Lawmaker who sponsored Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill faces fraud charges
A Florida lawmaker best known for sponsoring Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, was indicted on six felony counts by a federal grand jury, including money laundering and wire fraud, officials said Wednesday.
Protest ban at University of Florida after anti-Sasse rally
The University of Florida is going to start enforcing a decades-old prohibition against indoor protests following a raucous demonstration earlier this month against the selection of U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse as a finalist for the school president’s job.
Landmark study investigates spread of COVID-19 among vaccinated college students.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of students attending the University of Florida are taking part in a landmark study investigating the spread of COVID-19. One thousand students will be vaccinated as part of a nationwide study involving more than 20,000 college students and 25,000 of their close contacts. Researchers said the results of the study could determine how long we need to continue preventive measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. AdThe study also showed that non-standard forms of employment, including working from home, aggravated the ability to control the time spent on work. Researchers said businesses with returning cardiac patients need to adopt programs to boost job retention and help with disease management.
University of Florida students take part in landmark COVID-19 vaccine study
Dr. Leon L. Haley Jr., CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, was among the first in Florida to be vaccinated. (Image credit: UF Health)GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A group of Florida Gators will roll up their sleeves and get a COVID-19 vaccine as part of a landmark study. The UF College of Medicine’s division of infectious diseases & global medicine is conducting the study with the help of about 1,000 students. The participants will receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and will be followed and routinely screened for the virus for about four months. The ‘Prevent COVID U’ study will track these students and their ‘close contacts’ to track virus spread.
Data: Florida’s texting-while-driving law rarely enforced
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new law in 2019 making texting while driving a primary traffic offense in Florida, with a $30 fine for a first offense that routinely climbs to over $100. But the new law against texting is rarely enforced, according to official state figures. Florida also has failed its requirements under the law to track comprehensively how many drivers are ticketed statewide – and whether police are targeting minorities. Those in charge of writing tickets also complained that the young law has too many loopholes.
Florida man charged with trying to join ISIS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Authorities say a former Florida resident has been returned to the United States after traveling to Turkey and attempting to join the Islamic State group. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Gainesville announced Monday that 33-year-old Mohamed Fathy Suliman, a U.S. citizen, has been charged with attempting to provide material support for a designated foreign terrorist organization. According to the criminal complaint, Suliman traveled from Orlando to Turkey in June 2014. He was arrested by Turkish authorities and accused of illegally crossing into Syria. Officials say a search of Suliman’s emails revealed attachments that contained various audio files that consisted of messages calling for jihad.
Workers escaped deadly leak by going through nitrogen fog
Three workers remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition said Beth Downs, a spokesperson for Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. Workers poured out of the plant Thursday morning after a liquid nitrogen line burst. Jameel Fareed told WSB-TV that he avoided walking into the cloud of liquid nitrogen. She said a number of workers told her they developed headaches, apparently from a lack of oxygen. She said workers told her there was a loud noise, and then some workers were rushed into a room at the plant before going outside, with a strong odor indicating the presence of nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia poultry plant kills 6
A Hall County firefighter leaves following a liquid nitrogen leak that killed six people at Prime Pak Foods, a poultry plant, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Gainesville, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)GAINESVILLE – A liquid nitrogen leak at a northeast Georgia poultry plant killed six people Thursday and sent 11 others to the hospital, officials said. Poultry plants rely on refrigeration systems that can include liquid nitrogen. When leaked into the air, liquid nitrogen vaporizes into an odorless gas that’s capable of displacing oxygen. Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said Thursday that two of the six people who died in a liquid nitrogen leak at a northeast Georgia poultry plant were Mexican citizens. A total of 12 food processing workers died in the workplace nationwide in 2019.
UF freshman from Miami dies after being struck by a car
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A University of Florida student from Miami died after being struck by a car. Police said 19-year-old Sophia Lambert died at the hospital hours after the crash on West University Avenue, which happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The freshman student, along with four others, were hit by a car in the 1700 block of West University Avenue. A subsequent investigation by Gainesville Police revealed that a Honda Civic traveling eastbound on West University Avenue and a Honda Accord traveling westbound on the same street collided as the driver of the Accord attempted to turn south. This is the second fatality involving a UF student on the same roadway in the last two months.
