The Point, July 29, 2022: It was hotter than normal in Florida this month, and that’s likely to continue into fall

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The stories near you

• Florida Storms: Florida experienced above-normal temperatures in July, leaning above-normal through October. “For the next three months, Florida is expected to see hotter and wetter conditions. The entire state is 40-50% more likely to see above-average temperatures. Florida is also leaning above normal in precipitation through the end of October.”

• WCJB: The rules are set for hearing on controversial housing proposal in Gainesville. “On August 4th, city commissioners will talk about a proposal to eliminate single-family zoning. That would open up most of the city to housing with up to four units. Commissioners will only allow public comment on this topic during the city commission’s evening session. Public comments will not go on longer than four hours and seating will be limited to thirty people.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: County presents plans for Four Creeks Preserve. “Because of the county’s quick turnaround policy for public access, the preserve started with two walk-in entrances in 2019 but no parking lot, according to Andi Christman, director of the county’s Land Conservation and Management Office. She said the plan always included a parking lot, and now the county is ready to begin.”

• WUFT News: All students at these 33 Alachua County schools can get free meals for the 2022-23 school year. “Changes in federal guidelines mean that students at 17 Alachua County schools will not be guaranteed free or reduced-priced meals unless they apply this school year.”

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Crystal River Mall sale signals end of an era. “The mall is scheduled to close Aug. 20. Most of the tenants have already left and many found other locations nearby. Rumors of the sale have been rampant for months but stakeholders kept a tight lid on the project.”


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Around the state

• NPR News: These hurricane flood maps reveal the climate future for Miami, NYC and D.C. “An NPR analysis based on modeling from the National Hurricane Center for three critical regions — New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami-Dade County — found future sea rise alone could expose about 720,000 more people to flooding in the decades to come. The analysis used three landmark hurricanes — Sandy, Isabel, and Irma — as benchmarks to understand how the impacts of storm surge could grow.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida schools told they can ignore Biden administration on LGBTQ discrimination rules. “The memo is in response to a recent Biden administration announcement that it would include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a violation of Title IX, the sweeping 1972 law that guarantees equity between the sexes in ‘any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'”

• WJCT-Jacksonville: Worried about monkeypox? Here’s how the vaccine will be rolled out. “The Florida Department of Health has finalized a plan for the targeted release of the state’s limited monkeypox vaccine supply. The federal government has doled out the vaccine to requesting states according to their need. By mid-July, Florida had received about 25,000 doses that were distributed through county health departments.”

• Miami Herald ($): ‘Painful’ division of $1 billion Surfside settlement starts: Some to get more than others. “While relatives and their lawyers can make the case to Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman that the victims all met the same tragic fate — not unlike the passengers in a plane crash — Florida law dictates that they won’t receive equal shares of the landmark settlement. Inevitably, some will get far more than others.”

• Politico: Miami-Dade reverses course, accepts previously rejected sex ed textbooks. “The Miami-Dade County School Board on Thursday accepted two health and sexual education books for use in local schools, reversing a decision from just last week to reject the curriculum over fears it could violate the state’s ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill, known by opponents as ‘Don’t Say Gay.'”

• Associated Press: JetBlue agrees to buy Spirit for $3.8B. It would create the 5th largest U.S. airline. “Shares of Spirit, based in Miramar, Florida, rose 3.5% at the opening bell Thursday, to $25.15, still below the price that JetBlue is offering. JetBlue shares were essentially flat.”

• City & State Florida: Citizens Insurance coverage limits hitting South Florida homeowners the hardest. “For a growing number of Florida homeowners, Citizens Property Insurance – the state’s “insurer of last resort” – is the only affordable policy available. Now, many of these homeowners are facing a problem: They’re receiving notices of non-renewal because the replacement values of their homes increased in value to more than $700,000.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: More evidence of Florida property insurance companies not insuring older homes. “New laws out of May’s special session prohibited companies from denying a homeowner insurance due to the age of their roof. If it’s more than 15 years old, they have to let them get an inspection and waiver proving it has at least five more years on it.”

• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Bringing in the green: National Park visitors spent $855 million in Florida last year. “Florida is home to 11 National Park Service lands. In 2021, 13.4 million visitors to those parks spent an estimated $855 million dollars in the state, supporting nearly 12,000 jobs, according to a report by the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior.”

• NPR News: A Texas teen raises over $700,000 for abortions after Rep. Matt Gaetz mocked her. “Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz attempted to humiliate a teenage girl after arguing that overweight and unattractive women don’t need to worry about getting pregnant or needing abortions. That same girl has since raised over $700,000 for abortion care.”


From NPR News

• Health: Officials boost access to a drug that can protect the immunocompromised from COVID-19

• Health: Summer boosters for people under 50 shelved in favor of updated boosters in the fall

• Health: Nursing homes are suing friends and family to collect on patients’ bills

• World: Who is Viktor Bout, the prisoner the U.S. may trade for Brittney Griner?

• National: Expiration dates lead to lots of food waste, though these dates vary widely by state

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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