The Point, Feb. 15, 2022: Software glitches led to serious payment problems for parents of Florida’s critically ill children

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Today’s Florida stories

• Fresh Take Florida: Meltdown: Florida failed for nearly 3 months to pay tens of thousands of health claims for sickest, neediest children. “Families with critically ill children who relied on Medicaid-paid health providers were stranded in some cases. A father in Lake Worth was forced to cut back his contractor work to remain home and care for his son when payments stopped. A mother in Ocala said the company that helped care for her 15-year-old disabled son temporarily shut down because of the payment problems.”

• WLRN: Four years after Parkland school shooting, the pain feels ‘just as fresh’ for one victim’s family. “Chris Hixon was killed four years ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He was the athletic director who ran into the building that day to try to stop the shooter. He was 49.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County explores ways to curb reliance on ER for mental health conditions. “During crises, law enforcement is mostly called to help with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and substance abuse, said Kamelia Klejc, program coordinator for the Gainesville Fire Rescue Community Resource Paramedicine Program. Substance abuse cases are some of the most common calls the program receives.”

• Florida Politics: Bill giving voters choice to reshape Alachua County Commission passes second committee. “HB 1493, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Clemons, passed the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee. The legislation would place a ballot initiative in front of Alachua County voters in 2022 to change the county’s five commissioners from at-large seats to single-member districts. Instead of representing the whole district, each Commissioner would only represent voters within the boundaries of their district.”

• The Alligator: Santa Fe College creates new charter school. “Santa Fe College is launching a new STEM-focused charter school at the college’s northwest campus in Fall 2023. With a $2 million grant from the State of Florida, the school will offer high school students training in information technology and health sciences, according to a press release. The college received the grant Feb. 2 as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ $89 million plan to enhance workforce initiatives across the state.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): New Gainesville sales tax could pay for several safety improvements. Here’s a list. “They include things like: adding cyclist and pedestrian safety features to roads such as University Avenue, repairing city buildings where roofs have collapsed, building new fire stations, buying property for affordable housing projects and funding road improvement projects in East Gainesville.”

• News Service of Florida: A judge is set to rule on a lawsuit by environmental groups over the Piney Point wastewater spill. “After the state scrambled last spring to prevent a potential catastrophe at a former former phosphate-plant site, a federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday about whether he should toss out a lawsuit filed by environmental groups alleging ‘malfeasance’ in the handling of hazardous waste.”

• WTSP-Tampa: Final autopsy reveals what medical examiner found in Brian Laundrie’s death. “The District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office earlier confirmed Laundrie, who the FBI said claimed responsibility for killing his fianceé, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”

• WUFT News: A Gainesville record label is trying to empower independent hip-hop artists. “FARO, whose real name is Jamari Boothe, is one of seven artists signed to Gainesville record label Dion Dia. Founded in March 2019, the label attracts forward-thinking artists who dabble in electronic, hip-hop and R&B music. The label won a 2021 Business Arts Award from the Gainesville-Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board on Jan. 31.”


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From NPR News

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• Health: Republicans call on Biden to end COVID’s public health emergency designation

• World: Canadian government is invoking its Emergencies Act to try to quell COVID protests

• National: Trump’s longtime accountant says a decade of his financial statements are unreliable

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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