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Stunned by a Citizens Insurance ‘depopulation’ letter? Here’s what you need to know.

South Florida Local News - Sat, 09/23/2023 - 23:29

Tens of thousands of customers of state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. are getting a stunning surprise in their mailboxes.

It’s a letter from Citizens’ “Depopulation Unit” stating their policies have been assumed by a private-market company.

Cause for celebration? Not if the private company’s estimated annual premium is higher than what the policyholder is paying Citizens.

Delores Smerkers, a Davie retiree, said her Citizens policy renewed in July for $5,523 — $650 more that what she paid last year. Less than two months later, in late August, she received a letter saying her coverage was being assumed by Safepoint Insurance Co.

The letter stated that her estimated cost to renew her Safepoint policy will be $6,650 — an increase of $1,127.

That’s a substantial price hike, but because it’s less than 20% above her Citizens premium, she is ineligible to reject the offer and stay with Citizens.

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Smerkers says she doesn’t know how many more insurance price hikes she and her disabled husband can endure as they try to live out the remainder of their lives in the modest 1,750-square-foot villa they bought new in 1978.

“It’s a shame,” she said. “People on fixed incomes are hurting the most. We’re not rich. We worked like dogs all our lives. Now look at where we are at.”

More than 300,000 Citizens policyholders are getting letters stating that their policies have been selected for removal in October by one or more of five private-market companies.

Targeted policyholders are ineligible to remain with Citizens if their letter identifies a private company’s “estimated renewal premium” that’s less than 20% over Citizens’ estimated renewal premium for comparable coverage.

But if all estimated renewal premiums exceed 20% of Citizens’, the policyholder can opt to remain with Citizens by logging onto the company’s website or asking their insurance agent to make the selection for them.

Removal is automatic for those who don’t take action

October marks the first of two depopulation efforts. Another is scheduled in November.

Five companies have been approved to take 184,000 policies from Citizens in October: Florida Peninsula (up to 19,000 policies), Monarch (10,000), Safepoint (30,000), Slide (100,000) and Southern Oak (25,000).

Letters sent to selected policyholders state that the transfer will take place on Oct. 17 unless the policyholder selects another option by Oct. 5. But the Oct. 5 deadline was moved to Oct. 10 after a vendor handling the mail-outs fell behind, leaving some recipients with only a couple weeks to act.

Of 311,250 policyholders informed that they’ve been selected for takeout in October, 99,500 have so far elected to remain with Citizens, according to data provided by Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier. Just 9% — 28,750 — have selected a private company. And the majority, 183,000, have not yet registered a selection.

Anyone who fails to make a selection will automatically be transferred on Oct. 17 to the private company identified in their letter with the lowest premium, Peltier said.

Targeted policyholders don’t have to pay more now

Some policyholders who have received a depopulation letter say they were confused about the estimated renewal premiums identified in the letter.

The premiums are just estimates of the following year’s insurance costs and don’t have to be paid right away. Even if a policyholder accepts the transfer, the coverage remains in place at the current Citizens rate until the policy expires.

In Smerkers’ case, she won’t owe the new $6,650 premium until her Citizens policy is set to expire in July.

Deerfield Beach resident Jeff Torrey said it took a phone call to his agent to clarify that he didn’t owe more money immediately.

He received a letter in mid-September saying Slide was assuming his policy on Oct. 17 and that he was ineligible for Citizens because Slide’s estimated renewal premium was nearly $1,000 more but $185 under the 20% threshold.

“I thought come Oct. 17, I was going to have to pay more,” Tolley said in an interview. The agent told him “the letter is not very clear. It’s confusing.”

In addition, those estimates could change prior to the policy renewal date, and that could change policyholders’ eligibility to remain with Citizens.

Policyholders currently ineligible to remain with Citizens are advised to wait until 90 days before their policies are set to renew with the new company and then look at the difference between the actual renewal rates at that time. If the difference falls below 20%, the policyholder will be eligible to return to Citizens.

Steve Rogosin, a Plantation-based insurance agent, said 55 of his clients have received depopulation letters and of those, only half are currently eligible to remain with Citizens.

“I tell them to carefully read the offer, and then on an individual basis, we help them make their decision,” he said.

Most who remain eligible to stay with Citizens are choosing to do so, he said. Other options are available beyond the private companies identified in the letters, but “they’re not cheaper than Citizens,” he said.

Brian Murphy, co-owner of a Brightway Insurance agency in Palm Beach Gardens, said one of his clients who’s currently paying $4,400 for his Citizens policy received a letter estimating the new company would charge him $8,200 when it comes time to renew his policy.

“So he gets to stay in Citizens,” Murphy said.

New law will make more ineligible to stay in Citizens

The current round isn’t like recent depopulation efforts.

What’s new is the 20% threshold. It’s being used to reduce the number of policies held by the state’s “insurer of last resort.”

Citizens’ board of governors and legislators that oversee the program have become anxious in recent years about the company’s renewed growth. As private-market companies stopped writing policies or were driven to bankruptcy, Citizens’ policy count increased from 420,000 in 2019 to 1.4 million currently.

Such a large number of policies sets off alarm bells, because if a major hurricane wipes out Citizens’ ability to pay claims, the company will have to levy surcharges and assessments to make up the shortfall.

Citizens’ policyholders would first face surcharges of up to 45% of their premiums.

If that’s not enough, a special assessment would be imposed to collect 2% of the cost of every homeowner, auto, specialty and surplus lines policy in the state.

And there’s more. If those two levies don’t generate enough, Citizens has the right to impose on all policies — Citizens and private-market — an emergency assessment of up to 10% for each of Citizens’ three accounts.

Until this year, Citizens customers targeted for removal could opt out for any reason.

And that worked for awhile, as a 10-year stretch without a major hurricane making landfall in Florida enabled some private-market companies to offer rates lower than Citizens.

