The Point, Oct. 22, 2021: The first of Florida’s voter-approved minimum wage increases is now in effect

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Florida minimum wage increase hurts some local food businesses in Gainesville but encourages others. “The increase to $10 an hour was approved on Nov. 3, 2020, after 60.82% of voters voted for Florida Amendment 2, or the $15 Minimum Wage Initiative. The minimum wage will rise by another dollar every year until 2026 when it reaches $15.”

• WMFE: Keith Perry files bills to block mask mandates and vaccine requirements, but DeSantis announces special session. “…those are likely to be superseded by a special session in November. Perry’s office was filing his two bills — Senate bills 592 and 594 — at about the same time Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Clearwater announcing plans for the special session.”

• WFSU: A battle over face masks between school districts and the State of Florida begins in court. “An administrative law judge is weighing a Department of Health rule governing school mask mandates. The two-day trial kicked off Thursday in Tallahassee with the districts (including Alachua County) arguing the Department overstepped its authority when it issued the rule, and the state saying those claims are overblown.”

• WUFT News: Vaccine mandate fight resumes after Gainesville challenges court ruling. “Just one month after issuing a temporary injunction preventing the city of Gainesville from requiring employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, the judge in the case is now entertaining a motion from city attorneys to modify or rescind the ruling. The legal maneuver comes after a Sept. 23 meeting in which city commissioners voted, 6-1, to scrap the vaccine plan entirely. It’s not clear why the city is continuing to defend the ordinance now that it no longer exists.”

• WUFT News: Citrus County residents say officials have done little to provide flooding relief. “Flooding is an issue that residents say has plagued their community for as long as they can remember. In 1989, the water in (Ken) Jaeger’s lawn reached 4 feet and almost made it into his home.”

• Spectrum News: Parents claim overcrowded buses force Hernando County students to sit in the aisles. “The nationwide school bus driver shortage is causing a major issue in Hernando County, causing kids to sit on the floor, and parents are saying enough is enough.”

• WUFT News: Nature trail in your yard? This is a reality for future Emerson community residents. “When complete, Emerson will be the first microneighborhood in Gainesville, located just south of the University of Florida campus. The 58-townhome complex will be divided into five microneighborhoods with about 20 residential units in an area.”

• News Service of Florida: Women’s flag football could come to Florida’s state colleges after this rule change. “Football programs could come to Florida’s state college system after top education officials Wednesday repealed a rule that has prohibited colleges from having teams — but it’s likely schools like Santa Fe College in Gainesville will launch flag football teams to start.”


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Around the state

• Associated Press: Remains found in Florida park are identified as Brian Laundrie, the FBI says. “The remains, a backpack and notebook believed to belong to Laundrie were discovered Wednesday in a Florida wilderness park, according to the FBI. The area where they were found had been under water during earlier searches.”

• Florida Storms: Return Of La Niña Increases Chances Of Florida Drought This Winter. “The formation of La Niña leading up to the winter months follows an early end to the rainy season, which has already created 30-day rainfall deficits of 2 to 5 inches across the Peninsula, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.”

• Florida Politics: Can Florida ditch OSHA? Lawmakers are considering it. “When Florida convenes for the planned Special Session on vaccine mandates next month, the Legislature might “withdraw” Florida from the nation’s workplace safety agency. President Joe Biden has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate that businesses with 100 or more employees require workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Mayor Demings on Gov. DeSantis’ criticism of Orange County’s vaccination mandate: ‘Bring it on.’ “Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis for “failed leadership” during the pandemic and for using firefighters to create ‘political theater,’ after the governor hosted a news conference Thursday with Battalion Chief Stephen Davis, who was fired by the county for insubordination.”

• The Tributary: Explore Florida’s diversity — and segregation — with The Tributary’s newest tool. “The Tributary’s newest tool, launched Thursday, allows you to explore a racial-dot map of every person in Florida.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): ‘Tone down the rhetoric’: Florida elections officials tell politicians to chill out. “The memo was considered extraordinary for the Florida Supervisors of Elections, the organization representing the officials overseeing elections in the state’s 67 counties. Despite Florida’s turbulent history with elections, supervisors have largely stayed out of the limelight, even while Florida legislators were passing a contentious voting reform bill this year.”

• Miami Herald ($): Some Keys roads will flood by 2025 due to sea rise. Fixing them could cost $750 million. “As the staggering price tag of elevating roads in the Florida Keys comes into focus, where exactly all that cash will come from remains unclear.”

• WMFE: Projects aim to restore Indian River Lagoon seagrass as manatees starve. “Ongoing water quality problems have wiped out more than half of the seagrass in the northern Indian River Lagoon. In the Banana River, some 96% of the seagrass is gone.”

• WINK-Fort Myers: Researchers using their ears to monitor the health of the Caloosahatchee. “‘We’re making recordings of vocalizations by fishes, marine mammals, boats, any other source that produces an acoustic pressure wave underwater,’ said Dr. James Locascio, program manager of fisheries, habitat ecology and acoustics at the Mote Marine Laboratory.”

• WFSU: Yardwork got you down? Turns out bees don’t like it either. “Florida has over 300 species of native bees. Some of those species, like bumblebees, are out and about for months. Others only fly for a few weeks. The rest of the time, and especially in the winter, they’re in their nests. To see bees on flowers come spring, bees need places to stay during the colder months. Places that can be hard to come by for bees in a human-shaped landscape.”


From NPR News

• Health: CDC backs the rollout of COVID vaccine boosters from Moderna and J&J

• Health: Why helping people pay rent can fight the pandemic

• World: Long before Havana Syndrome, the U.S. reported microwaves beamed at an embassy

• Education: What it’s like to be on the front lines of the school board culture war

• Science: Researchers pinpoint when the Vikings came to Canada. It was exactly 1,000 years ago

• Business: The world’s largest movie theater chain is adding open captions at 240 U.S. locations

• Business: Oversight Board slams Facebook for giving special treatment to high-profile users

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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