The Point, Jan. 17, 2022: ‘He belonged to everybody’: Alachua County courthouse renamed for judge who broke racial barriers

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Alachua County renames courthouse in honor of Judge Stephan P. Mickle Sr. “Mickle broke many racial barriers as a pioneer in Alachua County and Florida. The first African American to earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, and the second Black student to graduate from its law school, in 1972 he became the first Black man to practice law in the county since Reconstruction, in 1979 the county’s first Black judge, and in 1984 the first Black judge appointed to the Eighth Judicial Circuit. In 1998, he became the first Black federal judge in the U.S. District Court at the Northern District of Florida.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County sets record with 6,524 COVID cases. “New cases of COVID-19 this week broke all records in Alachua County and made the county one of the hottest spots in the state of Florida. … For the first time Alachua County’s cases per 100,000 population has passed that of the state’s, ranking third highest out of 67 counties.”

• USA Today Network ($): Judge blasts University of Florida lawyer in row over evidence; promises order in 10 days. “It was the second hearing in two weeks on the lawsuit, originally filed by three UF political science professors denied permission by the school to give expert testimony against the state’s year-old elections law because it put UF at odds with Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature, who decide on the public university’s budget each year.”

• Ocala Gazette: Judge grants City of Ocala extension of time to pay $80 million.The new deadline is April 4, 2022. In October, Judge Hodges had ordered the city fund the $80 million it owed following a mandate by the Fifth Circuit Appellate Court, which found that the city’s fire fee services were an ‘unconstitutional tax.'”


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Around the state

• Spectrum News: ‘I just watched too many people die’: ICU nurse says being overworked is hurting health care workers, not the vaccine mandate. “The Florida Hospital Association supports health care worker vaccinations, but the association’s CEO, Mary Mayhew, said federal mandates may worsen the already serious shortages.”

• Miami Herald ($): Florida healthcare companies’ dilemma: Follow U.S. vaccine mandate or state orders? “The Supreme Court has ruled. The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on healthcare workers will go into effect. Except Florida won’t do its part to enforce it. The rule requires employees at federally regulated healthcare facilities like hospitals and long-term care facilities to be vaccinated. It conflicts with a state law passed in November that limited employers’ ability to mandate vaccines.”

• WFSU: Florida LGBTQ leader Jorge Diaz-Johnston found dead in a Jackson County landfill. “Diaz-Johnston and his partner were one of the six couples listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office that resulted in the county lifting its ban on gay marriage in 2015. … The Tallahassee Police Department has taken over the investigation and is treating it as a homicide.”

• TCPalm ($): Brightline to mark a milestone Tuesday with its first test train through the Treasure Coast. “The Tuesday run — postponed from Monday — will mark the first time a Brightline train travels north of Palm Beach County. The entire $4.5 billion project between Miami and Orlando was first announced in March 2012, and was to be completed by 2014.”

• Politico: DeSantis uses conservative lifeline as Trump sours on him. “Many conservative media stars, most of whom have long been some of Trump’s most vocal supporters, have been hyping DeSantis in recent months for the governor’s rejection of Covid-related mandates and constant hammering of President Joe Biden. But the support has increased in intensity in recent weeks, a spike easily noticeable on social media and podcasts throughout the conservative media ecosystem. That support is key in helping DeSantis further expand his footprint with influencers in Republican primary politics ahead of his 2022 reelection and as he weighs a 2024 White House bid.”

• Associated Press: Florida Homeowners To Get $42 Million For Citrus Trees State Destroyed. “More than 60,000 healthy, uninfected trees were destroyed in Orange County between 2002 and 2006 as part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ efforts to eradicate citrus canker, according to the lawsuit.”

• WMFE: To save starving manatees, the wildlife agencies offered up food. But the manatees aren’t eating it. “Fearing more deaths this winter, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in December began offering lettuce to the animals near a power plant in Cape Canaveral, where the cold-sensitive manatees gather during the cool months for warmth. So far the manatees have left the food untouched. That doesn’t surprise Wanda Jones, a marine mammal biologist. She says the agencies are providing the wrong food.”


From NPR News

• Health: Ready for an N95? Here’s how to find a high-quality one that fits you well

• Health: Fact check: The theory that SARS-CoV-2 is becoming milder

• Health: Want to get omicron and just get it over with? Here’s why that’s a bad idea

• National: Yolanda Renee King on voting rights, ‘critical race theory’ and her grandfather’s legacy

• National: The Texas synagogue rabbi credited security training for saving hostages’ lives

• National: One of the rarest eagles in the world has birdwatchers flocking to Maine

• Books: ‘The End Of Burnout’ and the changing nature of how we work

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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