But over the past five years, the private insurance market has hemorrhaged tens of millions of dollars, forcing companies to raise their rates far above Citizens.

Citizens, in turn, was prohibited from keeping pace by raising its rates more than an average 10% each year.

Last year, the state Legislature enacted the 20% threshold and put Citizens on a path to increase rates by increasing the rate cap by a percentage point a year until it reaches 15% in 2026.

More companies signal an improved insurance market

Murphy said his firm has a team of people answering questions from clients about their depopulation letters.

They’ve haven’t heard many complaints, he said, possibly because clients understand that Citizens is “stretched” and has to depopulate.

But he sees the number of companies willing to assume Citizens policies as a good sign that the market is poised to recover.

A big reason companies are reentering the market, experts say, is that reforms enacted by the state Legislature last year remove enticements for repair contractors and plaintiffs attorneys to file lawsuits against insurers.

Removing those enticements reduces potential for losses and should help convince insurers that they’ll again be able to make a profit in the Florida market, they say.

“Other carriers are coming in with some appetite,” Murphy said. “And I believe we’re going to see more in 18 months.”

Meanwhile, depopulation targets who were able to remain in Citizens shouldn’t get too comfortable. They might soon get targeted again.

Agents are gearing up for a fresh round of depopulation offers to start going out in late September.

Six companies, including the four participating in this month’s round, have been approved to remove up to 196,399 Citizens policies on Nov. 21.

According to letters informing policyholders about the Oct. 17 takeouts, “If your policy is not successfully assumed, you may continue receiving future offers from private-market insurance companies interested in removing your policy from Citizens.”

Ron Hurtibise covers business and consumer issues for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He can be reached by phone at 954-356-4071, on Twitter @ronhurtibise or by email at rhurtibise@sunsentinel.com.

Broward to study how to further reduce ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water supply

South Florida Local News - Sat, 09/23/2023 - 23:28

Broward County has hired a consultant to see what changes they can make to the water-treatment process to cut down on the volume of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in the drinking water.

The “Water Treatment Impact Assessment” will cost taxpayers up to $249,284 and could take up to eight months to complete.

The issue of PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” has risen to greater attention as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency works on standards for PFAS in drinking water. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are a group of compounds that don’t degrade in the environment and have been linked to illnesses.

Current levels in Broward County’s drinking water are fine for now, but may not be in the future if the standards are adjusted, officials say. The EPA has announced a proposal to regulate the presence of PFOS in water to four parts per trillion. Currently, the EPA endorses an unofficial ceiling of 70 parts per trillion. The agency’s ruling is expected by the end of the year or in January, and could lead to enforcement starting in 2027.

Broward has 31 cities and 25 water providers, so some cities get their water elsewhere. Of those 25 water providers, Broward County owns and operates two of them, which is what the consultant will hone in on.

In June, because of County Commissioner Mark Bogen’s request, the county tested its water at its own plants. “I want to know what I’m drinking,” said Bogen, who has pushed for the county to study the issue.

PFOS tests of a plant that services Lauderdale Lakes and small portions of Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park and North Lauderdale showed 18 parts per trillion, said Alan Garcia, the county’s director of Water and Wastewater Services.

Another water facility that serves portions of Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Coconut Creek showed 26 parts per trillion, Garcia said.

Both of those are within the current normal range, but high compared to what is expected to be soon recommended by the federal government, county officials said.

The firm will study what options are “available to mitigate observed levels” in the county’s water supply, and “chart the course for the county to further refine and implement improvements required to meet anticipated state and federal regulations concerning PFAS,” according to county records.

“That’s our first focus: Get it out of the water,” Garcia recently told county commissioners.

Garcia said later that there could be a second consultant hired later to create a design for any improvements the county needs to make to water treatment.

The EPA called the federal proposal a “transformational change” for improving the safety of drinking water in the United States. The agency estimates the new rules could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans, decreasing rates of cancer, heart attacks and birth complications.

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Bogen didn’t want to wait till the end of the year to see what action the EPA takes.

That’s why he recruited two of his employees to collect samples from men’s public bathrooms at six city halls — Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Margate, Deerfield Beach and Fort Lauderdale. They let the sink water run for 60 seconds, then they filled up jars of water and overnighted it off to the lab to test PFAS — all the toxic chemicals.

All of those cities came back within the current acceptable ranges, but potentially would not be OK under any proposed federal changes, county officials said.

But “there is still toxic forever chemicals,” Bogen said Friday. “We need to be looking at all the toxic chemicals in our drinking water, and we need to be looking at how to get rid of it.”

The engineering firm Brown and Caldwell is performing the study. PFAS has 29 compounds, including PFOS. The consultant will study both of those, county officials said.

Regardless of whether the EPA lowers the threshold for what is considered acceptable or leaves things status quo, Bogen said he wants to see improvements made to the drinking supply. He said the consultant’s work will get them started to “upgrade the water plant to remove those chemicals.”

Information from The Associated Press was used to supplement this news article. 

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on Twitter @LisaHuriash

Tensions loomed large before Broward College president’s resignation: A closer look at the simmering concerns

South Florida Local News - Sat, 09/23/2023 - 23:27

The resignation of President Gregory Haile felt abrupt and unexpected for many at Broward College, but tensions had been actually been building for weeks.

Haile, who had a smooth relationship with the college’s Board of Trustees for most of his five-year tenure, became the subject of increasing criticism from newer members of the Gov. Ron DeSantis-appointed Board of Trustees, especially from Chairwoman Alexis Yarbrough, one of three new members appointed earlier this year.

Since August, she has shared harsh criticism on issues such as declining enrollment, a settlement for a departing administrator and past decisions to end campus athletics and turn over college land for private development.

Yarbrough’s criticisms continued after he announced his resignation, accusing him of being AWOL at a faculty contract impasse hearing, failing to communicate with trustees and failing to properly handle issues identified by a recent accreditation report.

