Podcast

Florida Parent And Teachers Ask If It’s Safe To Go Back To School As COVID-19 Cases Rise

Episode 43 focuses on how teachers and parents feel about school reopening plans for next month as COVID-19 cases rise in the state. Kristin Moorehead talks with Florida Education Association Vice President about the teacher's union lawsuit against the state's mandate to return to brick and mortar school instruction in the fall (01:46). Josh Williams interviews Dr. Chris Curran, one of the Co-Directors at UF's Education Policy Research Center, about what districts are doing to keep students safe. (07:19) Camron Lunn spoke with two teachers about how they feel about about the safety of returning to the classroom (12:06). Taylor Levesque talked with Florida parents and teachers about some of the frustrations they've had with virtual learning (16:16). Melissa Feito takes a look at some of the challenges families that have children with special needs and disabilities and their teachers faced with remote learning (19:37). Anthony Montalto spoke with four parents about how each is considering the decision to send their kids back to school next month (24:53). Gabriella Paul talked spoke with current and former essential workers who have elementary school aged kids about the prospect of schools reopening in person next month (30:04). Melissa returns for a discussion with Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the University of Florida who previously worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 20 years, for a medical perspective of children returning to school (34:51). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

Colleges And Universities Plan To Reopen In Fall, But Will Students Come Back

Episode 42 focuses on colleges and universities in Florida and their plans for students to return to campus in the fall. A number of state colleges and universities have unveiled plans to bring students back to campus in the fall including the University of Florida. Gabriella Paul spoke with Luis Toledo, a data and policy analyst researching campus responses to COVID-19 through the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, about the viability of UF's reopening plan (01:26). With colleges and universities unveiling their reopening plans we know how administrators feel about returning to campus in the fall but Anthony Montalto talks to students about how they feel returning to campus (06:29). The fall semester begins in six weeks and University of Florida students are getting ready to return to campus. But for out-of-state students, returning to Gainesville next month is more complicated than for others. Taylor Levesque spoke to a couple of out-of-state students who say that despite the school's plan to reopen campus they have decided to stay home for the fall semester (11:08). It's been a roller-coaster few months for international students as the pandemic has thrown their status into uncertainty. Josh Williams takes us through the highs and lows (15:20). From having their last day of high school in April, to graduating with social distancing in effect in June, the class of 2020 now has to transition to college in the middle of a pandemic. Camron Lunn spoke with two such students who are both navigating this difficult time in different ways (20:21). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

Sports Are Back, But Is Florida Ready With COVID-19 On The Rise?

Episode 41 looks at the sports, while not the most important thing during a pandemic, they sports serve many functions in Florida. They provide recreation, distraction, employ thousands and impact local economies. One pro sports league made its comeback this week. Camron Lunn has more on Major League Soccer's MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando (01:38). The news isn't all good for some sports. While Major League Baseball will attempt to come back this month, Minor League Baseball had to cancel its season. Taylor Levesque spoke to players who told her the decision was upsetting (06:08). While the pros and semi-pros come to grips with their stunted or lost seasons, Gabriella Paul gives us a look inside how Florida athletes at the amateur levels of high school and college plan to navigate a fall sports season amid the curve ball coronavirus has thrown their way (09:21). In some counties, high school sports like football are still up in the air for the fall. But Anthony Montalto ask if there’s no football, what about the marching band (15:27)? While high schools work out the kinks on their return plans some youth sports are already making a comeback. Taylor Levesque spoke to Gainesville Soccer Alliance Recreational Director, Sandi Rivera, who says she is excited for the kids to take the field again but wants everyone to know there will be changes to the upcoming soccer season (20:12). And what about casual athletes missing their gym routines. Most gyms are open but gyms in Miami, a hotspot for the virus, are now having to adapt as they stay open under new safety protocols. Melissa Feito spoke to Tongelia Milton, executive director of communications for the YMCA of South Florida, which includes 10 locations across Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties about getting their gyms back up and running after several months of closure (23:19). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

WUFT Fanfares From Home Preview with Band Together’s Bob McPeek, Ken Block, Cathy DeWitt, & Rob Rothschild

WUFT's Fanfares From Home features several former Fanfares favorites performing like you’ve never seen before, including Billy Buchanan, Bears and Lions, the Savants of Soul, UF Health Arts in Medicine Musicians in Residence (Michael Claytor, Jason Hedges, Ricky Kendall, Sam Moss, and Cienna Wesley) Maestro Gary Langford from the Gainesville Community Band, and two unique videos produced this past May – one from the City of Gainesville called the Gainesville Sing-A-Long and Band Together.

