The Point, Sept. 1, 2021: Inside Florida’s Complex System Of Child Support Debt Payback

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: ‘The Silent Return Of Debtors’ Prison’: Poor Parents Face Jail Time For Failing To Pay Back The State For Child Support. “Samuel Stafford, who presides over child support hearings in Alachua and Levy Counties, began court in late July with a warning: ‘There is absolutely no place in a court of law, especially pro se, for logic and common sense.’ By the day’s end, Stafford would tell a mother who said she was homeless to pay $100 within 35 days or face a month in jail.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): COVID-19: 3 Marion school employees, 1 former student died last week. “The recent deaths bring the total of COVID-19 fatalities among school district employees to seven since July 29. The previous four deaths were two teachers, a school bus driver and a custodian.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Hernando County School Board implements mask mandate in schools with opt-out option for parents. “The school board said parents can fill out an opt-out form for their students which will be available on Wednesday. The school board attorney also said this mask mandate will follow the parents’ bill of rights, which is required by Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

• Fresh Take Florida: New Autopsy Reports Reveal Father Shot Sons, Self Despite Authorities Believing He Did Not Own Gun. “That issue – whether police can reliably determine in a developing crisis whether someone has a gun – adds to previous questions in the case about why it took sheriff’s investigators so long to track (Paul) Reinhart after he disappeared with his sons.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Hawthorne cheese hits Publix shelves. “Hawthorne Creek Creamery produced its first artisan cheese in January 2020 and just sent a batch of 110 wheels to Publix on Friday. And while the cheese is new, the family behind Hawthorne Creek Creamery has a history with dairy.”


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Around the state

• Miami Herald ($): Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths. “On Monday, Florida death data would have shown an average of 262 daily deaths reported to the CDC over the previous week had the health department used its former reporting system, the Herald analysis showed. Instead, the Monday update from Florida showed just 46 ‘new deaths’ per day over the previous seven days.”

• Florida Politics: Weekly COVID-19 deaths in Florida now 10 times what was seen in early July. “Late Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its latest COVID-19 information to show that Florida had reported 1,837 additional COVID-19 fatalities over seven days through Sunday, according to the federal government’s ‘cumulative deaths’ total.”

• WTSP-Tampa: ‘This is a preventable tragedy’: Vaccinations urged at funeral for St. Pete officer who died of COVID-related complications. “It was an emotional day for the family, friends and colleagues of fallen St. Pete PD Officer Michael Weiskopf as they gathered to remember his life and service. The 52-year-old died on Aug. 27, from COVID-related complications after contracting the virus. Weiskopf’s widow, Karen, says the 18-year veteran of the department was not vaccinated at the time that he fell ill.”

• News4Jax: Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida reach record highs. “The number of new hospital admissions of adults with COVID-19 in Florida continues on a general downward trend, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The data shows the number of total adult patients with COVID-19 in the state has also been dropping over the past week or so.”

• NPR News: Why The South Is Decades Ahead Of The West In Wildfire Prevention. “Now, several Western states are moving to adopt the fire policies pioneered by Florida and other Southern states as a hedge against the future. They include training problems for burn leaders and providing liability protection for them. The bigger challenge is changing the culture around fire, so that residents know that tolerating a little smoke from good fires can help stop the destructive blazes that cloud the air for weeks.”


From NPR News

• Health: Vaccination Rates Rose In August As COVID Cases Surged Due To The Delta Variant

• World: 5 Questions Now After President Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal

• National: Aerial Photos Show Louisiana Coast Is Still Dealing With Major Flooding Post-Ida

• National: High Gun Sales And More Time At Home Have Led To More Accidental Shootings By Kids

• National: Every National Forest In California Is Closing Because Of Wildfire Risk

• National: Pandemic Jobless Benefits End Next Week For Millions Of Unemployed Americans

• Politics: After A Standoff With Democrats, Texas Republicans Pass New Voting Restrictions

• Business: Jury Selection Begins In The Fraud Trial Of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes

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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