The Point, Oct. 5, 2022: President Biden scheduled to visit Florida and survey Hurricane Ian damage


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Today’s Florida stories

• Politico: Biden and DeSantis will test their accord during Florida visit. “President Joe Biden and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis are testing a newfound détente this week when the president visits Florida Wednesday to survey damage from Hurricane Ian. The two men, political enemies who routinely attack each other over a wide range of policy issues, have set aside their differences over the past week to cooperate on massive hurricane recovery efforts.”

• Associated Press: Florida residents brave a slow wait for power as Hurricane Ian search and rescue continues. “Ian knocked out power to 2.6 million customers across Florida. Since then, crews have been feverishly working to restore electricity infrastructure.”

• WGCU-Fort Myers: From recreational pontoons to the Cajun Navy, Pine Island evacuation draws strong, mixed feelings. “Nearly a week after Hurricane Ian swept away homes and very likely people, the survivors say they feel like they have been forgotten, taking a back seat to tony Sanibel Island or the famed Fort Myers Beach.”

• USA Today Network: The last moments of Hurricane Ian’s victims, told in grim details by Florida medical examiners. “…in spare, jarring detail, the last moments of the lives of Floridians caught in one of nation’s most powerful storms is revealed in the medical examiners’ report — though victims are not identified by name.”

• WBUR/Here & Now: Florida’s electric was made more resilient before latest storm. “Here & Now’s Anthony Brooks speaks with University of Florida energy expert Ted Kury about how, after a spate of storms in 2004 and 2005, Florida utilities learned to work together to make the electric grid more resilient, and what work can be done to avoid power failures next time there’s a big storm.”

• New York Times ($): Florida Leaders Rejected Major Climate Laws. Now They’re Seeking Storm Aid. “Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law, which devotes some $50 billion to help states better prepare for events like Ian, because they said it was wasteful. And in August, they joined every fellow Republican in the Senate to oppose a new climate law that invests $369 billion in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the largest such effort in the country’s history.”

• News4Jax: Ian left at least $38 million in home damage in St. Johns County; first responders made 26 high-water rescues. “As expected, most of the damage was along the coastline, in downtown St. Augustine and near the St. Johns River. The county had major flooding in areas along the coast like Porpoise Point, North Beach, Crescent Beach and Flagler Estates.”

• WUFT News: Prosecutors drop charges against teen accused in high school bomb threat. “Prosecutors have dropped their felony criminal case against a teenager accused of sending a bomb threat to his high school last year, acknowledging they did not know who was at the keyboard of the laptop used to send the threatening message. Reginald Javon Copeland Jr., 17, of Gainesville was arrested in late 2021 and accused of threatening to bomb Eastside High, the school where he was enrolled through Alachua eSchool, according to court records.”

• City & State Florida: Black GOP candidate depicted in ad on shooting target in contentious Florida Senate race. “The depiction was on a mailer recently sent to voters in north Florida’s Senate District 3, where Republican Corey Simon, the former head of Volunteer Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis, is challenging Democratic incumbent Loranne Ausley. Simon is Black; Ausley is white.”

• WMFE-Orlando: Polk County sheriff’s deputy killed by bullet from another deputy’s gun. “Deputy Blane Lane, who was positioned outside the mobile home, was struck and killed by a bullet that passed through an exterior wall. Judd said the other deputies are ‘absolutely devastated.’ They are on administrative leave, pending an internal review.”

• WLRN-Miami: ‘We’re looking for respect’: Why families of Surfside victims are still battling for a ‘fitting’ memorial. “The new owners of the site and the families of the victims have conflicting priorities. One side is in the business of developing a commercially successful building. The other is focused on seeing a memorial for their loved ones, erected where the tower collapsed. Meanwhile the town of Surfside has designated a section of 88th Street, immediately north of the site, for a memorial, but that doesn’t quite meet these families’ requirements.”

• TCPalm ($): Brightline to begin 110 mph, full-speed tests along rail corridor through Martin, St. Lucie counties. “The higher-speed railroad has been conducted daily tests through the Treasure Coast since January, sending its trains through the area at slower speeds, preparing to extend passenger service from West Palm Beach to Orlando. But the company’s upcoming tests mark the first time its trains will go full speed here.”

• Associated Press: Amid Ian’s wounds, Jews see healing, renewal in Yom Kippur. “Throughout a southwest Florida devastated by Hurricane Ian, Jews planned to hold worship services for Yom Kippur, a day in which they fast for 24 hours and ask forgiveness for the wrongs they have committed during the year, although many were doing so with plans drastically modified by the storm.”

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Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

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