The Point, Aug. 30, 2021: Florida Governor Loses Trial On Mask Mandates In Schools


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• News Service of Florida: Judge Rules Against DeSantis on Mask Mandates. “The ruling came as coronavirus cases are increasing in schools across the state, prompting student quarantines by the thousands in some districts. Ten districts have defied the governor’s order, enacting mask mandates with exceptions only for medical reasons.”

• News4Jax: State closes prisons in Baker, Bradford counties in ‘strategic consolidation.’ “Despite pushback earlier this year for a plan to shutter some state prisons in Florida’s rural regions where the communities rely on their economic impact, the Florida Department of Corrections is moving forward with ‘strategically consolidating’ several Northeast Florida prisons.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): UF misappropriated grant money from National Science Foundation, audit claims. “The audit done for the foundation contends that $640,723 had been inappropriately claimed between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 31, 2019. The audit was the most recent for UF. UF has contested many of the findings but has agreed to reimburse the foundation for some of the expenses.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: 200 city employees sue over vaccine mandate. “The vaccine mandate was part of a series of COVID-related proposals that Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos brought to the Gainesville commission on Aug. 6.”

• WUFT News: McCarty Woods Cleanup Removes Invasive Plants To Spruce Up Site And Stress Its Value. “About 30 people gathered in the parking lot in front of McCarty Woods on Sunday morning with the essentials: trash bags, tools, gloves and glazed donuts. The group — comprised of students, professors and children — was eager to work through the woods, located on the corner of Museum Road and Newell Drive on the University of Florida campus, to remove invasive plants.”

• WUFT News: Branford Women’s Club Elects to Donate Historic Records. “It’s the end of an era for the Branford Women’s Club. Established in 1947, the clubhouse opened its doors one last time on Wednesday, Aug. 25, to gather historic documents to be donated to the Suwannee County Historical Commission & Museum.”

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Around the state

• WMFE: Florida Now Reporting An Average Of 247 Deaths Per Day From COVID-19. “Based on the day a death is counted, Florida is currently averaging 247 deaths per day. August is already among the worst months of the pandemic, with 3,452 lives lost, more than any other month since January. There is a lag of days — and sometimes weeks — in the recording of COVID-19 deaths. So it is actually a lot worse than it looks now.”

• New York Times ($): What Went Wrong With the Pandemic in Florida. “‘It’s a very sad, sad moment for all of us,’ said Natalie E. Dean, a biostatistician at Emory University who until recently worked at the University of Florida and has closely followed the pandemic in the state. ‘It was really hard to imagine us ever getting back to this place.'”

• WFLA-Tampa: 2 Florida Highway patrol members lose battle to COVID-19. “Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Hryc and Compliance Investigator Ernest “Ernie” Brown both died from COVID-19.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): COVID on campus: Florida State to give limited student ‘clearance’ information to professors. “The reasons for being ‘not clear,’ meaning the student should not be in class, could include awaiting COVID test results, in quarantine or because they’ve been diagnosed with COVID. But professors won’t know which reason it is to preserve students’ privacy.”

• News Service of Florida: Replacing State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees May Be Difficult. “Scott Rivkees announced he will leave his post as surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health next month. But the move comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Combine that with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ antagonism to federal health authorities and mask mandates, and it might make it difficult to find a replacement.”

• WLRN: Sugar Growers Sue To Stop Army Corps From Using Everglades Reservoir. “In the lawsuit filed in federal court, U.S. Sugar argued the reservoir will violate a rule included in the federal law authorizing Everglades restoration in 2000. Known as the ‘savings clause,’ the rule required the Army Corps to maintain water supplies to farms and utilities as it worked to revive marshes and undo decades of damage from flood control.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): Despite warnings, many Polk County residents still seek livestock drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19. “A federal warning against using the drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Polk County residents from rallying for it as an alternative low-cost treatment for the virus.”

From NPR News

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: How Do The Rules of 6 Feet And 15 Minutes Apply To The Delta Variant?

• Health: Unvaccinated Pastor Who Almost Died Of COVID Now Preaches The Importance Of Vaccines

• Health: A U.S. Intelligence Report Fails To Pinpoint COVID’s Origins

• World: The U.S. Says It Carried Out A 2nd Strike Against ISIS-K In Afghanistan

• World: Pakistan Helped Create The Taliban. Here’s What It Means For The Country Now

• Education: Reports Of Cheating At Colleges Soar During The Pandemic

• National: Photos: Scenes from Hurricane Ida As It Pummels Gulf Coast

• National: Sirhan Sirhan Has Served 53 Years For Killing Robert F. Kennedy. Soon He May Be Free

• Arts & Design: Check Out The First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Recently Unveiled In Europe

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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