education Secretary’s Comments

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Today’s top Florida stories

• WLRN: Feds Ready To Investigate Florida Schools If Student Right To Safe Education Violated. “‘Our Office for Civil Rights is prepared to take on any investigation necessary to support the safe reentry into schools if allegations that students rights to a free, appropriate public education are being violated,’ said U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Friday on the Florida Roundup.”

• The Alligator: Alachua County Public Schools to defy state ultimatum to make masking optional. “The annual salary of the four school board members is $40,287 each, ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said. The members will each lose roughly $3,350 this month as an ‘initial step.'”

• Politico: Sarasota becomes first Trump county to defy DeSantis on school masks. “Sarasota, a district enrolling nearly 43,000 students, joins Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Alachua counties in breaking rules crafted by the DeSantis administration to prevent local schools from requiring masks for students. Together, more than 1 million students attend Florida schools that are under mask mandates against the wishes of the Republican governor, who wants parents to have the ultimate say on face coverings.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna makes masks mandatory for K-8, drops opt-out option. “Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna announced Sunday his decision to strengthen the district’s mask mandate, requiring masks for students in grades pre-K to 8th grade and ending the option for parents to opt out – a move that defies an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis and may put Hanna’s salary in jeopardy.”

• WMFE: ‘We Probably Called Over 50 Places’ – Florida COVID-19 Patients Are Leaving The State For ECMO. “COVID-19, and especially the Delta variant, are making younger patients sicker. More of these patients are candidates for ECMO because they are young. But there aren’t enough adult ECMO beds in Florida to meet the demand.”

• Florida Politics: Bahamas to Florida cruise ships: Don’t stop here, unless you’re vaxxed. “The Bahamas’ emergency order, posted Thursday on the commonwealth’s Customs and Excise Department‘s website, apparently means that cruise ships from Florida are not welcome, so long as they comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ executive order that banned them from demanding ‘vaccine passports’ from passengers.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Unemployment Rate At 5.1 Percent. “The state Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday that the July rate was up from a 5.0 percent mark in June.”

• Associated Press: Orlando Urged To Limit Water Use Because Of COVID-19 Surge. “Mayor Buddy Dyer said Friday that water usage needed to be cut back because of the recent surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Orlando Utility Commission treats the city’s water with liquid oxygen and supplies that ordinarily go toward water treatment have been diverted to hospitals for patients suffering from the virus.”

• Florida Politics: Twitter suspends account of Ron DeSantis press secretary after harassing AP reporter. “Twitter gave Christina Pushaw, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ bellicose press secretary, a 12-hour time-out Friday.”


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• World: Highly Vaccinated Israel Is Seeing A Dramatic Surge In New COVID Cases. Here’s Why

• Health: Many ERs Fail People Who Struggle With Addiction. These New Approaches Might Help

• Business: These Older Workers Hadn’t Planned To Retire So Soon. The Pandemic Sped Things Up

• Science: Scientists Are Learning More About Fire Tornadoes, The Spinning Funnels Of Flame

• National: In Fire Scorched California, Town Aims To Buy The Highest At-Risk Properties

• National: This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data

• Education: High School Is Accused Of Censorship As Officials Rip Out Yearbook Pages On The News

• World: ‘A Beautiful Feeling’: Refugee Women In Germany Learn The Joy Of Riding Bikes

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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