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The Point, Feb. 21, 2022: Questions about voter registration changes arise in South Florida

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Soil ceremony honors five lynching victims in Waldo. "Residents from across Alachua County joined city officials Saturday to honor five lynching victims from the Waldo, Hawthorne, Campville and Rochelle areas. The event drew about 100 people of all ages and backgrounds. The Rev. Marie Herring with Dayspring Missionary Baptist Church had a reminder for the residents in attendance. 'When we forget, we have a tendency to repeat,' Herring said."

• WUFT News: Protesters decry Florida bill aiming to ban discussion of sexuality and gender in schools. "Proponents say bills HB 1557 and SB 1834 aim to bolster the rights of parents in education. They would ban the discussion of sexuality and gender identity in elementary schools and prevent its encouragement in all schools in a way not deemed 'age-appropriate.'"

• WUFT News: Gainesville residents are concerned about this affordable housing development. "Royal Park Apartments is a $45.4 million affordable multifamily housing development planned for construction in the wooded area located between Northwest Eighth Avenue and West University Avenue, east of Northwest 39th Road and west of Northwest 36th Drive. Construction on the development could start as early as March and would take about 15 months to complete."

• WUFT News: Ocala to build second parking garage downtown in a church’s existing parking lot. "After reviewing seven sites, the city manager and other city officials decided that the lot at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, located at 55 SW 3rd Ave, would be the perfect fit."

• WUFT News: Gainesville Black artists say city should offer more support and appreciation for their services. "Black artists said ... they must routinely take it upon themselves to build their platform and grow their representation in Gainesville. They also questioned whether the city was doing all it could or should in terms of helping them to promote Black artists and their work."

• WUFT News: Buchholz High School student discovers and publishes new calculus technique. "What (Glenn) Bruda had concocted turned out to be an entirely new calculus technique to solve integral equations. He cross checked it with mathematics professors at Santa Fe College and the University of Florida, who later encouraged him to submit his discovery for publication. On Jan. 30, 2022, it was published to Cornell University’s 'arXiv,' an open-access archive for scholarly scientific articles."

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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: Some signatures of Florida voters whose registration changed to Republican different than prior samples. "The differing signatures add to mounting circumstantial evidence of shady political tricks, suggesting that unidentified canvassers during the weeks around Thanksgiving may have changed the party affiliation without permission of mostly elderly, Hispanic voters living in public housing in the area to make them Republicans."

• Palm Beach Post ($): Florida reports steep drop in new weekly COVID cases as deaths top 1,000 again. "Florida's COVID-19 case count grew by at least 42,373 this week, state health officials reported Friday, the lowest seven-day sum since Dec. 17. That's a massive drop from the 122,000 new cases counted in the week ending Feb. 11, a sign that the airborne pathogen's omicron variant is well on the way out."

• WFSU: Democrats blast Gov. DeSantis' congressional map, praise GOP legislature's redistricting efforts. "Unlike DeSantis' map, both the Senate and House plans keep (U.S. Rep. Al) Lawson's district largely intact. The Senate has already passed its map, and the House plan is still under review in committee."

• WMFE: MLB spring training games in Florida, Arizona postponed through March 5th. "Games were supposed to start February 26th in Florida and Arizona."

• WLRN: Marathon orders tenants out of apartment building after engineer finds it unsafe. "Marathon passed a law in January that requires all multi-story buildings 17 years and older to be recertified. Property owners have to hire state certified structural engineers and file a report to the city. The engineer's report said that concrete beams, columns, walls and slabs in the building showed 'widespread cracking and spalling.'"

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Orlando-based St. Johns Insurance in trouble as rating is pulled. "One of Florida’s largest property insurers could be going out of business after a ratings agency withdrew its assessment of St. Johns Insurance Co. on Thursday. Without its 'A' rating, St. Johns’ 140,000 customers in Florida could be forced to find new coverage."

• News4Jax: City of Jacksonville installs sensors to figure out source of terrible smells around town. "Over the last two years, the city received 2,869 complaints of terrible smells and the complaints started picking up in the summer of 2020 ..."

From NPR News

• World: President Biden agrees to a tentative meeting with Putin to discuss Ukraine

• Sports: The — at times complicated — 2022 Beijing Winter Games come to a close

• Health: U.S. surgeon general says he and his family have all tested positive for COVID-19

• Business: Inflation has many retirees worried about outliving their savings

• Business: First-time homebuyers are getting squeezed out by investors

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org