Florida's Johnson 'following simple commands' after collapse
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida forward Keyontae Johnson was “following simple commands” Monday after being transferred from Tallahassee Memorial to UF Health in Gainesville, the school said. The Gators announced Johnson was in critical but stable condition less than an hour after his ordeal. Johnson’s teammates and coaches were visibly distraught before the game resumed. The Seminoles outscored Florida 80-60 after Johnson’s collapse and won 83-71 for their seventh straight victory in the series. Like many of his Florida teammates, Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer.
Swamp stunner: L-S-Shoe tops No. 6 Florida on 57-yard FG
6 Florida 37-34 on a cool and foggy Saturday night in the Swamp. Florida didn’t help itself with three turnovers in the first half that led to 10 points and a 24-17 deficit. He fumbled trying to scramble with 10 seconds to play in the half, essentially handing LSU a field goal. Florida had first-and-10 at the LSU 15-yard line when Trask tried to connect with Kadarius Toney near the sideline. Florida: The Gators have all kinds of issues heading into the title game.
Heisman front-runner? Trask, No. 6 Florida thump Hogs 63-35
Arkansas acting head coach Barry Odom, center, watches a stadium video monitor after Florida scored a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
The Latest: No. 8 Florida reports no new COVID-19 positives
8 Florida reported no new COVID-19 positives in the past week, the first time since September the team’s coronavirus numbers have remained steady. The Southeastern Conference postponed two of Florida’s game following a COVID-19 outbreak that included coach Dan Mullen, at least two assistants and more than 30 players. The reserve/COVID-19 list is for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with an infected person. ___German soccer club Hertha Berlin says defender Jordan Torunarigha has tested positive for the coronavirus. Schalke said an unnamed player had also tested positive ahead of its German Cup game against Schweinfurt on Tuesday.
SEC fines Florida's Mullen $25K for role in brawl vs. Mizzou
The Southeastern Conference docked Mullen $25,000 on Monday for his role in a benches-clearing brawl against the Tigers on Saturday night. The league also issued half-game suspensions for Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey, offensive lineman Dylan Spencer and defensive lineman Markell Utsey. Missouri linebacker Tre Williams was ejected for a flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct foul and will not be punished further. “There is no place in college football for the kind of incident that took place at halftime of the Missouri at Florida game Saturday night," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. Mullen responded by putting on a Darth Vader costume for his postgame news conference, almost welcoming a villain role amid increased scrutiny.
Rapidly expanding sinkhole forces neighborhood evacuations
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – City officials in Gainesville urged residents in six homes near a rapidly expanding sinkhole to evacuate. The sinkhole first appeared last week in the West End Estates neighborhood. Interim Gainesville Fire Rescue chief JoAnne Rice says the sinkhole appears to be about 50 feet wide and 30 feet deep. She says city officials asked residents in six home to leave until geological experts deem the sinkhole stable. Massive sinkhole in NW Gainesville...hear from the homeowners tonight at 11 on @mycbs4 pic.twitter.com/LtuH1VFD3i — Taniqua Pennix (@taniquatv) October 23, 2020
Gators’ game vs. LSU postponed; Florida coach Mullen apologizes
10 Florida and defending national champion LSU are now scheduled to play in December. The Southeastern Conference postponed Saturday’s LSU-Florida game a day after Mullen had 19 players and coaches test positive for COVID-19. Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said Wednesday the number is now up to 21 positives with considerably more in quarantine because of contract tracing. Florida hosts Missouri next, on October 24, and that game also could be in jeopardy. Mullen said two assistant coaches also tested positive.
Gators halt football activities following COVID-19 outbreak
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida has shut down football activities following a COVID-19 outbreak among the team on the school’s Gainesville campus. Florida’s athletic director released a statement saying the team has experienced a spike in positive coronavirus cases among players this week, and for that, team activities are being paused. The statement read:“The University of Florida football team has experienced an increased in positive COVID tests among players this week. Out of an abundance of caution, team activities are paused as of Tuesday afternoon. After the game, Gators head coach Dan Mullen said he wanted to pack the swamp for the LSU game, saying he wanted 90,000 fans to be allowed into the stadium.
