The Point, Jan. 13, 2022: Putnam County schools and other Florida districts sue over opioid epidemic

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The stories near you

• News Service of Florida: Florida School Districts Sue Firm Over Opioid Epidemic. “With the school board in rural Putnam County as the lead plaintiff, a class action lawsuit was recently filed on behalf of Florida school districts against McKinsey & Company, Inc. and its affiliates. The case alleges the global firm’s advice to opioid manufacturers harmed children and increased educational costs.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: City accepts state audit with limited comment. “The audit committee voted to accept the report, which will be forwarded on to the city commission, but did not delve into any of the 18 findings or describe in detail the city’s plans to address them. ‘Many of these findings were findings of our own as well,’ said Mayor Lauren Poe, who chairs the three-person committee.”

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Inverness to consider stormwater plan as part of infrastructure goals. “Citrus County this summer saw record flooding that left many streets and homes inundated with standing water. Inverness was no exception.”


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Around the state

• NPR News: In Orlando, a mountain of coal ash evades EPA rules. It’s not the only one. “Like many electric utilities, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), which operates the energy center, is moving away from burning coal. It plans to stop coal-fired power generation by 2027 and transition to net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, mostly through solar energy. But nearly all utilities that burned coal, including OUC, face questions about the potential risks from years of buried coal ash, one of the nation’s largest industrial waste streams.”

• News Service of Florida: Fleming Island senator sparks fight over solar panels. “A solar energy proposal from a Jacksonville lawmaker is advancing in the Legislature, despite worries that it could decimate Florida’s rooftop solar industry. A Senate committee Tuesday approved the controversial bill (SB 1024) sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Fleming Island.”

• NPR News: COVID was again the leading cause of death among U.S. law enforcement in 2021. “A map included in the report indicates that COVID-19-related officer deaths were identified in 32 states, with the highest concentration in California and southern states including Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.”

• Florida Politics: USDA January citrus forecast sees another projected dip in Florida production. “After the USDA released final numbers for the 2020-21 season last year, Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Steve Johnson said he was hoping for a better output in the 2021-22 season.”

• NBC News: Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testifies to grand jury in sex trafficking probe. “The development suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting the Florida Republican. … Gaetz, R-Fla., has not been charged with a crime and has denied all accusations, saying he never paid for sex and never had sex with a minor when he was an adult. The firebrand conservative has called the federal investigation into him a DOJ “witch hunt.”

• Miami Herald ($): Surfside commissioners vote to pursue collapse memorial, tighter building inspections. “The commission voted Tuesday to pursue the creation of a memorial where the street immediately north of the Champlain Towers South Condo property meets the beach. Commissioners also took a preliminary vote to shorten the county-mandated 40-year re-certification process for aging buildings by 10 years.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Tallahassee lawmaker seeks investigation into Jefferson County Schools intrigue. “The school district has been run by a charter school operator since 2017, when the state took over and handed responsibilities to Somerset Academy, Inc., to deal with failing grades, staffing issues and missing funds.”


From NPR News

• Business: Grocery store shortages are back. Here are some of the reasons why

• Health: Americans are tuning out as omicron rages. Experts call for health messaging to adapt

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: Why are some folks hacking home COVID tests by swabbing their throat?

• Health: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ‘extremely unwell’ after testing positive for COVID-19

• National: The Army is increasing its largest signing bonus to $50,000 for some new recruits

• Education: More than 1 million fewer students are in college, the lowest enrollment numbers in 50 years

• Politics: The top House Republican won’t comply with Jan. 6 panel request to voluntarily testify

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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The Point, May 12, 2022: A nearly $1 billion settlement is reached in the Surfside lawsuit

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