Read More »

Is Florida Moving Backward In Its Fight Against COVID-19?

Episode 40 explores if the state is moving backward in its fight against the coronavirus. Gabriella Paul speaks with an epidemiologist to find out if all the state's COVID-19 data is what it's cracked up to be (01:46). Camron Lunn talks with Floridians in their twenties about being something they never thought that they would be during this pandemic...at risk (08:11). Josh Williams is quarantined in South Florida, staying with immediate family after half-a-dozen extended family members tested positive following a Father's Day lunch. He explains what it's like when the virus hits home (12:34). Melissa Feito looks at cities and counties in Florida that are mandating facial coverings in public places and why wearing one is a good idea (18:12). The 4th of July will look a little different for some Floridians this year as some counties have closed their beaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anthony Montalto checks in from South Florida (23:19). And with the surge in cases and stricter regulations from cities and counties, local restaurants and bars are finding it more difficult to operate. Taylor Levesque spoke to local business owners who say they are struggling (27:47). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

Revisiting With Past Guests As COVID-19 Cases Spike In Florida

Episode 39 revisits some of the topics we've covered and people we've talked to over the past three months as Florida faces an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Taylor Levesque checks back in with University of Florida professor in the department of food science and human nutrition, Keith Schneider, about what cautions we should be taking when in public and any new advice as coronavirus cases rise in Florida (01:02). Kristin Moorehead has a story about what state universities are doing to bring faculty, staff, and students back safely on campus in the fall (05:59). Camron Lunn catches up with Alachua County School’s Director of Food and Nutritional Services Maria Eunice to discuss the meal program's transition for the summer (11:03). Anthony Montalto talks with Florida Virtual School Chief Operations Officer Sam Verghese to see what the school has planned for the summer and the upcoming school year (13:49). Taylor last spoke to Lindsey Magness in May when her new business, Arvo Surf & Coffee’s grand opening was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, her business is now open. We hear how she's doing (20:28). Melissa Feito discusses what services the Alachua County Library District can provide during the pandemic with their public services division director Joyce West (24:21). And Josh Williams talks with Oragenics Incorporated President and C-E-O, Alan Joslyn whose company purchased a company previously featured on the cast that was developing a COVID-19 vaccine in Alachua County (29:24). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

How COVID-19 Is Hurting Florida’s Agriculture Industry

Episode 38 looks into how Florida's second largest industry, agriculture, is faring during the pandemic. Melissa Feito has a story about the agricultural workers risking their lives to harvest our food (01:36). Josh Williams talks to Christa Court, the Director of IFAS' Economic Analysis Impact Program, about how the pandemic is hurting different parts of the industry and what dangers lurk around the corner (06:57). Florida Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, Deborah Tannenbaum speaks with Gabriella Paul about growers' concerns statewide and how the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is working to keep them afloat (12:59). Anthony Montalto spoke with two Florida blueberry growers to find out how they're situation is different from other farmers during this pandemic (18:24). And Taylor Levesque visits a farmers market in Gainesville that never closed because of COVID-19 (23:20). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »

COVID-19 And Racism: The Black Community Fights On Two Front Lines

Episode 37 explores how a pandemic is not the same for everyone and where race intersects with public health. Three audio post cards from Gainesville residents about being black during a time of protests and a pandemic (02:00). Anthony Montalto talks with Tonja Smith, Deputy Chief of the Tallahassee Police Department and President of the North Florida Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (10:01). Taylor Levesque speaks with black business owners in Gainesville about the messages they plan to spread throughout the community during this time of unrest and uncertainty (16:26). Camron Lunn listened to leadership and professors from Florida’s two most prominent historically black colleges and universities as they discussed the challenges facing their student populations (20:45). Melissa Feito talks with faith leaders to discuss their role in guiding their communities through two tough challenges (24:27). This podcast serves to provide updates on Florida's response to coronavirus, with a particular focus on north central Florida.

Read More »