The Point, Feb. 4, 2022: New legislation could mean Florida colleges and universities change accreditors

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Fire investigators work to determine what caused the fire at Alachua County Feed & Seed store. “A fire began early Thursday morning at the Alachua County Feed and Seed store in northwest Gainesville, causing widespread damage to the building and rerouting morning traffic but injuring no people. Gainesville Fire Rescue received a call shortly after 7 a.m. about the blaze at the building at 2316 NW 6th St., according to Adam Hinton, district chief and incident commander. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County BOCC reform bill advances. “The original proposal, which Clemons unveiled in December, called for an expansion of the BOCC from its current five seats to seven seats. Five of the seats would be voted on by district, while voters across the county would have voted on the two at-large seats. But before the House Local Administration and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee voted on the bill, Clemons amended it to eliminate the at-large seats.”

• Florida Politics: Port of Putnam? Lawmakers could add county to seaport panel. “Putnam County might not be a coastal county, but some lawmakers want to add it to the state’s seaport infrastructure improvement panel. Representatives from Florida’s 15 public seaports plus the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Department of Economic Opportunity currently comprise the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) Council. A bill from Sen. Keith Perry (SB 1038), which passed out of the Senate Rules Committee Thursday on its way to the Senate floor, would add a representative from Putnam County to the Council.”

• WUFT News: Turkey Creek Golf Club, defunct for a decade, is now one of Alachua County’s only two public courses. “Turkey Creek Golf Course now exists as one of only two public golf courses in Alachua County. The course, a few miles south of the city of Alachua, and the people behind it channel their energy into providing an accessible place for golfers, especially students of the game, through its public nature and dedication to junior clinics and high school teams.”

• WUFT News: Two train lines, one museum: Micanopy Historical Museum is on the right tracks. “Local museums in north central Florida have been struggling to stay afloat since the start of the pandemic. Alachua County’s High Springs museum closed for over a year before reopening by appointment only due to a lack of volunteers. However, Micanopy’s Historical Society took advantage during the pandemic. The museum’s team leader Jean Stream said this was a perfect time to renovate and add new exhibits.”


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Around the state

• WFSU: A House bill to require colleges and universities to switch accreditors is raising questions about motive. “Republicans say they’re just trying to give colleges and universities more options when it comes to finding an accrediting agency; but others see something far more insidious: an effort to break the influence of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which has repeatedly snubbed efforts by state politicians to influence the outcomes of major decisions.”

• CBS Miami: Naples Zoo Found Not At Fault In Tiger Attack. “An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission into a tiger attack at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens last December has concluded that the zoo was not at fault.”

• WTSP-Tampa: Florida hit-and-run crashes are happening more frequently. “According to (Florida Highway Patrol), in 2021, there were 108,155 reported hit-and-run crashes in the state of Florida. That’s a 17 percent increase from 2020. Of those crashes, there were 304 fatalities, an 18 percent increase from 2020. There were also more than 1,100 serious injuries, an increase of 20 percent from 2020.”

• FLKeysNews ($): Cocktail of drugs taint bonefish in Biscayne Bay and Keys, study finds. Blame sewage. “The culprit is a sewage system designed to filter out fecal matter and other pollution, but not pharmaceuticals, researchers at Florida International University and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust say.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Jacksonville Jaguars hire Doug Pederson to become their next head coach. “It ends an exhaustive search to replace Urban Meyer that appeared dysfunctional with 11 different candidates interviewed and included an early frontrunner, Byron Leftwich, who took himself out of consideration Thursday afternoon.”


From NPR News

• Health: Americans get sicker as omicron stalls everything from heart surgeries to cancer care

• World: Biden says ISIS leader is dead after U.S. operation

• World: As the Olympics open, China seeks the limelight but warns against criticism

• Business: Meta’s Market value plummets by $200 billion as Facebook user base declines

• National: House panel to examine what went wrong with the 5G rollout

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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