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The Rewind: Week of Feb 28, 2022

Every week, journalists at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications report important stories for people in the North Central Florida area and beyond. This is The Rewind from WUFT News, a look into some of the strongest reporting from our newsroom and a discussion with the journalists who write these stories.

The 30-minute weekly episode features a deeper dive into our top stories of the week. In this episode, we discuss the termination of Alachua County's superintendent, a bill to keep the names of certain lottery winners secret and a bill in the Florida Legislature to limit development on seagrass beds. 

Part 1: Alachua County School Board fires Superintendent Carlee Simon

Late Tuesday night, Alachua County School Board voted to terminate Superintendent Carlee Simon's contract. She was the sixth superintendent for the district in the last 10 years. In a meeting that lasted over six hours, hundreds of community members gathered and about 40 people spoke either in opposition or in support of Simon's firing. 


WUFT's Will Levenson speaks about how the vote happened and what it means for Alachua County schools in this interview. 


Part 2: Woman who murdered $30 million lottery winner backs bill to keep secret names of those hitting jackpot: ‘It puts a target on them’

A bill in the Florida Legislature wants to keep the names of lottery winners of $250,000 or more a secret for 90 days unless the winner states otherwise. The legislation is currently waiting for the governor to sign off on it. 

One supporter of the bill is 49-year-old Dorice Donegan “Dee Dee” Moore, currently in prison for the first-degree murder of a $30 million lottery winner. 

In this interview, Fresh Take Florida's Isabella Leandri explained the bill and the interesting support it's received thus far. 


Part 3: Bill permitting development on manatees' food source stalls in Legislature

A Florida bill that would open development on seagrass beds has only a slim chance of passing this legislative session. The bill, filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, would have permitted controversial development on the sea beds, much to the opposition of local environmental advocates who state it would decrease food sources for manatees. 

WUFT's Jack Prator discussed the logistics of the bill and the broader story in this interview.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org