The Point, Sept. 14, 2021: Political, Legal Battles Heat Up Around Gainesville’s Employee Vaccine Mandate


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Today’s top Florida stories

• WUFT News: Gainesville City Employees File Lawsuit Against Vaccine Mandates. “The lawsuit calls for a temporary and permanent injunctive relief of the vaccine mandate challenging its constitutionality. It also notes how the mandate is in violation of Florida’s statewide ban on vaccination passports, which prohibits government agencies from requiring citizens to show proof of vaccination to enter facilities. … A hearing for the lawsuit against the City of Gainesville is set to take place on Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. via Zoom.”

• Florida Politics: Ashley Moody backs plaintiffs against Gainesville vaccine mandate. “With Republicans’ temperaments flaring over vaccine mandates, Attorney General Ashley Moody asked a court Monday to block the city of Gainesville from requiring all city employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.”

• Politico: DeSantis threatens $5K fine against Florida cities with vaccine mandates. “‘We cannot allow these people being cast aside and their jobs being destroyed,’ said DeSantis during a press conference in the small Florida town of Newberry. The governor was joined by city of Gainesville and Orange County employees opposed to vaccine mandates as well as other Republican officials who sharply criticized the federal government. ‘This is not something that should be coerced on people.'”

• WUFT News: Gainesville City Manager Lee Feldman Resigns. “In a letter addressed to the mayor and city commissioners on Monday morning, City Manager Lee Feldman announced his resignation. ‘While I believe that I maintain the solid support of a majority of the City Commission the issue of my retention as your City Manager continues to be a topic of discussion,’ Feldman said. ‘This in turn has a detrimental effect on our organization and impairs our ability to address the priorities that have been collectively identified by the City Commission.'”

• WUFT News: Marion County School Board To Reverse Substitute Teacher Pay Cut. “The Marion County School Board decided to let the $30 emergency increase for substitute pay during the pandemic expire on June 30, much to the dismay of the people who are working in the classrooms when others cannot. After much protest from the subs, the school board is set to vote to increase the minimum back to $100 a day at its meeting on Tuesday.”

• WFSU: Parents Ask Florida Supreme Court To Take Up Mask Lawsuit. “In their request for a Florida Supreme Court hearing, attorneys for the parents write that an immediate resolution to the case is needed because the school year is already underway and that the issue is of ‘great public importance’ because the Delta variant is more transmissible, Florida is a COVID-19 hot spot, and that children are now more vulnerable to the virus.”

• WUSF: NPR Investigation: Florida Is A Hot Spot For Government Homes Sold In Flood-Prone Areas. “Florida saw the highest number of HUD homes sold in floodplains, according to an NPR analysis of several years of data. The 529 homes reflect 12% of all of the sales HUD made in the state over several years.”

• WMFE: Four Years Ago Manatees Were Declared No Longer Endangered. Now They Are Dying At A Record Pace. “During 2021 an unprecedented 937 manatees have died in Florida, more than double the five-year annual average only nine months into the year. The staggering loss represents 10 percent of the animal’s population in the state, estimated at 8,810.”

• Spectrum News: Florida farmers hit hard by COVID-19, rent prices, foreign market. “Florida farmers are struggling to stay above water after losing last year’s crops to COVID-19, and now they say they are competing with foreign suppliers who can offer cheaper produce to our American market.”

• News Service of Florida: USF Makes Biggest Leap As Florida Universities Rise In Annual Rankings. “With a rank of 46, USF billed itself as ‘America’s fastest-rising’ university. The school has risen 48 spots on the U.S. News chart over the past decade.”

• The Alligator: Buchholz High School student arrested for two counts of false bomb threats. “The 17-year-old Buchholz student was accused of faking bomb threats, possession of cocaine and using a two-way communication device to commit a felony. Over the past month, four false bomb threats were called in to Buchholz, causing parents and students to worry about class time disruption and question campus security.”

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From NPR News

• Health: A Man Died After Being Turned Away From 43 ICUs At Capacity Due To COVID, Family Says

• Politics: Capitol Police Are Upping Security Ahead Of A Rally In Support Of The Jan. 6 Rioters

• Politics: Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett Decries Labeling The Court As Partisan

• National: A N.Y. Hospital Will Stop Delivering Babies As Workers Quit Over A Vaccine Mandate

• National: The California Recall And Its Very Real Political Consequences, Explained

• Business: ‘Cops’ Was Canceled Amid Protests Of Police Violence. Fox Nation Is Bringing It Back

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

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Check Also

The Point, Sept. 23, 2021: A Judge Ruled Against Gainesville’s City Employee Vaccine Mandate

The city did not present evidence to justify the mandate, Judge Monica Brasington wrote.