How long Haile will remain with the college could be decided Tuesday when the Board of Trustees meets at 1 p.m. at Broward College’s south campus in Pembroke Pines.

Haile’s Sept. 13 resignation letter said he was giving the college 120 days’ notice, but after supporters attended a Sept. 14 emergency meeting to ask trustees to keep him on, they agreed to talk individually with Haile to see if he might stay with the college.

That now appears unlikely.

In a Sept. 16 note to trustees from his personal email address, Haile said his building access and technology had been cut off. A day later, Yarbrough emailed to Haile, “I am informed that you have accessed your office to gather personal items and that you met with the Provost to transition items for the upcoming regularly scheduled board meetings.”

Provost Jeffrey Nasse offered no suggestions during a Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday that Haile’s resignation might be reversed.

“On Sept. 13, the president tendered his resignation. It was a surprise to the board. It was a surprise throughout the institution,” Nasse told the Faculty Senate. “As someone who has been here for a while, we have these transitions. It happens. The focus remains on our students. That’s what it’s all about.”

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College officials have been largely quiet in the last few days, declining to answer questions or immediately provide records requested by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Neither Haile nor Yarbrough could be reached for comment.

But a review of meeting minutes and videos, previously released emails, interviews with some current and former employees and other materials revealed issues that may have hastened Haile’s departure.

Accreditation/financial aid concerns

In her Sept. 17 email to Haile, Yarbrough questioned whether Broward College’s accreditation and student access to financial aid are at risk.

“I have been surprised to learn from staff that we have accreditation interviews coming up in just three weeks and the Board of Trustees is supposed to have preparation meetings established prior to our interviews,” Yarbrough wrote to Haile. “You never mentioned this to me when we spoke last week before your resignation and no such meetings have been scheduled with the individual Trustees for their preparation to meet the accreditation team.”

However, Yarbrough was present at an Aug. 23 workshop where Vice President Renee Law informed the board of an October visit from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the accrediting body for Broward College, according to meeting minutes.

Law “doesn’t have the date yet, but they will ask to have a discussion with the governing body of the institution,” the Aug. 23 meeting minutes state. “She said she will work with Vice President [Lacey] Hofmeyer to determine Board availability.”

In her letter to Haile, Yarbrough also said that the accreditation team had cited 22 findings.

“Staff has explained this is a very serious matter which could have severe consequences for our students’ ability to obtain financial aid which would then lead to a significant loss in enrollment,” Yarbrough wrote.

Colleges must maintain accreditation for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. But no public college or university in Florida has ever lost its Southern Association accreditation, and it’s not likely to happen to Broward College, Belle Wheelan, president of the accrediting body, told the Sun Sentinel on Friday.

She said the college is in its regular 10-year accreditation cycle. There were 22 areas where the school was out of compliance, Wheelan said, but she didn’t have specifics. She said the college has sent the association a follow-up report on how it plans to resolve the issues, and a team is meeting with the college over the next week. The team will recommend to the accrediting body’s board of trustees whether any action against the college is warranted.

“It is highly unlikely that they would be dropped from membership just because of these 22 issues, but they could be put on sanctions, which would not impact financial aid,” Wheelan said. “The college would still be accredited. They would just be in a little trouble from us.”

The possible sanctions include a warning or probation. Or the accreditor could take no negative action if the issues have been resolved, Wheelan said.

Administrator payout

Several trustees criticized Haile for the non-renewal of administrator John Dunnuck, which led to a recent $56,000 payout.

Dunnuck was the senior vice president of finance and operations, but the college decided earlier this year to eliminate his job. On April 7, he was placed on paid leave until his contract expired June 30, a standard practice for those non-renewed. But he was also offered another administrative position, vice provost of capital projects, starting July 1.

Dunnuck told the Sun Sentinel he first looked for another job after he was non-renewed, but then accepted the new job June 15. But on June 27, the college rescinded the offer.

“They were slow in responding after I accepted the position, and finally they called and said they were of the opinion that we don’t need this new position we offered you either,” Dunnuck said.

He said he didn’t know why they eliminated the second position, and Haile declined to say publicly at the Aug. 29 trustees meeting, irking some trustees.

The college has a policy that employees who are laid off with more than four months left on their contract are given 120 days’ notice or the equivalent in severance. Since Dunnuck’s second non-renewal was for a job in the 2023-24 fiscal year, where he’d have a full year left on this contract, the college agreed to pay him for 120 days, or $56,449. That’s in addition to the $39,514 he got when he was first placed on administrative leave earlier in the year.

At the Aug. 29 meeting, several trustees accused Haile of paying Dunnuck double severance.

“We made an offer of employment to a high-level executive after I was told this person was not going to be in the organization, and now we’re paying $56,000 because we changed our mind?” Yarbrough asked at the Aug. 29 meeting.

“What’s troubling me is the thinking that got us in this position in the first place,” she said. “It shows a real deficit in how we are managing our team. This cannot happen again.”


Another sore spot for the trustees has been the college’s enrollment, which fell from the equivalent of 28,000 full-time students when Haile became president in 2018 to about 21,000 last year.

“The College has been in an enrollment decline for the five years of President Haile’s leadership and there is a lack of recognition by management of the seriousness of the decline,” Trustee Akhil Agrawal said at an Aug. 23 workshop, according to meeting minutes.

At another workshop the same day, Agrawal said that he “can’t tell whether strategic investments made in the past are yielding results. He sees that we’ve
consistently spent on marketing, yet enrollment continues to decline,” the minutes state.

Yarbrough added, “There is frustration on all sides of the table that enrollment is declining, and it is not clear why.”

Broward College is not alone in enrollment drops. Its 25% dip in recent years is about the same as Palm Beach State College, but more than Miami-Dade College (17.5% drop) and the state college system as a whole (16%). However, enrollment at some state schools, including Valencia College and Hillsborough Community College, has remained steady.

