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The Point, March 21, 2022: A Hawthorne man is trying to boost the city through youth sports

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Cornelius Ingram is helping to spark a sports and youth revitalization in Hawthorne. "His football team has evolved from a group that won just three games in three years to a perennial playoff contender. His girl’s basketball squad has elevated from a middle-of-the-pack team to a powerhouse program that consistently reigns atop the district standings. However, Ingram’s impact also stretches into the academic, social and economic fabric of the small town where he grew up."

• News Service of Florida: Here's how a new law is quickly playing a part in searches for new Florida university presidents. "The new law creates a public-records exemption for information that could identify applicants until near the end of searches, when information about finalists would be released. Information about other applicants would remain shielded."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County leaders look to shame businesses that sell tobacco products to underage smokers. "In Alachua County, the legal age to buy tobacco-related products was raised to 21 in 2019, an effort intended to curb minors from smoking. But last year, the state Legislature preempted counties and cities from regulating tobacco sales, even though the minimum age to purchase tobacco in the state was also raised to 21. Since the new law, county officials say enforcement of underage tobacco sales by the Food and Drug Administration has been almost nonexistent."

• WUFT News: Gainesville commissioners vote to end call-in comment system that cost over $100,000 annually. "The decision was made at Thursday’s city commission meeting, with the majority voting in favor of its demise. The expense of the calls was the main issue, with the price reportedly exceeding $100 per call. Dial-in comments alone would have cost taxpayers in Gainesville over $100,000 by the end of 2022."

• Mainstreet Daily News: State redistricting complicates city efforts. "...the way the Legislature draws House and Senate boundaries will require a modification to the city’s proposed districts, which displeased city commissioners."

• Ocala Gazette: DeSantis visits Marion County and announces more than $29.5 million in aid. "After visiting Ocala on Friday ... for an unscheduled stop, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than $29.5 million in funding and resources would be made available to assist income-qualified individuals and families in Marion County impacted by recent severe weather events in Central and Northeast Florida, according to a press release from the Governor’s office."

• News4Jax: Deputies search for man accused in deadly triple shooting in Lake Butler. "The Union County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a Lake Butler man accused of shooting three people Saturday night. One of the victims died, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies said Anthony George, 56, was involved in a shooting in an area west of S.W. 1st Terr around S.W. 8th Lane around 10 p.m. Investigators said it was a domestic relations situation involving George, his significant other and two other people."

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Massullo drops Senate run to seek re-election to House. "The local political landscape changed overnight when Rep. Ralph Massullo abandoned plans to run for the Florida Senate and instead will seek reelection for a fourth term to the District 34 state House of Representatives."

• WUFT News: Lake Wauburg overcomes obstacles and celebrates centennial with Music at the Lake. "Neither tornado nor pandemic could stop Lake Wauburg’s centennial celebration. September will mark 100 years since the University of Florida gained ownership of the lake’s North Shore, an outdoor recreation center and community staple eight miles south of campus."

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Around the state

• Palm Beach Post ($): Fed COVID data shows indoor masking not needed in Florida, but virus may again be on rise. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention effectively lifted indoor masking recommendations this week for all of Florida's counties even as parts of the state are detecting spikes of coronavirus levels in their sewage."

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Budget, hundreds of bills await governor's signature as 2022 legislative session wraps. "Lawmakers passed 275 bills this year. DeSantis has yet to receive and act on most of them. That includes controversial measures like the 15-week abortion ban, restrictions on critical race theory education in schools and businesses, and what critics call the 'Don't Say Gay' bill. It bans instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 classrooms."

• Panama City News Herald ($): Tornado confirmed: NWS specialists say St. Andrews damage was from EF-2 twister. "National Weather Service meteorologists from Tallahassee on Sunday confirmed the St. Andrews area was hit by an EF-2 tornado on Friday that left extensive damage in its wake."

• WMFE: Florida DOH addressed ‘compliance issues’ before Dr. Pino could return as Orange County’s health officer. "Pino was placed on leave in January following an email he sent to staff members urging them to get vaccinated against COVID-19."

• WJCT: At long last, Jacksonville to dedicate first public marker to Gullah Geechee community. "A new park tells the story of the Cosmo neighborhood in Jacksonville, a coastal community built by formerly enslaved people more than a century ago along McCormick and Fort Caroline in Arlington."

• News4Jax: Jacob Panetta, player accused of making racial gesture, returns to Icemen following suspension. "Jacob Panetta, who was suspended following claims that he used a racial gesture directed at a Black player during a game in Jacksonville, has accepted an offer from the Icemen and was expected to rejoin the team Friday evening. Panetta was released after the brother of longtime NHL player P.K. Subban accused the minor league defenseman of making 'monkey gestures' in his direction."

From NPR News

• World: Ukrainian women are volunteering to fight — and history shows they always have

• World: Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (March 20)

• Health: U.K. COVID cases are rising. Health officials are watching to see if the U.S. is next

• Politics: Confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson begin Monday. Here's what to expect

• Politics: The House passes the CROWN Act, a bill banning discrimination on race-based hairdos

• Politics: The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it

• Business: Here are 3 reasons why Big Oil can't just drill more to ease the pain at the gas pump

• Education: Skilled trade programs are booming after college enrollment dropped in the pandemic

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

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