The Point, Sept. 13, 2021: The Story Of One Family Caught Up In The Alachua County School Mask Fight


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The stories near you

• News Service of Florida: Court Gives Boost to DeSantis In Mask Mandate Fight. “Pointing to ‘serious doubts’ about the lawsuit, an appeals court Friday put on hold a circuit judge’s ruling that said Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his constitutional authority in a July 30 executive order aimed at preventing school mask mandates. … clearing the way for the state to try to block school districts from requiring students to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Public Schools Mask Mandate Battle Persists: ‘It’s A Fight That Didn’t Need To Start.’ “ACPS provides families with a student mask opt-out medical exemption, and ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said about 70 slips have been signed by a medical professional. Nearly 30,000 students attend one of the about 40 schools in the ACPS district, and many forms were denied after parents tried to submit them with only their signatures but no medical professional.”

• The Alligator: UF ranked top five public university. “After five years of ascending through the rankings, UF achieved its long-standing goal. U.S. News and World Report announced on Sept. 12 UF is ranked No. 5 in the list of public universities.”

• WUFT News: Local Nutrition Club, Home Interiors Store Celebrate Ribbon Cuttings. “For nearly a decade, Suite B at 806 NE Waldo Road sat unrented. Now, it’s home to Boss Moves Nutrition, which celebrated with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon. Owner Shaques McMillian’s eyes filled with tears as she placed her hands through the giant scissors and cut the red ribbon.”

• Ocala Gazette: How Marion spent the penny tax. “Marion County residents originally approved the One Cent Public Safety and Infrastructure Sales Surtax, also known as the penny sales tax, in 2016. The four-year tax program was targeted to pay for infrastructure and public safety projects. In 2020, voters renewed the tax for another four years. The tax adds a penny to the state 6% sales tax, effectively making it a 7% sales tax in the county.”

• WUFT News: E-Scooters Raise Local Traffic Concerns. “Some predict scooter rentals will make getting around easier. But other drivers, who share the road with e-scooters, are concerned. ‘As a bus driver, it’s becoming a real problem because I see scooters going down the wrong side of the roads,’ said RTS bus driver John Barone. ‘They’re cutting off vehicles and the problem isn’t the scooters themselves. It’s the drivers.'”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Cornerback Jaydon Hill Entangled In Felony Theft Case. “Police said Hill admitted stealing a debit card and using it to pay more than $1,600 in overdue university parking tickets, among other purchases, according to the newly discovered court records.”

• WUFT News: Food Truck Market Grows At The Ocala Downtown Market. “When Ramon Reyes and Maria Flores moved last summer from California to Ocala, they said they were looking for a fresh start. The husband and wife duo own Mexi-Rican Cuisine, a food truck that intertwines the couple’s passion for convenient meal options and Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage.”

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Around the state

• Politico: Biden administration opens investigation into Florida’s school masking policies. “The investigation in Florida hinges on a pandemic-era use of federal civil rights law. In the letter to the Florida Department of Education, federal officials expressed concerned that restrictions on mask use could keep schools from complying with federal laws that protect disabled students from discrimination.”

• WLRN: In Escalating Battle, Broward School District Accuses State Of Withholding COVID-19 Stimulus. “Broward leaders say the state is withholding nearly $234 million in funding. The accusation comes as the district has mandated facial coverings in schools despite an executive order from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that stated parents should have the choice to send their children to school with or without masks. DeSantis’ position is being contested in multiple ongoing legal battles.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Tampa General Hospital to mandate COVID vaccine for its workers, following new federal rules. “The news follows a similar announcement made by BayCare, which runs 14 acute-care hospitals in the Tampa Bay area and employs over 28,000 employees, currently, 44 percent of their employees are unvaccinated.”

• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis bashed for making Florida ‘only state’ not using federal child food aid program. “The USDA extended P-EBT through this summer under President Joe Biden and allowed it to continue afterward, enabling states that hadn’t signed up yet to do so during the regular 2021-22 school year. This time, Florida didn’t apply. The result has been a $375 shortfall per eligible child over the summer, with kids losing $2.26 for breakfast, $3.60 for lunch, and $1 for a snack daily.”

• News4Jax: ‘One of a kind’: Jacksonville community honors life, legacy of Dr. Leon Haley Jr. “A community memorial service was hosted in Jacksonville Friday for Dr. Leon Haley Jr., the CEO of UF Health Jacksonville who died in a WaveRunner accident in South Florida in July. Haley was laid to rest in his hometown of Pittsburgh in July.”

From NPR News

• Health: Unvaccinated People Are 11 Times More Likely To Die Of COVID-19, New Research Finds

• Health: I Got A ‘Mild’ Breakthrough Case. Here’s What I Wish I’d Known

• Health: Why The World Should Be More Than A Bit Worried About India’s Nipah Virus Outbreak

• Business: What The Ruling In The Epic Games V. Apple Lawsuit Means For iPhone Users

• Business: Taco Bell Wants Your Old Sauce Packets So They Can Be Recycled

• Race: A Beachfront Property Taken From A Black Family A Century Ago May Soon Be Returned

• National: This Custodian Stayed At His School All Night Pumping Water During Ida’s Storms

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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