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The Point, May 8, 2020: Florida Felon Voting Rights Trial Concludes, Could See Verdict As Early As Next Week

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The top stories near you

• Fresh Take Florida: Important Florida Voting Rights Trial Concludes After Week Of Testimony. "Lawyers argued to a federal judge whether a state law is unconstitutional in requiring that even impoverished felons must pay court fees and fines before they are allowed to vote."

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Supreme Court Conducts Historic Oral Arguments Using Video Screens. "Breaking 175 years of tradition, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday did not meet in person for its oral arguments. This time, it used video conferencing and courtroom virtual backgrounds. The experiment was largely successful, with a few minor glitches."

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. "A look at how parts of Florida are slowly re-opening under phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua libraries begin curbside service next week. "The Alachua County Library District will begin offering curbside service all branch locations on Wednesday, May 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., although its buildings remain closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic."

• WUFT News: ‘A Lot of People Are Frustrated’: Grocery Store Workers Push for Emergency Status. "The always essential but traditionally undervalued group has become esteemed like never before in recent months."

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Ocala’s Mark Casse selected to U.S. Racing Hall of Fame. "The 59-year-old started training thoroughbred horses as a teenager and grew up around thoroughbred on his father’s Marion County farm."

• Suwannee Democrat: Suwannee County recovery rate at 74%. "Two additional confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus were announced for Suwannee County on Thursday by the Florida Department of Health. The county now has 144 known cases with 17 deaths and 35 hospitalizations in positive patients."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Enterprise lays off 111 workers from Gainesville center. "Following a 'dramatic downturn' in business, car rental company Enterprise began the process of permanently laying off employees, including more than 100 at one Gainesville location."

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Around the state today

• WTSP: Florida Department of Health launches app to survey people about coronavirus exposure. "The StrongerThanC19 app lets users answer anonymous questions about age, residency, recent travel and potential COVID-19 contact."

• Florida Phoenix: Florida universities get millions they can’t share with DACA students. "Florida colleges and universities will receive nearly $740 million in emergency federal aid for COVID-19, but some of the state’s most vulnerable students won’t be eligible for assistance."

• Miami Herald ($): Florida is planning something for its worst troublemakers: a prison-within-a-prison. "Florida’s prison system, overrun with violent gangs distributing contraband, operating rackets, running shakedowns and carrying out blood feuds, is looking to create a separate category of incarceration where those seen as the worst troublemakers can be bunched together, segregated from the rest of the general population."

• WTSP: Wildfire forces hundreds from homes. "Nearly 500 people have been told to leave the Florida panhandle."

• FL Keys News ($): Shark makes stunning 4,000-mile trek, proving they cross oceans. But why?. "A 10-foot tiger shark fitted with a satellite tracker has stunned researchers by proving the species is capable of crossing entire oceans."

• Bay News 9: Tampa General Hospital to Take Part in Nationwide COVID-19 Hydroxychloroquine Study. "The hospital will be one of 16 hospitals nationwide taking part in the study."

• Miami Herald ($): What is Florida’s plan for contact tracing?. "Contact tracing is considered a critical part of suppressing a COVID-19 second wave."

• FL Keys News ($): Mutant mosquitoes could be released in Florida, Texas this summer. What could happen?. "Millions of genetically-engineered mosquitoes could be released as early as this summer into the Florida Keys and Houston area in an effort to curb the spread of mosquito-borne diseases."

• News Service of Florida: Universities weigh options for fall semester. "The University of Florida and others in the state system are looking at several different scenarios, including holding some classes in person and others online, pushing back the first day of classes, expansive testing for the virus and curtailing the available space on campus for in-person classes to abide by social distancing guidelines."

From NPR News

• National: New York City's Subway Ends 24-Hour Service Amid Pandemic

• World: China Says It Contained COVID-19. Now It Fights To Control The Story

• Health: Scientists Identify New Mutations Of The Coronavirus

• Health: Mystery Inflammatory Syndrome In Kids And Teens Likely Linked To COVID-19

• Business: Black-Owned Businesses Are Experiencing Negative Effects Of The Pandemic

• Business: Neiman Marcus Bankruptcy Is 1st By A Department Store During Coronavirus Crisis

• Race: Sociologist On How Black Men Try To Appear Non-Threatening As A Defense Mechanism

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.