The Point, Feb. 14, 2022: How a woman from Ocala made history in winning an Olympic gold medal

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The stories near you

• Associated Press: Golden moment: Ocala’s Erin Jackson becomes 1st Black woman to win speedskating medal. “It was an immensely personal moment for an inline skating champion from balmy Ocala, Florida, who traded her wheels for blades in order to chase an improbable Olympic dream. But it meant so much more than that. Jackson’s skin color makes her an anomaly at the speedskating oval. She joined fellow American Shani Davis as the only Black athletes to win long-track medals at the Olympics.”

• WUFT News: Rainbow Family gathers in the Ocala National Forest despite shooting last year. “The first Rainbow Gathering took place in Colorado in 1972 as a means to pray for peace, according to the original invitation found on an unofficial website. Since then, the Rainbow Family has grown into an alternative lifestyle community consisting of thousands of people across the U.S. and other countries. They adopt Rainbow names in the woods. They trek from national forest to national forest, setting up camp for up to four weeks at a time before they move on. Like the snowbirds who arrive in the South every year, they arrive in their winter location: Ocala.”

• WFSU: DeSantis rejects a proposed budget cut to schools that defied his mask mandate ban and floats extending it to private schools. “Gov. Ron DeSantis says he does not support stripping funding from the dozen Florida school districts (including Alachua County) that defied his ban on mandatory student masking. But he would support allowing parents to sue those districts if they could prove their children were harmed by the policy.”

• WUSF: Florida’s new chief resilience officer visits Hernando Beach as part of this statewide tour. “In November, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Wesley Brooks as the state’s new chief resilience officer, after nearly two years of not having a full-time person in the position. Brooks was director of federal affairs at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and he also worked with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on environmental initiatives.”


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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: Landmark Florida case challenging transgender athlete law to depend on related case before US appeals court, judge says. “The entire group of judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta will hear oral arguments Feb. 22 in the lawsuit over high school bathrooms at Nease High in Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville. A three-judge appeals panel previously ruled that the school violated the equal-protection rights of the student, Drew Adams, but the full court is reconsidering the case.”

• NPR News: Gov. DeSantis may stop Florida migrant shelters from caring for unaccompanied kids. “For years, the U.S. has treated children who cross the border without their parents differently from other migrants, caring for them in special shelters around the country until they can be reunited with a parent or another sponsor. A record number of unaccompanied children arrived this way last year, and there’s a growing backlash among Republicans, including the governor of Florida.”

• USA Today Network ($): Hinting veto, DeSantis pressures lawmakers to reduce Black-held congressional districts. “Gov. Ron DeSantis is heightening tension over Florida’s congressional redistricting, indicating he still wants fellow Republican leaders in the Legislature to craft new boundaries that would eliminate half of the state’s districts now held by Black members of Congress.”

• Miami Herald ($): Far-right groups find that Florida provides fertile ground — and a national stage. “Some of the most prominent figures in the far-right so-called ‘patriot movement’ live in Florida, making the state not just fertile ground for recruitment but a national stage for extremists with ambitions beyond school boards and statehouses.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Florida hides data showing how many tourists and snowbirds contract COVID-19 in the state. “When an out-of-stater catches the potentially deadly respiratory disease in Florida, state health officials don’t report it to the public. Instead, they follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by sending that data to the person’s home state. Officials from the nonresident’s state report the data to the CDC, which adds the case to the home state’s infection tally, not Florida’s.”

• New York Times ($): How a Tawdry Steakhouse Melee Transfixed Miami Politics. “The Morton’s affair — tawdry, overblown and involving a cast of characters who are largely unknown outside of Florida — offers a window into Miami’s dynastic and often impenetrable politics, run by generations of Cuban American families that have been in power for decades. Understanding them requires detailed family trees and the patience to track long-unfolding feuds.”

• WJCT: They call it a ‘turbo roundabout’; drivers may call it confusing. “If you hear ‘Turbo Roundabout’ around Jacksonville, it’s not a Mario Kart level. It’s the newest traffic pattern from the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The special roundabout, which the JTA says is the first of its kind in the country, features multiple lanes, a spiral pattern with dividers and widened multiuse paths.”

• The Weather Channel: Why Are So Many Scooters in Tampa River? “Volunteers cleaning up the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida, find a shocking number of electric scooters.”


From NPR News

• National: Bridge linking U.S. and Canada reopens after police remove last protesters

• World: Biden speaks with Ukraine’s leader as U.S. officials warn of imminent Russian attack

• Sports: How did the anti-doping system for the Beijing Olympics break down so badly?

• Health: Kids with autism struggle to adapt to adulthood. One doctor is trying to change that

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: What’s the best way to protect school-age kids from COVID?

• National: It took a village, but a dog that fled a car accident is home

• Business: This is what was happening 40 years ago, the last time inflation was this high

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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