The Point, Sept. 27, 2021: Why The Problem Of Heirs’ Property Caused Black Families To Lose 90% Of Their Land


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Today’s top Florida stories

• WUFT News: Gainesville City Leaders Make A Push To Help Black Families Hold Onto Their Property. “Heirs’ property commonly occurs when a deceased relative dies without leaving a will or leaves land to multiple heirs.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, heirs’ property is ‘the leading cause of Black involuntary land loss.’ African Americans, who once owned 15 million acres, lost up to 90 % of their land from 1910-2007.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): TikTok #deviouslicks challenge leads to arrest of 9 Marion students for vandalism. “Young users on TikTok challenge teenagers to film themselves destroying school property, such as ripping soap dispensers and urinals off the wall, and posting their rampages on the popular social media video app.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): COVID cases across Florida drop by 40% since last week; pandemic fatalities also down. “Another 54,109 people in the state tested positive for the coronavirus during the week ending Thursday, according to the report. That is a 40.4% drop from the 75,998 new cases reported the week before.”

• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants to phase out styrofoam from Florida stores. “Polystyrene, or styrofoam, is used in food packaging products like styrofoam cups, plates and to-go boxes. The products are inexpensive but Fried said studies have shown the chemicals within polystyrene foam have been linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, birth defects, respiratory irritation and a whole variety of other health issues.”

• USA Today Network: Bank error causes pandemic bonus checks for some Florida teachers to bounce. “The Florida Legislature earmarked $400 million in pandemic relief dollars from the federal government for teachers and first responders in the state budget. Instead of following the usual process of sending bonus money to school districts for distribution, DOE announced this summer the money would come straight from the state. It contracted with a private firm to identify who was eligible.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Hernando County firefighter dies following battle with COVID-19. “Officials say 44-year-old Driver Engineer David Hackett lost his battle with coronavirus Saturday evening.”

• FLKeysNews ($): DeSantis appoints ex-state House rep to Keys commission seat after commissioner dies. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday afternoon that he appointed Holly Raschein, former Keys representative for the state House, to finish the remaining time left on Monroe County Commissioner Mike Forster’s term. Forster died Sept. 6 from pneumonia caused by a weeks-long battle with COVID-19. He was 61.”

• NPR News: Florida Wants To Give Fishermen Another Go At The Great Big Goliath Grouper. “Goliath groupers can be as large as a refrigerator, weigh 800 pounds, and are found prowling near Florida’s coral reefs. Their large size makes them nearly fearless and easy prey for fishermen and divers with spearguns.”

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From NPR News

• Health: Booster Shots Are Coming. Here’s How To Figure Out If You Need One

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: Is There An App That’ll Prove I’m Vaccinated, Or Is Paper The Best?

• National: Tens Of Thousands Of Black Women Vanish Each Year. This Website Tells Their Stories

• National: Rural Hospitals Worry They Will Lose Staff Because Of Biden’s New Vaccine Mandate

• Business: The Elizabeth Holmes Trial Sparks A Silicon Valley Debate: Why Not Other Tech CEOs?

• Science: Ancient Footprints Suggest Humans Lived In The Americas Earlier Than Once Thought

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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