The Point, Feb. 9, 2022: A review of the Alachua County superintendent’s contract is ahead after school board’s evaluation

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• WUFT News: Alachua County superintendent’s contract will be reviewed following board members’ negative evaluations. “Three of the five Alachua County School Board members on Tuesday gave Superintendent Carlee Simon poor annual evaluations, yet she received glowing reviews from parents, teachers and community leaders. For now, her job is safe. But an impending evaluation lies ahead.”

• WUFT News: Newberry is growing, and residents are taking note. “Newberry has created a three-step strategy to increase room for growth, with plans to impose impact fees on new development, create an overlay district that would require stricter and more visually appealing construction and expand the existing urban service area to provide more access to public services like water, sewage and transit, city officials said.”

• WUFT News: The removal of ‘Maus’ from a Tennessee school district is catching Floridians’ attention. “The Pulitzer Prize-winning book tells the story of (Art) Spiegelman’s relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor, by depicting Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. The McMinn County School Board reportedly objected to eight curse words and nude imagery of a woman, used in the depiction of the author’s mother’s suicide, according to NPR.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Levy OKs experiment to turn dirt roads to cement. “A University of Florida and Buchholz High School graduate turned civil engineer will work with Levy County to pilot a soil stabilization experiment that turns dirt roads into cement.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): After more than 89 years, Gilchrist County Journal to close at end of February. “Started in 1933, the Journal was bought by current publisher John Ayers’ father in 1939, according to the Library of Congress. ‘It’s been in the family ever since,’ Cindy Jo Ayers said. Gilchrist County Commissioner Bill Martin called the paper’s closing a real loss for the community. The county’s population was counted at 17,864 in the 2020 census.”


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Around the state

• Florida Politics: After party-line vote, Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo’s confirmation heads to Senate floor. “The vote clears the way for the likely final confirmation of Ladapo, hailed as a ‘superstar’ by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who brought in the doctor last fall from the University of California Los Angeles. Nevertheless, Ladapo has become a lightning rod for controversy, mostly due to his skepticism over masks and vaccines.”

• Herald/Times ($): If the roof on your home is 15 years old, your property insurance policy is at risk. “Last week, Farm Bureau Insurance said it would no longer write homeowners’ policies in the state, joining at least a dozen other insurers that have recently suspended new business, limited the types of homes they cover or canceled policies outright. A handful of property insurers have already gone out of business. The ones that haven’t are requesting double-digit rate increases, and one requested a 111% increase last month.”

• News Service of Florida: A judge puts a legal fight against Florida’s transgender athlete ban on hold. “The law about transgender female athletes was one of the most-controversial issues of the 2021 legislative session, with the state saying in an August court document that it was aimed at helping ensure athletic opportunities for females who want to play interscholastic or college sports.”

• WFSU: Frustrations are mounting as major reforms to the Baker Act and other involuntary commitment laws remain elusive. “For years, some lawmakers have been pushing major re-writes of the Baker and Marchman Acts—two key pieces of law that enable people to be involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation. The latest effort is again in trouble.”

• WJCT: A garbage committee: Jacksonville appoints panel to look for recycling answers. “The goal is to make “recommendations to the full City Council” by June 30. Whether that means recycling will resume afterward — and when — is unclear.”

• WUSF: Jane Castor gives a former assistant a second chance as Tampa’s new police chief. “Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has selected Mary O’Connor as the city’s next police chief. O’Connor served the Tampa Police Department for 22 years and was assistant chief when she retired in 2016.”

• CBS Miami: No Appetite For New Miami Restaurant Glorifying Castro, Communism. “A new restaurant set to open in Brickell glorifies Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and communism, and Miamians say they want no part of it.”


From NPR News

• Sports: Lindsey Jacobellis wins the U.S. its first gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

• Politics: Biden’s top science adviser resigned following complaints about his work behavior

• Health: The Biden administration will pay community groups to help boost trust in vaccines

• Health: States are ending mask mandates. Is that a good idea for school students?

• Race: School leaders say HBCUs are undeterred after a series of bomb threats

• Climate: Infrastructure funds will help prepare cities for rain. But how much rain is coming?

• Books: Abraham Galloway is the Black figure from the Civil War you should know about

• Business: With streaming services and digital downloads, why would anyone buy cassette tapes?

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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