Community college enrollment historically falls when the job market is strong because potential students are working. Out-of-work employees often flock to community colleges during a recession, past trends have shown. Colleges also saw steep declines during the COVID-19 pandemic and have been slow to rebound.

Haile told the trustees Aug. 23 that Florida universities may be lowering their eligibility requirements “to solve their own enrollment issues,” which could impact schools such as Broward College, which have open admission policies.

On Thursday, Nasse told the Faculty Senate the numbers are starting to improve, with the full-time equivalent enrollment up 1.63% this fall.

“That is a bounce back, which is great news for the college,” Nasse said.

Sports and housing development

Two decisions Broward College made in 2020 have angered some newer trustees: eliminating sports while turning some of the vacated athletic space on the central campus in Davie over to a private developer.

In June of that year, the college ended basketball, softball, volleyball and all other sports on campus, affecting 147 student-athletes. College officials said the program cost $1.6 million, which was redirected to pay for more academic advisers.

Later that year, the college entered into a 99-year lease agreement with 13th Floor Investments, which is developing a retail and 700-unit housing complex on the edge of the Davie campus. The housing will be for the general public rather than students. The deal is expected to provide up to $1 billion to the college over the next century, according to college documents.

The athletic and development decisions were made with the support of the Board of Trustees at the time.

But an Aug. 24, 2023 meeting, Yarbrough slammed the plan, saying she “found it convenient that the college is now eliminating athletic programs, which also happened to free up acres for the college to sell to private developers,” the minutes state.

Yarbrough said she doesn’t understand how the redevelopment benefits students.

Haile told her that the athletic cuts were made after surveying students and “the development of Central Campus was never about giving land to a developer.”

Dunnuck told the Sun Sentinel the athletic cuts and development deal were unrelated. He said the sports programs were expensive and not generating much student interest.

“When we made the announcement, we made it very publicly months in advance that we were eliminating athletics and we had zero public comments,” Dunnuck said. “We’d made the case to our student body and to everyone that the greater good was more advisers rather than athletics.”

At the August workshop, Haile said the development also aligned with the mission of former Gov. Rick Scott, who encouraged colleges to partner with the private sector rather than asking the state for more money.

But three years later, trustees appeared to have seller’s remorse. Agrawal asked if the college could terminate the agreement. Attorney Eric Singer said it was too late to terminate on the first phase without risking litigation and it would cost about $7 million to cancel the second phase. No decisions were made at the meeting.

Faculty salary negotiations

Haile has had a contentious relationship for several years with the United Faculty of Florida union. In June, the union sent the trustees a letter voicing concerns that they hadn’t gotten a raise in five years, as well as other issues. The college declared an impasse on this year’s negotiations.

At a bargaining session this spring, the administration would not include faculty in an $800,000 allocation for employee bonuses, according to the June 22 letter to trustees.

“The faculty were informed that the ‘Board’ made this decision and administration inferred that this was because negotiations were taking a long time to conclude even though it was the administration who declared impasse,” the unsigned letter said. “We feel that this is the administration’s attempt to intimidate and silence faculty.”

A magistrate made recommendations this summer to resolve the dispute, siding with the union on several key issues. The Board of Trustees considered the issues at a Sept. 14 impasse hearing.

At Thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Andrea Apa, president the college chapter of United Faculty of Florida, said she expects the board to come back with an offer that includes the first major pay raise in years.

“The outcome was favorable,” Apa said, without giving specifics, which are still being negotiated.

The impasse hearing happened the same day the Board of Trustees held the emergency meeting to discuss Haile’s resignation letter.

Although Haile’s access to email and secure building access had been cut off, Yarbrough told Haile in a Sept. 17 email that he should have attended the impasse hearing.

“A meeting to discuss the contract for our full-time faculty was not only required, the faculty deserved for you to be there and it was disrespectful to have intentionally refused to attend,” Yarbrough wrote. “Likewise, the Board was there to consider your recommendations without the benefit of your presence. … There were no access barriers to your attendance, no doors were locked, and the public was present.”

Apa told the Sun Sentinel she, too, was surprised Haile wasn’t at the hearing.

“We’ve had a rough couple of months with the administration. A lot of the blame was put on the Board of Trustees,” she said. “And the day we thought would hear from our president, he decided to resign. That’s what was shocking to us.”

Locust stars as Cardinal Newman, despite losing starting quarterback, tops Atlantic in overtime

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 21:48

WEST PALM BEACH — Cardinal Newman junior running back Jaylin Brown rushed for a winning 10-yard touchdown in overtime to lift the host Crusaders to a 13-7 victory against Atlantic in a highly anticipated matchup on Friday night.

Cardinal Newman battled adversity and delivered a resilient effort after standout senior quarterback Luke Warnock was injured on a tackle after he scrambled to his right outside the pocket late in the first quarter. Coach Jack Daniels said Warnock dislocated his left shoulder and he will be sidelined for multiple games.

Cardinal Newman (4-0) remained unbeaten and delivered a strong performance on defense, which was anchored by defensive tackle Ta’Narie Locust. The senior wreaked havoc in the backfield, recorded multiple sacks and had an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown in the victory.

“I am very proud of myself that I lived up to the expectations that I put out for myself,” Locust said.

Atlantic (4-1) had the first possession in overtime and was poised to jump ahead after senior running back Da’Marion Alberic rushed for a 9-yard gain toward the goal line. Atlantic, however, fumbled the snap on back-to-back plays, including on fourth-and-goal at the 1.

Daniels praised his team’s effort on defense in the victory.

“They have been like that all year,” Daniels said. “We gave up some plays, but they never quit. I think Ta’Narie was responsible for all those fumbles under center. He was playing over the nose. He won that ballgame for us. I love being around the kid. He is never negative. He just does his job. He works so hard. He is just a phenomenal kid.”

Brown took a handoff and exploded for a 10-yard touchdown run on the next play to win the game.

