The Point, Oct. 25, 2021: Alachua County School District seeks ways to sell $3.68M property it bought in 2020

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The stories near you

• Fresh Take Florida: Real estate agents in school board land deal are accused of ‘working both sides,’ increasing cost to Alachua County taxpayers. “Two prominent real estate agents were at the center of a controversial school board land deal – the first major purchase funded by a new half-cent sales tax – that resulted in the district buying a property last year for twice as much money as the land sold for in late 2018, according to interviews and a review of hundreds of pages of emails and documents.”

• WUFT News: A decades-old rule has left a Hawthorne family stuck with a mold-infested home. “Lollie Chapman, 18, said the mold got so bad that it opened holes on the roof, dampened the floors and broke the front door, but she’s more worried about her 62-year-old mom, Leah Chapman, who is always sick from breathing in the fungi. ‘My mom does not smoke,’ she said. ‘She’s never smoked a day in her life, but she has a smoker’s cough because she’s constantly in contact with all of this.'”

• WUFT News: Junior college athletics focuses on a better future with Name, Image and Likeness law in place. “Finance training is now a part of the Florida law encompassing the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) law, which went into effect in July and focuses on letting student-athletes profit off their likeness. As a part of the Florida law encompassing NIL, a college must provide at least five hours of courses or workshops centering around financial literacy and other important life skills. This includes time management, budgeting and mental health.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County commissioners decided to continue giving out $25 gift cards to people who get vaccinated. “Gift cards are given to anyone who gets a shot — first dose, second or booster — in the incentive month. Someone potentially could have gotten $50 in gift cards during the time.”

• WUFT News: Oak Hall’s football team is mourning the deaths of two coaches this season. “The Oak Hall Eagles high school football team has dealt with an extraordinary loss this season — that of two coaches. Linebacker coach David Clark died of cancer on July 26 at the age of 54. Assistant coach Ellis Walker Jr. died of a heart attack on Sept. 2 at the age of 69.”

• WUFT News: TB McPherson Pilot Program offers new tennis opportunity in east Gainesville. “The program intends to bring tennis to those who may not otherwise have access to it in the east Gainesville community, and give beginners the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. The program also aims to be affordable for students, with a cost of $50 for six weeks of lessons, according to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Florida website.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV commission approves 62nd Blvd. extension. “The route would extend 62nd Boulevard from where it crosses SW 20th Avenue, at the Circle K and Cabana Beach Apartments, all the way to Butler Plaza, ending right next to the Walmart.”


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Around the state

• Florida Politics: Surgeon General asked to leave Tina Polsky’s office after refusing to wear mask. “Sen. Tina Polsky, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in August, asked state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and his two legislative aides to leave her office after Ladapo refused to comply with her request to put on a mask.”

• Miami Herald ($): ‘These findings boggle my mind’: Audit savages Florida program to aid brain-damaged kids. “As a whole, the audit describes in mostly clinical terms a closed, callous, capricious system that left the parents of sometimes profoundly injured children with no recourse or options when their requests for help were rebuffed.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Brian Laundrie’s parents were at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park when remains found. “On Thursday, two detectives visited Laundrie’s parents at their home shortly before the FBI made the official statement. Laundrie’s parents also were at the environmental park when the remains were discovered, but according to their attorney, they were not the ones to find the remains.”

• WMFE: Florida Hospital Association says latest COVID surge in Florida is “over,” but urges continued vaccinations. “The group reports 2,251 people are hospitalized today with COVID-19 across the state. That’s compared to 2,327 hospitalizations on the same day last year and 17,121 hospitalizations at the peak of the surge on Aug. 23, 2021.”

• CNN: Florida is ditching palm trees to fight the climate crisis. “…Florida’s beloved palms are the least effective at carbon sequestration. The average palm in southern Florida only absorbs 5 pounds of CO2 per year.”

• Panama City News Herald ($): ‘Dead fish here and there all week:’ Red tide in Panama City Beach area intensifies. “Those walking along the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday near Shell Island might have noticed scores of dead marine life scattered across the sand and intertwined with seaweed, creating a scene that almost looks as if a shipment of fish was randomly abandoned by a merchant.”

• New York Times ($): An Unexpected Pandemic Consequence Frustrates Florida’s Biggest City. “The disruption to America’s economy created by the coronavirus pandemic has led to mass cancellations of school buses and ferries, to rental car shortages and a bottleneck of cargo ships waiting at seaports. And, in cities like Jacksonville, it has created a small but growing indignity: garbage left out to rot.”


From NPR News

• Health: Despite higher COVID risk, most pregnant Americans remain unvaccinated

• Health: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine appears more than 90% effective in kids 5 to 11

• Health: People wonder if they should keep calm and carry on in the face of delta plus variant

• National: On-set deaths from prop guns are rare — but not unheard of

• National: The fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins is prompting calls to ban real guns from sets

• Business: Thousands of workers are opting to get fired, rather than take the vaccine

• Business: They didn’t pay rent and stole the fridge. Pandemic spawns nightmare tenants

• Science: Scientists used a tiny brain implant to help a blind teacher see letters again

• Science: Listen to the otherworldly sound of Martian wind

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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