The Point, Sept. 29, 2021: Gainesville, Alachua County Law Enforcement Add More Mental Health Co-Responder Teams


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• WUFT News: Gainesville Police Department Makes Mental Health a Top Priority. “For over three years, police officers and clinicians at the Gainesville Police and Alachua County Sheriff’s Departments have been working to address local mental health issues through their co-responder teams. Two teams were added earlier this year, and one more will be introduced next month.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: Residents flood commission meeting, plead for help. “Record rainfall caused widespread flooding in isolated, low-lying areas of the county. A few people said they can no longer live in their homes because of the high water. Others said they know people still trapped in their homes.”

• WUFT News: Want To Get Up To Speed On Gainesville And Alachua County’s COVID-19 Drama With The Governor? Here’s An Explainer. “For the past few months, Alachua County Public Schools, Gainesville and Alachua County have openly defied Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his approach to COVID-19 mandates. The ongoing conflict between the parties has garnered national attention, said Beth Rosenson, an associate professor in the University of Florida’s political science department.”

• WUFT News: Marion County Coach Led Track Athletes To 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. “Tony McCall, the owner of Tony McCall Speed and Fitness, led two Marion County track and field athletes to the delayed 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games this August. It was his second Paralympic appearance as an assistant coach. After almost a month in Japan, the trio returned to Marion County.”

• Ocala Gazette: City must pay nearly $400,000 in homeless lawsuit. “Ocala must pay nearly $400,000 in fees and costs to attorneys who brought a case against the city’s open lodging ordinance in 2019. But the damage could have been worse had the court not cut the amount by nearly half.”

• WUFT News: Columbia High School Ups Security For Football Games Following Bump In Firearm Incidents. “New safety measures for all Columbia County School District athletic events went into effect on Sept. 10, following a spate of gun violence in Lake City. The Columbia County Office of Safe Schools, along with the superintendent and members of the sheriff’s department, began drafting plans for increased safety over the summer when community members became aware of the spike in gun violence.”

• The Alligator: Athletic Director Scott Stricklin responds to allegations of abuse under former coach Newbauer. “Stricklin said the culture of the women’s basketball program under Newbauer described in The Alligator’s article is in no way consistent with the values of UF.”

• WUFT News: First Fridays Are Back In Ocala – You Can Peruse Art And Hear Live Music. “The city hosts art-centered events throughout the year. On Sept. 3, the First Friday Art Walk resumed in the town’s historic district. The next event will take place this Friday, Oct. 1. The event showcases local artists who display and sell their work to attendees with live music and family art activities provided by art organizations.”

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Feds Cover Broward School Board Salaries That State Withheld Over Mask Policy. “State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced Aug. 30 that the Florida Department of Education had started to withhold funds from the Alachua and Broward County school districts in amounts equal to the monthly salaries of school board members who voted for mask requirements. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $150,000 to Alachua County to cover the salaries of four school board members.”

• Florida Politics: Desmond Meade named MacArthur ‘genius grant’ winner. “Civil rights activist Desmond Meade — the face and driving force behind efforts to force Florida to restore voting rights to felons — has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Family, friends continue searching for 19-year-old Miya Marcano, missing since Friday. Miya Marcano’s family members searched through the woods near a Seminole County apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon, calling her name as they pushed past tree branches and through thick grass, while others knocked on doors to hand out flyers. … The day before, a pair of maintenance workers at the complex in unincorporated Longwood forced their way into a locked garage, where they found the body of Armando Caballero, who authorities on Monday described as a ‘person of interest’ in Marcano’s disappearance.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Charged in Capitol riot, St. Augustine man dies awaiting trial. “John Steven Anderson’s attorney told a judge in Washington about the death during a case status conference Friday, court records show. Anderson, 61, died Sept 21 at Baptist Medical Center South in Jacksonville, according to an obituary posted online by St. Johns Family Funeral Home & Crematory. The cause of death wasn’t listed.”

• News4Jax: Man accused of killing Nassau County deputy arrested near Callahan after 5-day search. “The accused killer of a Nassau County deputy was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon following a flurry of law enforcement activity near a sports complex west of Callahan.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Palm Beach State College cancels $2.3M in student debt. “Palm Beach State College’s financial assistance helps students settle unpaid account balances incurred during the pandemic, getting students back on track this fall to continue their education.”

• Associated Press: Some Original Staffers Say They’re Still Happy To Work At Disney World After 50 Years. “Over those decades, Disney World added three more theme parks, two dozen additional hotels and grew to have a workforce of 77,000 employees as it helped Orlando become the most visited place in the U.S. before the pandemic. What never changed was the original employees’ devotion to the pixie dust, the dream machine created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers.”

From NPR News

• National: Janet Yellen Says U.S. Could Run Out Of Cash To Pay Its Bills In Less Than 3 Weeks

• World: Women Are Barred From Attending Kabul University For Now, Says The School Chancellor

• Health: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says NBA Players Should Get Vaccinated Or Be Kicked Off The Team

• Health: Maine’s Effort To Regularly Test Students For COVID Is Straining School Staff

• Business: Oil Topped $80 Dollars Per Barrel — The Most It’s Cost In Almost 3 Years

• Business: Mail Delivery Is About To Get Permanently Slower And Pricier For The Holidays

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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