“It felt unbelievable,” Brown said. “The offensive line made me look good. I am more than happy for myself.”

The teams were locked in a scoreless tie at halftime. Cardinal Newman sophomore Jyron Hughley stepped in at quarterback and had a 38-yard touchdown run called back after a holding penalty in the first half.

Locust had an 18-yard interception return for a score on the second play of the second half to give the Crusaders a 7-0 advantage with 11:18 left in the third.

Atlantic marched downfield on their next possession to the Crusaders 15.  Cardinal Newman senior Kevin Levy, a Rutgers commit, recorded an interception at the 2-yard line to preserve the lead.

The Crusaders offense mishandled a high snap to the quarterback on their next drive, which resulted in the Eagles taking over at the 6-yard line. After the play, the teams had an altercation on the field. The game was delayed after both teams were sent to their sidelines and officials convened to assess penalties.

Atlantic capitalized on the ensuing possession. On third-and-goal, junior quarterback Lincoln Graf rolled out to his left for a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 7-7 with 4:12 left in the third quarter.

The Crusaders offense had a potential scoring chance, but they lost a fumble at the Eagles 36.

The Eagles had an opportunity late in the fourth as Graf converted on fourth-and-1 at the Crusaders 46. Graf also had a third-down conversion on a run to the Crusaders 31. The Crusaders stepped up on defense as Devon Byrd recorded a sack and the Eagles were forced to punt.

The Crusaders reached the Eagles 35 on the final possession of regulation before a holding penalty stalled the drive.

Hughley will make his first start at quarterback for Cardinal Newman when they host Miami Northwestern next Friday.


St. Thomas Aquinas weathers two lightning delays, routs previously unbeaten Treasure Coast

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 21:14

FORT LAUDERDALE — For 15 minutes after the final whistle blew on St. Thomas Aquinas’ 42-6 victory over visiting Treasure Coast, Raiders junior quarterback Andrew Indorf and wideout James Madison II worked by themselves in the empty end zone.

“It is not unusual,” said St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott. “They played a significant amount of the game. We had two (weather delays) and they are out here trying to improve on what they felt they were deficient in. Right now, they are working on a corner route.

“We take every single rep very personally,” he added. “We are not fixated on the scoreboard at all. Their timing was off, and we want to meet expectations on and off the field and that is why we see that type of mentality.”

The only things that slowed St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1), the nation’s 12th-ranked team, according to MaxPreps, on Friday night were two lightning stoppages that only delayed the inevitable as the Raiders rolled to the victory over previously unbeaten Treasure Coast (4-1), who entered the contest as the state’s top-ranked team in Class 4S.

St. Thomas Aquinas overwhelmed Treasure Coast as they scored on every possession. The Raiders, ranked no. 1 in the state in 3M, grabbed a 17-0 first-quarter lead over visiting Treasure Coast.

Nick Romero opened the scoring for St. Thomas Aquinas with a 26-yard field goal. The Raiders padded the lead to 10-0 on a 3-yard scoring toss from Indorf to Madison with 4:28 left in the first quarter. St. Thomas Aquinas capitalized on great field position, starting on the Titans’ 33-yard line. It took just three plays for Justin Montgomery to score from 21 yards out with 1:01 remaining in the first period as the Raiders built a 17–0 lead.

St. Thomas Aquinas made it 20-0 early in the second quarter on Romero’s second field goal, a 25-yarder that culminated a four-play drive following a 34-yard interception return by Cameron Williams to the 7.

There were two lightning delays in the first half. The first one lasted 20 minutes while the second one lasted 43.

Indorf found Chance Robinson from 30 yards out to up the lead to 27-0 before the Raiders pushed the advantage to 35-0 on a 1-yard plunge by Stacey Gauge and a two-point conversion run by Montgomery. Indorf closed out the scoring with his third TD of the night, this time hitting Dawson Quarterman from 20 yards out for a 42-0 halftime lead for the Raiders who are looking for a fifth consecutive state title.

Treasure Coast, which entered the game averaging 34.5 points per game, managed to avoid the shutout on a 7-yard run by Demari Scott on the final play of the game.

Harriott said the coaches spoke to the players in the locker room during the lightning delays and spoke about the little things they needed to do better during each series.

“We want them to realize we don’t just want to help them realize it is not only important to win a championship,” he concluded, “but we want them to have a championship mentality and personality. We have 100 guys on the team, and it is a very selfless bunch. You see guys that have statistical goals, and we don’t have that here. They want to make sure their brother plays, and we can get him on film and off to college.”

Propelled by Yelich, Brewers pound Marlins behind 12 second-inning runs

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 19:42

MIAMI — Christian Yelich and Josh Donaldson homered during a 12-run second inning and the Milwaukee Brewers clinched a playoff berth Friday night with a 16-1 rout of the Miami Marlins.

Milwaukee, assured at least a National League wild card, shaved its magic number to one for wrapping up the NL Central title. The Brewers, who have won four straight, can secure the crown with another victory Saturday over Miami or a loss by the Chicago Cubs to Colorado.

The loss dropped the Marlins one game behind the Cubs for the third and final NL wild card.

Yelich also launched a three-shot in the sixth as he returned to the lineup after missing 11 of the previous 12 games because of lower back tightness.

Corbin Burnes (10-8) benefited from the early run support and scattered two hits over five scoreless innings. He struck out six. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner had not won since July 20.

Milwaukee sent 15 batters to the plate against relievers Steven Okert (3-2) and Bryan Hoeing in its second-largest inning in franchise history. The Brewers scored 13 in the fifth to beat the California Angels 20-7 on July 8, 1990.

Two-run homers by Donaldson and Yelich started and capped the scoring. Mark Canha also hit a two-run double, Carlos Santana and Blake Perkins added RBI doubles, and William Contreras, Sal Frelick and Brice Turang had run-scoring singles. In his second at-bat of the inning, Donaldson had another RBI with a groundout.

