The Point, Nov. 23, 2021: The Groveland Four have been exonerated


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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Care providers for the developmentally disabled struggle to keep workers. “Inadequate government funding, the Florida minimum wage increase and stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the shortage. The Arc of Alachua County is short 69 (direct support professionals) and is running an $11 million budget deficit – its largest in its 55-year history, according to a top organization official.”

• WUFT News: Native Americans are unapologetically threading their way through the music industry. “Three Native American artists discussed what music means to them and their culture during an event, ‘Sites of Transformations: Songs, Native Identity and Healing,’ hosted Saturday by the University of Florida’s Center for the Humanities and Public Sphere.”

• Florida Storms: A cold front will send a chill through Florida ahead of Thanksgiving. “A strong cold front will sweep through the Sunshine State by midweek, bringing the coldest temperatures of the season with it. The start of meteorological winter is just over one week away, but the entire state may get a head start on cold weather by Thanksgiving.”

• USA Today Network ($): Scott Rivkees, former Florida surgeon general, COVID mask advocate, accepts job at Brown University. “Rivkees, who has been a professor of pediatrics at the UF College of Medicine since 2012, submitted a letter Oct. 15 announcing he was resigning his post effective Jan. 31, 2022, UF Health spokesman Ken Garcia confirmed in an email to The Gainesville Sun.”

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Around the state

• Associated Press: After more than 70 years, 4 Black men wrongly accused of rape have been exonerated. “At the request of the local prosecutor, Administrative Judge Heidi Davis dismissed the indictments of Ernest Thomas and Samuel Shepherd, who were fatally shot by law enforcement, and set aside the convictions and sentences of Charles Greenlee and Walter Irvin. The men known as the Groveland Four, who ranged from 16 to 26 at the time, were accused of raping a woman in the central Florida town of Groveland in 1949.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Former NYPD officers in Florida heralded by DeSantis include surprises. “New details are emerging about the newest dozen police officers lauded by Gov. Ron DeSantis for moving to central Florida from New York City to escape what the governor described as low morale and a lack of support from Democratic politicians there. The new hires include one previously fired as a Walmart Inc. security guard, one with only three years of experience who demanded more than double his salary and others with mysterious gaps in their resumes.”

• NPR News: Families of Parkland shooting victims settle lawsuit with DOJ for about $130 million. “In their lawsuit, the families accused the FBI of negligence. They say the bureau received tips about Cruz, including his amassing of weapons and his desire to shoot up a school, but agents failed to intervene and prevent the violence.”

• WLRN: Florida’s special session: About protections from ‘federal overreach’ or ‘vehicle for misinformation’? “It took about 48 hours to pass the legislation almost along party lines. Two Democrats joined House Republicans in supporting the ban on vaccinate-or-be-fired policies. No Democrats in the Senate supported it.”

• News Service of Florida: Federal judge refuses to block health care vaccination rule in Florida. “A federal judge has quickly rejected Florida’s request to block a Biden administration requirement that workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care providers be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis vows to fully fund transit programs despite $1B gas tax relief. “DeSantis on Monday announced a plan to “basically zero out” the 26.5 cent per gallon state gas tax for “as long as we can.” Lawmakers would have to approve the plan.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Something more insidious than pythons is coming for Florida’s wildlife and it’s terrifying. “The Argentine black and white tegu is multiplying and mobilizing in the backwoods and backyards of the Sunshine State — a creature more ominous than pythons because of its cold hardiness and indiscriminate palate.”

• Politico: Businessman pleads guilty in $25M extortion attempt of Matt Gaetz’s father. “A Florida businessman pleaded guilty Monday to involvement in an effort to extort $25 million from the wealthy father of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) as part of a bizarre scheme that involved a pledge to secure a presidential pardon for Gaetz in the high-profile federal sex trafficking investigation the lawmaker faces.”

• Bradenton Herald ($): Judge scolds FL man who took Pelosi lectern in Capitol riot. ‘Why shouldn’t I lock you up?’ “Adam Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of entering or remaining in any restricted building. In exchange for his plea and accepting responsibility, federal prosecutors are not seeking any prison time.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Former inmate marries imprisoned partner in unauthorized wedding in Florida. “A former inmate and her convicted fiance in a federal prison exchanged vows Sunday night in an unauthorized wedding ceremony over a phone call, moving their plans ahead by one day over concerns that the Justice Department might try to interfere. On Sunday, Chrissy Shorter and Noel Arnold exchanged vows over a phone call. They had previously planned their unauthorized phone wedding for Monday but decided to wed a day earlier out of fear that officials at the Coleman Federal Correctional Institution would thwart their ceremony by denying Arnold phone privileges.”

From NPR News

• Health: Welcoming family into your home for Thanksgiving? Here’s how to keep COVID out

• Business: Companies are telling unvaccinated workers to pay more for health insurance

• Business: Biden reappoints Jerome Powell as Fed chairman at a critical time for the economy

• National: Suspect in Waukesha Christmas parade attack had prior criminal record

• National: Life without reliable internet remains a daily struggle for millions of Americans

• National: Attorneys give closing statements in trial of men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery

• National: Elizabeth Holmes testifies in her defense in fraud trial

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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