Seminoles have no interest in Meyer, Spurrier
Florida coach Urban Meyer congratulates South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier after the Gamecocks defeated the Gators 36-14, Nov. 13, 2010, in Gainesville, Florida. "If coach (Taggart) were hit by a bus tomorrow, we would not target coach Meyer, period," Coburn said. "I say that with all due respect to coach Meyer, but we would not target Steve Spurrier either." Meyer won two more national titles during his six seasons in Gainesville. Somewhere, Florida and Florida State fans alike are breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Florida vs. Miami: On-again, off-again relationship
Quick StatsFirst meeting: Miami 19, Florida 7, Oct. 15, 1938All-time series: Miami Hurricanes 29, Florida Gators 26Longest win streak: Florida Gators, 1971-77Largest margin of victory: 40 points (Florida 46, Miami 6), Nov. 16, 1940Removed from schedule:Sept. 5, 1992: GainesvilleSept. 4, 1993: MiamiSept. 7, 1996: GainesvilleSept. 6, 1997: MiamiNo. 6 Florida (1-0) 16Sept. 7, 2002Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida FieldGainesville, FloridaAP Photo/Chris O'Meara Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ken Dorsey rolls out during his team's 41-16 rout of the Florida Gators, Sept. 7, 2002, in Gainesville, Florida. 5 Florida (1-0) 26, Miami (1-0) 3Sept. 6, 2008Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida FieldGainesville, FloridaAP Photo/Reinhold Matay Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow avoids a pair of Miami defenders on the way to a 26-3 victory against the Hurricanes, Sept. 6, 2008, in Gainesville, Florida. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, was 21-of-35 for 256 passing yards and two touchdowns. 12 Florida (1-0) 16Sept. 7, 2013Sun Life StadiumMiami Gardens, FloridaMike Ehrmann/Getty Images Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel is sacked in a 21-16 loss to the Miami Hurricanes, Sept. 7, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Heavy metals found in Florida groundwater
The Crystal River Coal and Nuclear Power Plant is north of Tampa and south of Gainesville. CHRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. - Environmental officials say heavy metals from coal ash have seeped into groundwater at a Duke Energy complex along Floridas Gulf Coast. A report by a consulting firm shows that arsenic, lithium and other contaminants were found in samples of wells surrounding the coal plants on Dukes Crystal River Energy Complex. The Citrus County Chronicle reports that the consulting firm told Duke Energy that it must come up with a plan of action quickly and hold a public meeting. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says the company is studying its options as quickly as possible.
Mullen provides no clarity on absentee defensive back John Huggins
Florida defensive back John Huggins celebrates after intercepting a pass during the second half against Charleston Southern, Sept. 1, 2018, in Gainesville, Florida. GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida coach Dan Mullen insists he has "great clarity" regarding absentee defensive back John Huggins. Huggins was upset because the tutor took his phone in hopes of ensuring he would stay for the entire session, the report said. The woman had previously been uncomfortable because Huggins pulled her hair in another session, the report said. Mullen said Huggins was punished; he missed five games following the alleged incident and is currently enrolled at the school.
No. 12 Florida Gators beat Arkansas 78-65 on Senior night
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Canyon Barry scored 14 points, his best game since injuring an ankle two weeks ago, and No. 12 Florida handled Arkansas 78-65 on Wednesday night. Kasey Hill, KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza added 12 points apiece for the Gators, who bounced back from their first loss in 10 games and clinched the No. Arkansas (22-8, 11-6) made it close midway through the second half, cutting the lead to 51-45 on Trey Thompson's straightaway jumper. But the Gators responded with clutch shot after clutch shot to make it a 14-point game again.
Longtime Florida athletics director retiring
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Longtime University of Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley, one of the most successful college sports leaders in the country, is retiring. Foley, 63, informed his staff and head coaches of the move Monday, calling it quits after 40 years at Florida. He will remain at Florida as emeritus athletic director for the duration of his current contract. Florida President Dr. Kent Fuchs thanked Foley for his years of service and commitment to the Gators. "I firmly believe my time as athletics director is ending so that I can move into the next phase of my life, and I eagerly look forward to this next phase," Foley said.