Miami’s Luis Arraez was hitless in one at-bat as his major league-leading batting average stayed at .354. Arraez missed the previous two games because of a left ankle sprain and was replaced after the Brewers built the early double-digit lead.

Jon Berti homered for Miami in the eighth.

Marlins opener JT Chargois was lifted after getting two outs and walking two in a bullpen game for Miami.


Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (right forearm flexor strain) experienced forearm tightness after his four-inning rehab outing Thursday with Triple-A Jacksonville. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is returning to Miami for evaluation.


The Brewers also had a lopsided win over Miami in the first game of their series in Milwaukee on Sept. 11. They scored five runs in the sixth for their largest inning in a 12-0 rout.


Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (5-1, 1.89 ERA) will start the middle game of the series Saturday. LHP Jesús Luzardo (10-9, 3.68) goes for the Marlins.

19-year-old dies after being shot multiple times in Lauderhill, police say

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 18:30

A 19-year-old man died after he was shot multiple times in Lauderhill on Thursday night, police said.

Romauni Berkett was found lying in the road, unresponsive, about 8:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Northwest 59th Way about 8:30 p.m., Lauderhill Police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The police department released few details Friday afternoon aside from that Berkett was walking in the area when he was shot. They have no motive or suspect.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the shooting to call Lauderhill Police at 954-497-4700 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

DeSantis drops Sagemont Prep campuses, other schools from voucher programs because of China ties

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 17:37

Two Weston preparatory school campuses and two schools in the Orlando area “that have direct ties to the Chinse Communist Party” have been suspended from Florida’s school choice scholarship program, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Friday night.

Sagemont Preparatory School in Weston consists of the Upper School and Lower School. The governor’s office said Parke House Academy and Park Maitland School, both in Winter Park, were also suspended from the program after a Florida Department of Education investigation.

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to suspend the availability of school choice scholarships to four schools that have direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” the news release said. “Through a thorough investigation, FDOE has determined that Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park, and Park Maitland School in Winter Park have direct ties to the CCP and their connections constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public.”

The governor’s office did not elaborate in the statement on the investigation.

Sagemont says on its website that it is part of Spring Education Group. Spring Education, the website says, “is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, an investment firm (together with its affiliates) principally based in Hong Kong with operations in China, Singapore, and the United States, that is itself owned by Chinese persons residing in Hong Kong.”

Park Maitland, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is also listed as one of Spring Education Group’s school brands, and the same statement from Spring Education Group’s website is in the bottom left corner of the school’s website.

Parke House Academy was formerly a separate private school in Winter Park that is now owned by Park Maitland and operates under the Park Maitland name, the Orlando Sentinel reported. 

It was not immediately clear Friday night how many students at Sagemont Preparatory School use the program.

Sagemont Preparatory School, founded in 1996, serves K-12th grade students at its two campuses. In its bio, the school says its students are from 26 different countries with a 6% population of students of Seminole descent. For the 2022-23 year, a total of 384 students were enrolled with 50 full-time faculty.

The school’s tuition rate for pre-school and pre-K is $18,144, according to an overview of their tuition and fees. Grades K-12 range in tuition from $20,083 to $25,706, which is billed over a 10-month period.

Sagemont Prepatory’s head of school, the Upper School principal, the Parent Teacher Organization and the school’s marketing and communications manager did not respond to requests for information Friday evening by phone and email. When reached by phone Friday evening, the Lower School principal said she was unable to take a reporter’s call at the time.

DeSantis’ office said in the statement that the Department of Education is “working with the non-profit scholarship funding organizations to assist impacted students in finding and enrolling in nearby eligible schools.” The governor signed HB 1 in March, expanding the voucher program by, in part, getting rid of past financial requirements.

The governor’s office statement notes “major educational reforms targeting the Chinese Communist Party” passed during DeSantis’ time in office, including his signing of SB 846 which, in part, bans state universities and colleges from accepting grants from a college or university “based in a foreign country of concern” and bans private schools “owned by, or in any way controlled by a foreign country of concern” from participating in the voucher program.

DeSantis has also blocked use of the social media app TikTok on government internet and devices and approved SB 264 in May, which, among other measures, restricts property ownership by “individuals and entities associated with foreign countries of concern,” including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria.

Orlando Sentinel staff writer Leslie Postal contributed to this report.

General Daily Insight for September 23, 2023

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 17:16
General Daily Insight for September 23, 2023

An updated sense of balance is touching all of our lives. The Sun is entering Libra, the sign of the Scales, at 2:50 am EDT. The coordinated Libra Sun will inspire us to seek out a better sense of equilibrium and to get comfortable with compromise. The Moon in Capricorn will make a number of potent angles, first, a pair of back-to-back trines to Mercury and Jupiter, boosting our confidence, then a final square to Mars, spurring us on to action and deliberation.


March 21 – April 19

There’s power in numbers, especially the number two. Dynamic duos are the order of the day as the Sun enters Libra and your 7th House of Partnerships for the next month. During this cycle, you’ll be able to go further if you have a partner in crime by your side, and that applies to all facets of life: from romance to business and anything in between. You’re normally so good at handling things on your own, but a change of pace can work wonders.


April 20 – May 20

It’s your turn to be the best Taurus you can be! The Sun is flying into your 6th House of Wellness for its annual visit, marking a thirty-day cycle when you can cut out your worst habits and become a vastly improved version of yourself. This isn’t about making major changes since this sector focuses on the minutiae. Instead, look for little changes that will be smoother to implement. A lot of small steps can carry you to a very impressive destination.


May 21 – June 20

Your creativity is rocketing off the charts. There is a major emphasis on letting your inner muse out to play as the Sun enters your artistic 5th house, which is one of the most joyful transits you experience in a year. This cycle is all about letting your talents shine and not being shy about showing them off; even if you consider yourself a wallflower, now is not the time for that! Taking a chance on yourself could pay off handsomely, so go all in.


