The Point, Dec. 8, 2022: Rep. Joe Harding indicted on wire fraud, money laundering charges


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• Florida Politics: Joe Harding indicted on wire fraud, money laundering charges. “Harding, an Ocala Republican recently elected to his second term representing District 24, was released Wednesday on a $10,000 bond.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County will spend $2.5M in federal aid on a publicly-owned slaughterhouse. “The meat processing facility will take up 10 acres of land in the Newberry Environmental Park off of County Road 337 and situated near Newberry’s planned regional wastewater treatment plant, which will be used to treat the slaughterhouse’s waste products.”

• WCJB: Attorney for UF graduate student asks for re-hear on potential class-action lawsuit over UF’s COVID-19 lockdown. “Attorneys for Anthony Rojas argue the university should return fees to students because of the shutdown early in the pandemic.”

• Florida Politics: Citrus County Republicans overwhelmingly back Chairman’s re-election. “Members of the Republican Executive Committee packed the annual meeting Monday night and voted overwhelmingly to keep Mike Moberley as Chairman over Stephen Mecler, an Inverness resident aligned with the ‘America First’ movement.”

• WCJB: Florida Ethics Commission clears North Central Florida officials. “Five local officials have been cleared to varying degrees by the state commission on ethics.”

• The Alligator: UF Faculty Senate passes resolution to call for delay in state post-tenure regulation. “Faculty at UF already go through a post-tenure review process — the Sustained Performance Evaluation Program (SPEP) every seven years.”

• WUFT News: Florida beekeepers rally community in Hurricane Ian recovery efforts. “Ian decimated 100,000 total hives, which were toppled and drowned in 12-foot storm surges as high as eight beehives. The state’s surviving bees were left starving from the storm’s destruction of foliage, the bees’ source of energy and protein.”

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Around the state

• WUFT News: Legal drama in Florida Supreme Court hearing whether police names can be kept secret in deadly shootings. “The immediate case involved separate, fatal shootings by police officers in Tallahassee whose identities remain secret, but the implications of the court’s ruling – expected by late spring – would go far further than Florida’s capital city.”

• WLRN-Miami: Higher electric bills set for Floridians in January. “State regulators Tuesday approved utility costs that will translate to higher electric bills in January for homeowners and businesses — and the pain won’t end there.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Most migrant workers in Florida don’t have health insurance. “Migrant workers are essential in getting us the produce we find in our local supermarkets. Though they are essential workers, most of them are either underinsured or don’t have health insurance at all.”

• WUSF-Tampa: A study finds more kids struggling with suicidal thoughts. Florida hospitals see it firsthand. “The study used data from hospitals in Illinois and found a 59% increase in the number of kids ages 5 to 19 reporting to ERs with suicidal thoughts between 2016 and 2021. Visits that led to hospital stays also increased.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida’s new Senate president creates a resiliency committee and touts education efforts.Preparing for the 2023 legislative session, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo on Monday announced the creation of a new Select Committee on Resiliency and other committee assignments.”

• WFSU-Tallahassee: FSU’s latest collaborative research project aims to help the neurodiverse populations in rural North Florida. “People with cognitive challenges who live in North Florida’s rural counties may soon find more and better services available. That effort is the result of the latest ‘Collaborative Collision’ competition at Florida State University.”

From NPR News

• National: Jan. 6 panel is planning to release its final report the week of Dec. 19

• Law: Supreme Court weighs controversial election-law case

• Media: ‘New York Times’ editors hustle to prepare stories for newsroom strike 

• Health: Safety advocates detail safety measures as traffic fatalities reach a 16-year high

• Science: 50 years since the last Apollo astronauts went to the moon, NASA is finally going back

• Animals: Jonathan, the world’s oldest tortoise, marks his 190th with fanfare and salad cake

• National: These are the words, movies and people that Americans searched for on Google in 2022

Kristin Moorehead curated today’s edition of The Point.

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