The Point, Feb. 28, 2022: How Gainesville city officials are helping those tangled in heirs’ property situations


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The stories near you

• WUFT News: City of Gainesville rolls out program to assist homeowners lacking clear property titles. “According to (City Commissioner Harvey) Ward, there are anywhere from 600 to 800 properties within city limits that remain in heir property status. The issue is particularly prevalent in underserved communities and has historically affected Black citizens the most.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Law enforcement agencies investigating school district’s $3.7M land deal. “Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the Alachua County school district’s handling of a near $4 million land purchase in 2020 that involved two prominent Gainesville real estate agents who are now facing criminal charges. At least five sources close to the investigation have confirmed to The Gainesville Sun that the FBI is one of those agencies probing the land deal.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Public Schools reaches agreement on largest salary package in district’s history. “Teachers regarded as highly-effective will also receive an increase in pay. All employees who worked during the first semester of this school year will earn a one-time bonus of $1250 and will also be eligible for a $1000 bonus for participating in training on youth mental health and online security.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville moving ahead on speed limit changes. “The city continues to move forward with its plans to lower speed limits on city streets to 30 mph but has abandoned, for now, plans to study flashing yellow turn signals, center turn lanes and right-on-red rules.”

• WUFT News: First and Fastest: How Olympic Gold Medalist Erin Jackson impacts the local roller sports community. “The 29-year-old from Ocala made history as the first Black woman to win an individual medal in speedskating after finishing first in the 500-meter event. Before Jackson was a champion on blades, she excelled on wheels. Because inline skating is not offered at the Olympic level, some skaters make the switch to ice to fulfill their Olympic aspirations.”

• WUFT News: ‘Literally inside of us’: Loved ones given new life within cremated ash tattoos. “The prevalence of ash tattoos is increasing as a way for those mourning a loved one to cherish that person’s life and legacy. Some are even doing it with an animal who has died.”

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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida residents worry about families in Ukraine: ‘Today is already so bad.’ “Anastasia Dreval, a 20-year-old Russian student at the University of Florida, said she opposed the war. She fled Russia with her parents and siblings in 2017 when she was 16, after she said her mother, who worked as a lawyer, was physically abused by the Russian government. ‘We as Russians, we don’t want it, we don’t care about it,’ she said. ‘As the civilians, we don’t want this.'”

• WLRN: Everglades restoration is getting a billion dollar windfall. Here’s what that will buy. “One of the projects helps undo some of the damage caused by the old highway that dammed up the Everglades in the 1920s and started decades of cascading problems. Without freshwater, peat soil has started to collapse and miles of seagrass have died over the years. The Army Corps and National Park Service are building a series of bridges. Now they need a bigger pump to move the water.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): As omicron wave plunges, CDC recommends indoor masking in majority of Florida counties. “The latest COVID-19 wave of infections in Florida has almost ended, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the majority of Floridians live in places where indoor masking should be required because of the disease’s strain on hospitals.”

• Miami Herald ($): Biden chooses Miami’s Ketanji Brown Jackson for historic Supreme Court nomination. “Born in Washington, D.C., Brown Jackson, 51, spent the bulk of her youth in South Florida where her father, Johnny Brown, worked as an attorney for the Miami-Dade School Board and her mother, Ellery Brown, worked as a high school principal.”

• USA Today Network ($): Florida House, bowing to Gov. DeSantis, OKs redistricting plan that could threaten minority district. “Gov. Ron DeSantis got what he wanted from the House Redistricting Committee Friday, which advanced congressional boundaries that eliminate a Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee district held by Black Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson.”

• Politico: Republicans’ 2024 advice to DeSantis: Wait your turn. “Those closest to DeSantis say he is laser focused on his 2022 reelection, which he is expected to win since he has huge leads over his Democratic rivals and has vastly outraised them in fundraising. But if a time comes when he considers challenging Trump, they say, DeSantis won’t back down.”

• News4Jax: Fernandina Beach man accused of storming Capitol gets 75 days in prison. “According to a sentencing memorandum, (Jeffrey) Register led a mob to the Speaker’s Lobby where Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed. In a plea agreement, he admitted that he called and waved for the group to press forward.”

From NPR News

• Health: CDC says Americans can now go unmasked in many parts of the country

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: I’m a one-way masker. What strategy will give me optimal protection?

• World: Ukrainian and Russian negotiators agree to hold talks in Belarus

• World: Ukrainian soldiers who profanely told off Russian warship may be alive, officials say

• World: SWIFT ban prevents Russia from moving money easily. It also has unintended effects

• Politics: A majority says Biden’s first year was a failure, a new poll finds

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

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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