June 21 – July 22

It’s okay to retreat into your shell for a bit. The Sun is entering your 4th House of Comfort, which is a natural place for your sentimental sign. You’ll probably feel in your element as you tend to your nest for the next thirty days. You don’t need to completely avoid the outside world, but you could find tons of happiness ensuring your domestic life is bringing you peace and satisfaction, rather than trying to move mountains beyond your front door.


July 23 – August 22

The cosmic pace is going from zero to sixty in no time! The Sun is bounding into your busy 3rd house, meaning your plate is filling up — and you should stay organized if you don’t want to drop it. That isn’t to say this phase will be daunting! It can be a very fun cycle when you get to interact with lots of unique people and explore more of your community. You simply need to stay structured if you want to enjoy it all.


August 23 – September 22

It may be difficult to deny yourself anything on a day like this. Your 2nd House of Luxury is taking center stage as the Sun arrives for its annual visit, marking a transit when you can stop and smell the roses — and make a few bouquets for yourself along the way. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so much beauty, but remember that if you keep it all to yourself, then the experience can’t fully flourish. Be generous with your newfound flowers.


September 23 – October 22

You’re drawing up to the starting line, Libra. Today the Sun is arriving in your graceful sign, beginning an updated yearly cycle for you as it imbues you with all its power and energy. Use this time to reflect upon whatever you would like to achieve in the coming twelve months. You can also start planning the specifics of how you are going to reach your desires. With the Sun magnifying your adaptability, you can take off and handle any road ahead!


October 23 – November 21

Take a deep breath and relax. The Sun is slipping into your 12th House of Release, signaling a time when you should take life at a careful pace and allow things to evolve without trying to control them every step of the way. This transit is very useful for releasing old baggage or toxic behavior, so don’t shy away from contemplating your mental health. You could be in a whole better place, metaphorically speaking, by the time the Sun moves on again.


November 22 – December 21

No person is an island, certainly not you. The people in your life, be they near or far, are highlighted by the universe as the Sun enters your 11th House of Global Community. A life without loved ones to share it with is hardly life at all! Take a break from burning the midnight oil and go see what everyone is up to. You could make a valuable connection that winds up being vastly pivotal to your life down the line.


December 22 – January 19

The top of the mountain is beckoning you to climb it. Fortunately, you’ve got all the firepower you need to reach it as the Sun enters your 10th House of Ambition, putting a premium on achieving your goals — or at least getting that much closer to them. If you’ve been working on things behind the scenes, then your big debut may be just around the corner! You absolutely have the planets backing up your efforts. Show everyone how talented you are.


January 20 – February 18

A breath of fresh air could do wonders for your spirit right now, Aquarius. The world is asking you to come explore as the Sun moves into your 9th House of Expansion, prompting you to contemplate whatever is going on beyond the horizon. Whether you decide to embark on a globe-trotting adventure, return to school to stretch your mind, or simply practice an unfamiliar skill at home, try to engage with the unknown. You’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t go find out.


February 19 – March 20

They say pressure makes diamonds, and you’d do well to remember that for the time being. The Sun is slinking into your private 8th house — one of the most intense areas of your chart. During this transit, you might be forced to deal with some heavy issues, especially those relating to partnerships or finances, but these are not meant to overwhelm you. Rather, by facing them without hesitation, you can grow into an even stronger, more assured version of yourself. Embrace it.

RSV vaccine recommended during pregnancy as a second option to protect newborns

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 15:08

By MIKE STOBBE (AP Medical Writer)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Friday recommended RSV vaccinations for moms-to-be, a second new option to protect newborns from serious lung infections.

The shots should be given late in pregnancy but only during RSV season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“This is another new tool we can use this fall and winter to help protect lives,” said CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen in a statement.

Cohen signed off after a CDC advisory panel backed the vaccine. The only opposition came from a panel member who found the recommendation “incredibly complicated.”

A month ago, the agency recommended another option for infants to guard against severe RSV: lab-made antibodies given to babies younger than 8 months before their first RSV season. A single dose is given to babies by injection after they are born.

Most infants will likely only need protection from one — either the mom’s vaccine or the antibodies — but not both, Cohen said.

There is no head-to-head study that answers which is more effective, and no published research on how safe it is to give both. And they are both expensive, although the cost will be ultimately covered by insurance.

The RSV vaccine, made by Pfizer, should only be given between 32 weeks and 36 weeks of pregnancy. The shot prompts the moms-to-be to develop virus-fighting antibodies that pass through the placenta to the fetus. Protection in newborns likely drops after 6 months of age, so the shot is for use between September and January in most of the U.S., to coincide with the time of year when RSV infections tend to be most common.

A baby born in April, for example, may not have much immunity left from the mother’s vaccination by the time the fall RSV season comes around.

“It really depends on when the due date is as to how impactful this vaccination will be,” said Dr. Grace Lee, chair of the CDC advisory panel.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common cause of coldlike symptoms. A surge last year filled hospitals with wheezing children, but far more U.S. seniors are hospitalized and die from the virus.

Two new vaccines were recently approved for Americans age 60 and older. There isn’t a vaccine for children.

Some CDC panel members who ultimately supported the recommendation expressed reservations. Available data suggests the antibodies are a more cost-effective — and probably longer-lasting — way to prevent severe illness in infants. Several also balked at the $295-a-dose price Pfizer has been charging for the same RSV vaccine for seniors, called Abrysvo.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Federal judge again strikes down California law banning gun magazines of more than 10 rounds

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 14:17

By ADAM BEAM (Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez won’t take effect immediately. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, has already filed a notice to appeal the ruling. The ban is likely to remain in effect while the case is still pending.

This is the second time Benitez has struck down California’s law banning certain types of magazines. The first time he struck it down — way back in 2017 — an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.

But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for how to interpret the nation’s gun laws. The new standard relies more on the historical tradition of gun regulation rather than public interests, including safety.

