The Point, June 7, 2022: State audit questions accuracy of Florida’s COVID-19 data

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The stories near you

• The Alligator: Florida artist to memorialize UF professor and replace Confederate statue. “Patricia Hilliard-Nunn died Aug. 5, 2020, at 57 years old. She lived by the principles of rediscovering one’s history, embracing it and putting it to present use — principles signified by the West African Sankofa bird. A Sankofa statue will memorialize Hilliard-Nunn and fill the space where a confederate soldier statue once sat.”

• WUFT News: Over two years after COVID closed the nation’s borders, UF students are waiting to enter Japan. “On March 1, 2022, Japan reopened its borders to all international travelers, excluding tourists. Four students were able to go to Japan this spring, and 17 more students have been confirmed to go this summer.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County’s 3rd graders test below state average on FSA reading for 5th year in a row. “District spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said there are several factors that likely played a role in the lower test scores, the biggest being the pandemic. Johnson said students who took the test this year for the first time were in first grade when the pandemic began, forcing students to quarantine and rely on their parents to be teachers while working.”

• WUSF-Tampa: Hernando leaders disagree on when school tax referendum should go on the ballot. “The school board says the tax is essential to help plan and allot money for new schools as more housing is built — and an influx of people move into the area.”


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Around the state

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida’s health department undercounted COVID cases and deaths, state audit says. “Florida’s COVID-19 data was so inaccurate, incomplete and delayed during the first months of the pandemic that government officials and the public may not have had necessary information to determine the effectiveness of the state’s COVID-19 precautions and the best plan to fight the virus, according to a state report released Monday.”

• WLRN: Defense lawyers for Parkland school shooter ask to be removed from case. “This came hours after the defense motioned to withdraw if they were forced to continue today, as one of their lawyers is out sick with COVID-19. Judge Elizabeth Scherer denied both of those motions and continued with jury selection Monday afternoon. After hours of arguing the court agreed to only ask jurors about hardships and not their feelings on the death penalty.”

• News Service of Florida: A legal fight looms in Florida over transgender treatments and Medicaid. “Lambda Legal, the National Health Law Program, the Florida Health Justice Project and Southern Legal Counsel issued a statement Friday, a day after the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration announced it would start a rule-making process related to treatment for gender dysphoria.”

• Miami Herald ($): Did South Florida really see 15 inches of rain? Here’s how much fell in your community. “The National Weather Service in Miami says the two counties saw 8 to 10 inches of rain, with some isolated areas seeing 11 to 15 inches. The weather service has also released its preliminary rainfall totals for the weekend.”

• TCPalm ($): Weekend storm dumped this much polluted rainfall runoff into the St. Lucie River. “As this weekend’s tropical disturbance swept past the Treasure Coast, the rainfall runoff that flowed into the St. Lucie River for nearly nine hours Saturday averaged 180 million gallons daily.”

• Politico: Taddeo drops out of Florida governor’s race. “Florida Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) is dropping out of the state’s gubernatorial race to challenge Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) for her South Florida seat. Taddeo has trailed primary challengers Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried by wide margins in both fundraising and public polling, and was never able to get any real momentum after becoming the third well-known Democrat to get in the race to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

• WJCT-Jacksonville: DeSantis taps Undersheriff Pat Ivey as interim Jacksonville sheriff. “In a pair of developments related to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams’ decision to retire this week, Gov. Ron Desantis appointed Undersheriff Pat Ivey as acting sheriff Monday and the Jacksonville City Council set a special election on Aug. 23 to pick a successor.”

• Pensacola News Journal ($): Baker Fire Chief Brian Easterling charged with murder of Pensacola shop owner. “According to (the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office), surveillance video of the shop shows Baker Fire Chief Brian Keith Easterling entering the business and shooting the 63-year-old over a ‘dispute about prior business deals.'”


From NPR News

• Health: Coronavirus FAQ: I got COVID. Then I got it again. What’s the deal with reinfection?

• National: In 10 states, a gallon of gas now costs more than $5

• National: Proud Boys leader Tarrio, four others, charged with seditious conspiracy

• Politics: Second House Jan. 6 hearing scheduled for the morning of June 13

• Politics: Primary contests to watch Tuesday, led by races in California, Iowa and Montana

• World: Class of 54 A.D.: a marble slab in storage turned out to be an ancient Greek yearbook

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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