Subscribe to The Point to invite us into your inbox with the most important Florida news from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.
The stories near you
• WUFT News: Vaccination Rates in North Central Florida Counties Are Lower Than The State Average. “According to a Florida Department of Health report, 66% of Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. See where your county stands.”
• News Service of Florida: State Begins Making Its Case Against Mask Mandates In Florida Schools. “As the legal battle plays out, eight school districts as of Tuesday afternoon had voted to require masks for students, with exceptions only for students whose parents submit doctors’ notes. The mask mandates in the eight counties cover an estimated 1.23 million students, based on state enrollment data from the 2020-2021 school year.”
• WCJB: Alachua County Public School leaders are working to mitigate the bus driver shortage. “According to Jackie Johnson, the Public Information Officer for Alachua County Public Schools, it is a challenge to fill these vacant positions, and it is not just here locally. ‘It is a hard thing to get bus drivers in school districts across the country,’ explained Johnson.”
• News4Jax: Sheriff’s Office issues urgent reminder on distracted driving after 2 officers fall victim in Putnam County. “‘We were lucky. While the loss of the vehicles is never welcomed, we are extremely thankful we did not lose lives. That’s why we’re urging drivers to please be aware of your surroundings when driving and remain focused on the road when operating a vehicle,’ a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post reads.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Deputies in the sky: CCSO takes flight with drone program. “(Citrus County Sheriff Mike) Prendergast said he wants to enhance his agency’s drone program by doubling its numbers and growing its capabilities, like assessing disasters and locating survivors amid the destruction.”
• WFLA-Tampa: Hernando County deputy saves choking kindergartner at school. “A 5-year-old is alive after a Hernando County sheriff’s deputy jumped into action during lunchtime. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Shaun Duval, the School Resource Officer at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics saw a staff member attempting to render aid to a 5-year-old kindergarten student.”
Do you value local journalism?
WUFT is here for you with vital coverage during complex times. We exist to serve north central Florida and are committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news from your community, the state and the world. If you’re able to do so, please consider making a donation to WUFT to keep us going strong.
Around the state
• USA Today Network ($): ‘Who is going to help me?’: How a Florida team brings healthcare to this community. “The team of health workers, also known as promotoras, was born out of a crisis so dire that global health organization Doctors Without Borders brought accessible testing and education to Immokalee in 2020 when the state government did not. While there, they found a 36% positivity rate, six times the statewide rate, the group said.”
• WINK-Fort Myers: Lee Health CEO pushes back against vaccine misinformation, says ‘Let me show you the ICU.’ “Dr. Jordan Taillon is a pulmonologist and critical care specialist. He says that before COVID-19 patients in the ICU close their eyes to die, ‘You’re starting to hear people reflect on this, that they didn’t think they could be in this position.'”
• Spectrum News: Polk County elementary school teacher dies from COVID-19. “Kelly Peterson, a teacher at Lake Shipp Elementary, died Monday according to a Facebook post from the school. A family member confirmed on social media that COVID was the cause of death.”
• WMFE: Required Face Masks Are Back At Orange County Public Schools: Read All About The New Policy That Takes Effect Monday. “The new district-wide face mask mandate will remain in place for the next 60 days through October 30th. All K-12 students and staff will be required to wear a face mask unless they have a medical exemption.”
• The Tributary: Florida was going to be a beacon of criminal justice transparency. Instead, it’s almost 3 years behind schedule. “More than three years after Florida passed a criminal-justice data transparency law that earned national headlines and rave reviews for the state’s politicians, the state agency tasked with actually publishing the data has continued to miss deadlines with no explanation. Now, the ACLU of Florida has filed suit against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the hopes that a judge will force the agency, along with all the other agencies involved, to finally comply with the 2018 law.”
• Florida Storms: Caribbean, Tropical Atlantic Being Monitored For Tropical Development Late This Week. “The tropics are likely to take a break most of this week after Tropical Storm Henri’s landfall in New England Sunday afternoon. That break is expected to be short-lived.”
• Florida Politics: State forecasts $2.6 billion bump in general revenue. “According to state economists, the fiscal boost is most evident in two categories: sales tax and corporate income tax. Sales tax revenue is expected to increase by more than $1.3 billion in FY 2021-22 and $668.5 million in FY 2022-23.”
• Miami Herald ($): No-party candidate in Miami election fraud case takes plea deal, apologizes to voters. “The point of (Alexis) Rodriguez’s candidacy, investigators said, was to ‘confuse voters and siphon votes from the incumbent.’ GOP Sen. Ileana Garcia won the election by 32 votes out of 215,000 ballots cast. Rodriguez, who shares a surname with the incumbent Democrat, received more than 6,000 votes.”
• WUSF: New Flood Maps In Pinellas County Could Affect Insurance Rates. “Updated federal flood zone maps in Pinellas County went into effect Tuesday. The maps are used to identify who with federally-backed mortgages are required to buy policies. And they help set minimum development requirements – for instance, how high new homes should be built above flood stage.”
• Florida Times-Union ($): Jaguars win city support for $120 million football complex. “The Jaguars can move forward on building a $120 million football complex after the Jacksonville City Council unanimously agreed in a lightning-fast vote Tuesday to pay up to $60 million of the cost. Council members engaged in no discussion, debate or even commentary on the legislation, which is among the largest spending items they’ve taken up recently.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): UF, West Palm and Palm Beach County in talks to bring graduate school presence to downtown. “West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said the City Commission will discuss the topic and take a vote on the idea on Monday. County Mayor Dave Kerner said the County Commission will follow suit on Tuesday. UF President Kent Fuchs is scheduled to attend both meetings, the mayors said.”
• NPR News: New Doc Looks At How Real The Liberty City Seven’s Threat Actually Was. “NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with director Dan Reed about his new movie In the Shadow of 9/11, which re-examines the case against seven men in Miami who were indicted for an alleged al-Qaida plot.”
From NPR News
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 email@example.com.