The Point, Sept. 14, 2022: Gainesville police arrest man over threats about city’s zoning plan


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• WUFT News: Gainesville man accused of threatening city officials. “A contractor and director at a real estate firm emailed city commissioners and said he hoped they would be assaulted over a controversial plan to allow construction of multifamily housing in residential neighborhoods, police said. Police on Monday arrested Terry Lyle Martin-Back, 68, of Gainesville at his home outside the city limits on a felony intimidation complaint of sending a written threat to city commissioners. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe tweeted Tuesday about Martin-Back’s arrest, saying ‘how we communicate matters.'”

• Miami Herald ($): Man accused of racist attack on Black historian in Florida town faces assault charge. “A man accused of screaming the N-word at a prominent Black historian and others and then threatening to run them down in Rosewood, a small Florida town with a notorious racist history, has been arrested. According to an arrest report from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, David Allen Emanuel, 61, was arrested and charged Monday night with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.”

• WUFT News: Levy County businessman pleads guilty to stealing nearly $8 million in US pandemic aid. “A Levy County man will be sentenced in January in federal court after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of nearly $8 million in relief aid meant to help average Americans during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to court records. Businessman Patrick P. Walsh, 41, of Williston, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering at the federal courthouse in Gainesville two weeks ago.”

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Fireworks erupt during county admin selection process. “It got a bit heated Tuesday when (Citrus County) commissioners gathered to narrow down seven people for the soon-to-be-vacant administrator position. The problem was not with the caliber of the applicants. It was the process, which led Commissioner Ruthie Schlabach to say, ‘This is a hot mess.'”

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Florida schools seek guidance as they struggle to carry out a controversial new law. “Plaintiffs challenging a Florida law restricting instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in schools are asking a judge to reverse an order stalling their ability to gather information in the case, arguing that the law is being used throughout the state to ‘censor any positive or supportive reference to LGBT people.'”

• McClatchy ($): Florida sees sharp rise in white power, anti-Semitic incidents, report finds. “Florida saw a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League, the New York-based organization that tracks anti-Semitic incidents and other extremist activity across the country. The state saw a 50% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2021 compared to the year before, and Florida had the third most anti-Semitic incidents of any state in the country, behind only New York and California, according to the report.”

• Associated Press: Expert: School shooter’s mother drank heavily in pregnancy. “One of the nation’s leading fetal alcohol researchers testified Tuesday that Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s birth mother drank more during her pregnancy than any woman he’s ever seen documented. Dr. Kenneth Jones said medical and other records show Brenda Woodard well exceeded the standards that grossly endanger a fetus: six drinks per week for two weeks or three drinks in a sitting twice.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Former Florida congressional nominee using drugs again, ex-wife says. “The convicted felon who lost a congressional special election earlier this year as the Republican nominee in South Florida has relapsed into using illegal drugs, and his behavior is threatening the safety of his two young sons, his ex-wife said in a new court pleading. Jason Mariner, 36, of Loxahatchee, an advertising executive and self-described ‘America First’ conservative candidate, voluntarily spent seven days in a drug abuse rehabilitation center last month. He checked himself out Aug. 19, Charlene Mariner, 38, of Jupiter, said in court documents.”

• New York Times Magazine ($): Is Ron DeSantis the Future of the Republican Party? “In an extensive examination of his life and record — across more than 100 interviews with aides, allies, antagonists and peers who detailed several previously unreported episodes spanning his decade in elected office — the most consistent appraisal was that DeSantis, who turns 44 this month, believes his raw instincts are unrivaled and that he may well be correct.”

• WMFE-Orlando: Failure to launch: A look at the delays and possible fixes to NASA’s Artemis I mission. “Now, engineers are working on fixing the issues for an attempt as soon as the end of this month as NASA faces pressure to get this long-delayed and over-budget rocket to the moon.”

From NPR News

• Business: Stocks plummet. Dow drops nearly 1,300 points after worrying inflation data

• Health: Poverty and uninsured rates drop, thanks to pandemic-era policies

• Books: How lawyers from one giant DC firm influenced Trump’s Supreme Court picks

• Planet Money: The economics behind ‘quiet quitting’ — and what we should call it instead

• World: Ukrainian ballet dancer Oleksandr Shapoval is killed on the battlefield

• National: Ken Starr, the prosecutor on the Clinton Whitewater investigation, has died at 76

• National: The man who shot and killed John Lennon in 1980 was denied parole for the 12th time

Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

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