The Point, Oct. 24, 2022: Special session for Hurricane Ian relief
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The stories near you
• WUFT News: Alachua County health authorities see rise in opioid emergencies despite Naloxone program. "Alachua County has seen an overall increase in opioid-related 911 calls over the past six years — more than twice as many calls from 2021 compared to 2015."
• The Alligator: Demonstration rages near closed-door Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking engagement. "Alachua County Republicans enforced the media embargo ahead of its annual Ronald Reagan Black Tie and Blue Jeans BBQ fundraising event at Legacy Park Alachua city, where DeSantis delivered the keynote speech. Around 40 protesters wielded signs and megaphones as they decried the governor and his bid for reelection."
• The Alligator: UF Faculty Senate will consider vote of confidence on Ben Sasse, presidential search process. "The Faculty Senate will hold an emergency meeting Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to debate and possibly adopt a resolution of no confidence in the selection process of the 13th president of the university. A vote of confidence would signal that a majority of the Faculty Senate feels that Sasse’s selection was inadequate."
• Mainstreet Daily News: Voters to decide Alachua County Commission structure. "The referendum was put on the ballot after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill sponsored by Rep. Chuck Clemons that allows the vote. Depending on the Nov. 8 vote, Alachua County could mirror a structural shift that took place in Sarasota County in 2018, moving from the at-large to the single-member system."
• Ocala Gazette: Marion County Fire Rescue, “a department in crisis” says union president. "According to documents associated with fire union contract negotiations obtained by the Gazette, the department has 68 positions open for firefighters and paramedics, or EMS, and 48 newly budgeted positions."
• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua business owners weigh litigation against city. "According to a change.org petition, where Balynas and Carol wrote their story, the saga began in 2020, when the city wrote them up for code violations. The couple says they subsequently had a series of meetings with the city and were never given clarity on code definitions, although officials led them to believe the homes on wheels were considered RVs and not in code violation."
• WUFT News: Judge orders former UF physician to mental health counseling, community service. "Ahmad Abdul-Rahim, 32, pleaded no contest last month in the case in Alachua County Court after an administrative assistant accused him of sexual misconduct in March."
• The Alligator: Free UF rally urges students to take to the polls. "Free UF, a broad coalition of faculty, staff, students and local advocacy groups who banded together to oppose what they describe as a state encroachment on academic freedom, officially organized the event at the Plaza of the Americas."
• Mainstreet Daily News: Cade Museum receives $25K donation. "Adria Petty, rocker Tom Petty’s daughter, donated the funds that are earmarked to help Operation Full STEAM (OFS), Cade Museum’s outreach project designed to close achievement gaps for underserved elementary school students by providing experiences to foster creativity and development of an inventive mindset, according to the Cade press release."
• WUFT News: Gainesville’s Pride Festival returns after a two-year hiatus. "The festival coming back after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic inspired many participants to show up for their first pride event ever, and clear blue skies and cool weather in the 70s set the tone for this community gathering."
• WCJB TV20: Thousands of people attend Ocala art festival. "The volunteer-run festival featured 155 artists from around the country. It included free art activities for kids, food trucks from local businesses, and performances."
• Mainstreet Daily News: New director paints picture of arts in medicine. "Lee points to her pursuit of arts in education as what laid the foundation for her career: arts in medicine. Lee has two decades of experience in the field and this spring became the new director of Shands Hospital’s Arts in Medicine (AIM) program."
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Around the state
• WFSU State: Lawmakers will be back in Tallahassee later this year to work on property insurance, again. "Gov. Ron DeSantis says the special session will convene after Election Day election and before the end of the year. The goal is to give people who suffered property or business damage some tax relief."
• Associated Press: A federal judge tosses a challenge to Florida's controversial education law. "U.S. District Judge Wendy Berger in Orlando on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by LGBTQ students, parents and their families — as well as several civil rights groups — and refused their request for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being implemented. The judge gave the plaintiffs until Nov. 3 to file an amended lawsuit if they desired."
• WUFT News: Gaetz, Jones argue in congressional debate over health care for veterans. "Rep. Matt Gaetz and challenger Rebekah Jones argued over the best health care for service members and veterans in the military-heavy, deeply conservative 1st Congressional District in Florida’s Panhandle during the campaign’s only debate."
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Democrats demand Gov. Ron DeSantis outline abortion plans, while he gets pressure to act. "The criticism came Friday as an anti-abortion organization called on the Republican governor to include an outright ban on the procedure as part of a special session of the Legislature that he plans to call before year’s end in response to Hurricane Ian."
• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): Florida Disaster Fund donates $2 million between five nonprofits. "DeSantis announced on Friday that $2 million from the Florida Disaster Fund will go to five nonprofits with each receiving $400,000."
• Florida Politics: Barack Obama embraces Charlie Crist for Governor in video endorsement. "Former President Barack Obama has endorsed the Democratic candidate as he hopes to return to the Governor’s Mansion and unseat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. The endorsement comes in a video published to Twitter with only 18 days until the General Election."
• WLRN-Miami: Does the Parkland shooter's life sentence set a precedent for future killers? An expert explains. "After the jury recommended a life sentence, there was a notion that the verdict will set a precedent of leniency that could help motivate future mass killers. An expert breaks down that claim."
• Florida Storms: A dry, warm winter is likely for Florida as La Niña continues for the third year in a row. "For only the third time since record-keeping began in the late 1800s, a "triple dip" La Niña event is expected according to the latest outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center. This occurs when La Niña continues for three consecutive years and has significant implications for weather patterns across the United States and in Florida."
• Associated Press: A swing state no more? GOP confidence grows in Florida. "Democrats are increasingly concerned that Florida, once the nation’s premier swing state, may slip away this fall and beyond as emboldened Republicans capitalize on divisive cultural issues and demographic shifts in crucial contests for governor and the U.S. Senate."
• Spectrum News: Space Coast-built satellites launched on historic mission from India. "The satellites, which are manufactured at the Airbus OneWeb Satellites facility on Merritt Island near Kennedy Space Center, launched on Russian Soyuz rockets for the first 13 missions. Now, OneWeb plans to round out its generation one, 648-satellite internet constellation with India’s space agency and SpaceX."
• News4JAX: Florida organization aims to protect students, hold drivers accountable by adding safety technology to school buses. "Bus Patrol, which runs the worlds leading stop-arm enforcement program, wants to use the program’s technology to help hold drivers accountable in any situation that potentially can put kids at risk -- although the recent accidents that have occurred haven’t been due to stop-arm violations."
• The New York Times ($): More Money Can Mean More Museums, Just Look at Florida. "Especially on the coasts of the state, the wealthy are increasingly choosing to start their own museums rather than house their collections in someone else’s."
From NPR News
• Books: Bob Woodward's new audiobook features hours of his interviews with ex-President Trump
Jacob Sedesse curated today's edition of The Point.