The Point, Oct. 20, 2023: Former Florida lawmaker sentenced for fraud
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• Fresh Take Florida: Man sentenced to 1 year in prison for racially motivated attack at site of Rosewood massacre. "Winsor sentenced Emanuel to 12 months plus one day in federal prison for each of the six charges and allowed the sentences to run concurrently. The Justice Department had sought a 'substantial' prison term of between five and six years."
• Fresh Take Florida: Former Florida lawmaker sentenced to 4 months in prison over pandemic fraud. "Former Republican state lawmaker Joe Harding of Ocala, the sponsor of Florida’s controversial law limiting discussions of gender and sexuality in public schools, was sentenced to four months in prison on charges of defrauding the government of $150,000 in pandemic aid."
• WUFT News: Prosecutors formally charge man accused of crashing stolen excavator into Walmart. "Prosecutors this week formally charged Smith with grand theft of $100,000 or more, four counts of criminal mischief, trespassing while armed and petit theft, all felony charges. They decided to drop the complaint that he resisted arrest."
• WCJB: ‘We are working with the owner’: Southern Fuelwood catches fire again. "The fire marks the twelfth fire in the last two and a half years based on the numbers Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Herold Theus gave us over the summer."
• WUFT News: Williston Municipal Airport receives $3.5 million to build new terminal. "While the small airport does not expect to see regularly scheduled passenger service, officials there say the new terminal will attract visitors to the airport, which will bring in revenue to further expand Williston’s business."
• WCJB: Street name honors 4-year-old boy struck by car and killed in Gainesville. "According to Gainesville city documents, Dylan’s mother Megan Durant worked with city leaders to install the walkway between Northeast 26th Terrace and Southeast 26th Terrace."
• WUFT News: How Taylor Swift is changing the way UF professors are teaching. "While college campuses with Swift-themed courses are growing quickly, some professors cannot adapt their courses entirely. But if anyone thinks that means Swift will be kept out of the classroom, they haven’t met University of Florida professors."
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Around the state
• Associated Press: The government secures a $9 million settlement with Ameris Bank over alleged redlining in Florida. "The Justice Department has secured a $9 million settlement with Ameris Bank over allegations it avoided underwriting mortgages in predominately Black and Latino communities in Jacksonville, Florida, and discouraged people there from getting home loans."
• WUSF-Tampa: Last week's bad weather actually spawned 6 tornadoes across the greater Tampa Bay region. "The National Weather Service previously reported that two tornadoes caused extensive damage in Clearwater Beach, Dunedin and Crystal River on Oct. 11-12."
• WLRN-Miami: The labor pool would be (almost) flat if not for immigrants. "The number of people in their prime working ages of between 25 and 54 years old has barely budged in the past decade — only beginning to increase after the COVID-19 pandemic. But the number of foreign-born people in those working ages has increased by six percent."
• WMFE-Orlando: Lifespan Down syndrome clinic by AdventHealth opens, first of its kind in Orlando. "The hospital network is expanding its services for children and adults with Down syndrome in Orlando by opening the Stella Tremonti Down Syndrome Clinic, or SMILE, for short."
• WFSU-Tallahassee: Researchers discover new technology to help clean up Florida's blue-green algae. "Alamdari's studies show that most blooms form when agricultural and residential fertilizers used on plants wash into Florida’s waterways. The bacteria feeds off the nutrients released by the fertilizers, forming blooms that slowly strip all the oxygen out of lakes and any other bodies of water."
• WFLA-Tampa: 30,494 invasive lionfish removed from Florida waters, a challenge record. "The Lionfish Challenge, a summer-long tournament that rewards divers for their lionfish harvests, saw an 'unprecedented surge in participation' this year. According to the FWC, an astounding 281 participants submitted the invasive species, which is nearly double the program’s highest participation numbers on record."
From NPR News
• National: Nearly 200 bodies recovered from a Colorado funeral home accused of improper storage
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.