The Point, Dec. 17, 2021: What it’s like to run a rural pharmacy right now


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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Rural Florida pharmacies struggling, worsened by pandemic. “With mail-order drug services becoming a convenient option for people to fill their prescriptions, many local pharmacies have had to shift business practices.”

• WUFT News: The City Commission and a developer are nearing decision time for this proposed supermarket in East Gainesville. “The commission will make a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision on the Bravo supermarket on Jan. 6.”

• Florida Politics: Citrus County Commission takes wait-and-see approach on turnpike. “The turnpike extension from Wildwood to an undetermined point on U.S. 19 or the Suncoast Parkway was the surviving project from M-CORES — Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance. While the other two — extending the Suncoast Parkway to Interstate 10 in Jefferson County and the Southwest Florida Connector between Polk and Collier counties — were either eliminated or scaled back, the turnpike connector remains.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Accreditation authority notifies UF of plans to dig deeper into academic freedom concerns. “The accrediting authority for colleges and universities in the South is continuing its University of Florida inquiry and sending a special evaluation committee to the institution after determining enough factual information may exist to support ‘significant noncompliance’ with its academic freedom standard.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Public Schools ended its mask mandate fight with the state and received back $194,720. “The Florida Department of Education is returning $194,720 to the county. The repayment comes after the department docked the district in September for defying a state ban on classroom mask mandates.”

• WUSF: A severe case of COVID-19 significantly raises death risk in following year, UF study shows. “New research shows that people who are hospitalized with severe illness due to COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to die in the following year compared to people who did not contract the virus. In this conversation, the study’s lead author, Arch Mainous, a professor of medicine at the University of Florida, says the research points to the need for vaccination to prevent people from getting severe COVID-19 in the first place.”

• WUFT News: 36 men graduated with degrees at Columbia Correctional Institution. “After steadily doing coursework since fall 2019 and battling the pandemic in 2020, members of the Second-Chance Pell Pilot Program graduated with various degrees. The program offers 65 out of 5,000 incarcerated applicants the chance to get the college experience they need to ensure employment after they get out. Despite the pandemic getting in the way, this program has successfully increased their confidence and community with their classmates and families.”

• Programming note: The Point is on holiday hiatus through the end of the month, with the exception of a year-in-review edition on Dec. 31. We will return daily to your inbox in 2022.

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Around the state

• Miami Herald ($): In Miami-Dade, signs Christmas may overlap with a new COVID wave as omicron spreads. “Miami-Dade is seeing a spike in COVID-19 tests coming back positive — an average of 7% now, versus 1% a month ago, according to county data. The first sequencing of viral results from those tests confirms a scattering of omicron cases in Miami-Dade, but experts assume the actual count will be much higher as analysis catches up with real-time results.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Florida’s home insurer seeks 11 percent rate increase. “Citizens Insurance, Florida’s non-profit homeowner’s insurance company, is seeking an 11 percent rate increase next year. The ‘insurer of last resort’ is becoming many homeowners’ first choice in Florida, as rates for private insurance skyrocket.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Wildlife Officials Back Gopher Tortoise Change. “State wildlife officials defended an emergency order that expands how far threatened gopher tortoises can be relocated as booming development continues in Florida.”

• Associated Press: Jaguars move quickly to end many of Meyer’s practice methods. “There was no longer a motivational team huddle on the practice field. There was no longer an emcee with a microphone barking out directions for drills. There was no longer any use for catch phrases like ‘plus-two mentality’ and ‘own it.'”

From NPR News

• Health: As omicron spreads, health experts push for mask mandates. But few states have one

• Health: The scientist in Botswana who identified omicron was saddened by the world’s reaction

• Health: From blood clots to infected neurons, how COVID threatens the brain

• Health: The FDA relaxes controversial restrictions on access to abortion pill by mail

• Politics: Democrats are forced to regroup as Biden’s signature spending bill stalls

• National: You may soon be able to renew your passport online, instead of sending in documents

• Climate: After a year of deadly weather, cities look to private forecasters to save lives

• Business: The White House aims to boost the ranks of the pandemic-strained trucking industry

• Business: Kraft will literally pay you not to make cheesecake this holiday season

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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