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The Point, April 15, 2021: Looking Back At Black Thursday And UF's Racial Equity, 50 Years Later

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The top stories near you

• WUFT News: Black Thursday: How A Sunny Day 50 Years Ago Left A Stain On UF History. "The fledgling Black Student Union at UF had been discussing for a while the changes they sought from the administration. On this April day in 1971, they marched to Tigert Hall with six demands in hand." Listen to our podcast today to hear a version of this story.

• WUFT News: Gainesville Comedy Shows Offers COVID-Safe Laughs. "...with coronavirus cases still on the rise, there is still a need for COVID-safe diversions. Enter Jennifer Vito, who hosts Gainesville Comedy Shows every Thursday night at Flaco’s Cuban Bakery outdoor patio space in downtown Gainesville. Each week, Vito gathers comedians from the community as well as touring comedians from nearby cities like Jacksonville and Orlando, and calls them up to perform one by one."

• WUFT News: Multiyear Effort To Turn Gainesville Into A ‘Smart City’ To Progress With Smart Bench Pilot Project. "As the concept of bringing smart benches to Gainesville continues to be developed, they are expected to be set up for a trial period in July. Commissioner David Arreola was in favor of bring smart benches to Gainesville and said he thinks the benches are a good first step toward Gainesville becoming a smart city."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GHS, Buchholz to host first high school vaccine events. "Paul Myers, administrator for Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Alachua County, said on Tuesday that the county has sustained vaccine supply and has saturated the needs of individuals wanting an appointment, so now it's time to try walk-up clinics."

• WCJB: Founder of historically Black cemetery in Archer dies at age 96. "Clyde Williams, founder of the Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Restoration Organization, died at the age of 96 on April 8. Williams organized the cemetery at the beginning of the decade, and it’s the resting place for numerous WWI and WWII veterans, along with African-American slaves."

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Around the state today

• WFSU: Senate Rules Committee To Revisit Election Bill After Time Runs Out. "Florida’s Senate Rules Committee is preparing to scale down a proposal that would have done away with ballot drop boxes in the name of election reform. Lawmakers will continue to discuss the bill Friday or next week, after time ran out in the committee before a vote could be taken. The plan is still under fire from Democrats and voting rights groups who say the rest of the bill makes it harder for Floridians to vote."

• Florida Politics: College president search exemption clears House. "The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration. Because the bill would create a public records exemption, it requires a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber in order to become law."

• NPR News: Proposed Law In Florida Targets Transgender Student Athletes. "Florida is the latest state to consider a law targeting transgender athletes. The measure would require athletes to compete in school sports according to their sex assigned at birth."

• WUSF: Piney Point Pollution Will Linger in Tampa Bay For Months, Scientists Say. "A computer model that's been used to track red tide and Tampa Bay's response to Hurricane Irma is now being adapted to follow the dispersal of contaminated runoff from the old phosphate plant."

• WLRN: Florida Keys Residents Cross State To Make Their Case On Ports Bill. "More than 20 people made the 600-mile journey from the Keys to the other end of the state Wednesday. In Tallahassee, they attended a Florida Senate committee hearing considering a bill that would overturn Key West's limits on cruise ships."

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Florida education commissioner: Schools cannot have mandatory mask rules next year. "(Richard) Corcoran said the Department of Education had reviewed data from across the state and did not find a correlation between sweeping mask mandates and the presence of COVID-19 in schools."

• Miami Herald ($): The long road to Harriet Tubman’s name replacing Dixie Highway. Holdout: Coral Gables. "The city is the only local government in Miami-Dade to reject adding Tubman’s name to 42 miles of U.S. 1, a federal and state road that’s also gone by Dixie Highway for a century."

• WUSF: Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Apologizes For Teacher Job Cuts. "Addison Davis said the moves have been hard but necessary to avoid a district takeover by state education leaders."

• WMFE: Sabatini Posts Online Petition For Others Who ‘Stand With Matt Gaetz.’ "Conservative Lake County lawmaker Anthony Sabatini has repeatedly tweeted out his support for Matt Gaetz following reports of a child-sex-trafficking investigation involving the Florida congressman. Now Sabatini is trying to garner support with an online petition."

• Palm Beach Daily News ($): Bernie Madoff dies in prison, but Palm Beach long ago moved on. "Bernie Madoff, the once hailed Wall Street wunderkind who turned out to be a criminal mastermind, died in prison on Wednesday. But one place where he preyed on his wealthiest victims — the uber-rich enclave of Palm Beach — has moved on from the disgraced financier after his Ponzi scheme fell apart in 2008. For most on the island these days, Madoff is more of a punch line than a sucker punch."

• Naples Daily News ($): Meet the new neighbors: What to know about the exotic tropical clawed frog in Florida. "Add frogs with claws to the list of usual animals you might find in Florida. Residents may soon be facing off with another invasive pest as the nonnative tropical clawed frog has been identified in the Tampa area."

From NPR News

• National: 'It's Time To End This Forever War.' Biden Says Forces To Leave Afghanistan By 9/11

• National: Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Arrested, To Be Charged With 2nd-Degree Manslaughter

• Politics: Bill To Create Commission On Reparations Nears Historic House Vote

• Politics: Biden Administration Moves To Undo Trump Abortion Rules For Title X

• Books: Journalist Investigates 'Crime Story' Of The Sackler Family And The Opioid Crisis

• Race: House Lawmakers Advance Historic Bill To Form Reparations Commission

• World: Johnson & Johnson Halt Isn't Just A U.S. Problem

• Health: Advisory Group To The CDC Is Reviewing The Safety Of The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

• Health: A Year In, Here's What We Know About Vitamin D For Preventing COVID

About today's curator

I'm Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I've found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today's edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news