The Supreme Court ordered the case to be heard again in light of the new standards. It’s one of three high-profile challenges to California gun laws that are getting new hearings in court. The other two cases challenge California laws banning assault-style weapons and limiting purchases of ammunition.

Benitez ruled that “there is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.” He said detachable magazines “solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun.”

“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez wrote. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.’”

Bonta said larger capacity magazines are also important to mass shooters, allowing them to fire quickly into crowds of people without reloading. He said the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear the new standard for reviewing gun laws “did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states.”

“We believe that the district court got this wrong,” Bonta said. “We will move quickly to correct this incredibly dangerous mistake.”

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, praised Benitez for a “thoughtful and in-depth approach.”

“Sure, the state will appeal, but the clock is ticking on laws that violate the Constitution,” Michel said.

California has been at the forefront of gun restrictions in the United States. Last week, California became the first state to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban assault weapons and gun sales to people under 21, among other changes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called Benitez’s ruling “a radical decision.”

“Judge Benitez is not even pretending anymore. This is politics, pure and simple,” Newsom said. “It’s time to wake up. Unless we enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution, we are at the mercy of ideologues like Judge Benitez.”

Gators host Charlotte in final tune-up before SEC play begins in earnest

South Florida Local News - Fri, 09/22/2023 - 14:00

GAINESVILLE — Florida’s first three-game winning streak under second-year coach Billy Napier should be a formality against 28-point underdog Charlotte.

But the No. 25 Gators’ final tune-up before returning to SEC competition provided Napier a golden opportunity to challenge his players.

A 29-16 upset of Tennessee could prove a table-setter for a season few outside the program expected. Or it could set up the Gators for failure.

“That gives us a lot more confidence,” veteran edge rusher Princely Umanmielen said. “It gives us a good base to start from, especially in SEC play for us, to keep going and keep climbing.”

Napier pushed to keep his players focused on the task at hand. It did not always go as planned.

Umanmielen said Memphis transfer tackle Cam Jackson told his teammates a lackluster practice Wednesday was “unacceptable.”

Florida coach Billy Napier hopes the Gators can build on a 29-16 upset of Tennessee with another victory at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (John Raoux/AP)

Napier, having coached championship teams at Louisiana, was not surprised by his team’s reaction. Saturday’s performance will be telling.

“We’re always in this battle against human nature and we tend to relax,” he said. “We tend to cut a corner. We tend to not have the same urgency and intensity. So, that’s the challenge.”

Quick slant: The Gators’ second consecutive sellout in Napier’s seventh of 10 home games. They have won their past 11 non-conference games in the Swamp, dating to a 38-22 loss to Florida State in 2017 after Jim McElwain was fired. Charlotte coach Biff Poggi is new to being a college head coach, but did serve three seasons as an off-field analyst for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.

Coaches: Poggi 1-2 in 1st; Napier, 8-8 in 2nd season (48-20 overall)

About Charlotte: The Poggi Era has not been the raging success his other endeavors have been. The 63-year-old was a millionaire hedge fund manager before teaching high school history and winning 13 Maryland state titles in 19 seasons at his alma mater Gilman School. Charlotte’s 41-25 loss to Georgia State led Poggi to publicly put his offensive staff on notice after the 49ers managed 356 yards and quarterbacks Jalon Jones and Trexler Ivey were sacked four times. Jones was part of Gators 2019 class but transferred in the spring after enrolling early and days before reports emerged he’d been accused of sexual battery. He has a team-leading 196 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with 252 passing yards and two scores but three interceptions. Charlotte’s defense was even worse than the offense against Georgia State, yielding 568 yards, including 466 passing. The 49ers are 129th of 131 teams nationally in scoring defense (39.4 ppg) and 128th in total defense (483.8).

Florida defensive end Princely Umanmielen chases down Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton to prevent a 2-point conversion last weekend at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (John Raoux/AP)

About Florida: Quarterback Graham Mertz’s efficiency, tailback Trevor Etienne’s explosiveness and the defense’s aggressiveness were a winning formula against Tennessee. Mertz’s 75.8% completion rate through three games has dispelled many doubts about the Wisconsin transfer. Yet the Gators also have an SEC-low three completions of 30 yards or longer. Coming off a career-high 172 yards on 23 carries against Tennessee, Etienne is UF’s best playmaker and will be focal point of defensive game plans. More consistent play up front is imperative. Florida’s defensive front, on the other hand, is the best its been in years. The 6-foot-6, 360-pound Jackson dominated the Vols, finishing with six stops and a batted down, while redshirt freshman sidekick Caleb Banks, a 6-foot-5 3/4, 323-pound Louisville transfer, continues to evolve. Umanmielen lived up to his preseason billing against the Vols; sophomores Shemar James and Scooby Williams form a speedy, productive linebacking duo; Jalen Kimber has been a lockdown corner; and freshman safety Jordan Castell of West Orange could be a future star.

Florida offensive lineman Damieon George Jr. celebrates the Gators’ 29-16 win against then-No. 11 Tennessee. (James Gilbert/Getty Images) 3 things to watch

UF’s O-line: The SEC suspended right tackle Damieon George and right guard Micah Mazzccua for the first half because of their roles in a fight at the end of the Tennessee game. After playing against the Vols, center Kingsley Eguakun is out for his third game (right ankle), leaving the Gators down three starters. FIU transfer tackle Lyndell Hudson and freshman guard Knijeah Harris look to step in for two players (George, Mazzccua) playing below expectations and make an impression. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Jake Slaughter continues to gain experience at center for the future.

Receiver Eugene Wilson III’s fellow freshmen: Wilson is out with a collarbone injury from the opening series against Tennessee. The Gators’ trust in the freshman phenom was evident during his second start as the first six passes went his way. Former walk-on Kahleil Jackson will step back in for Wilson, who replaced an injured Jackson in Week 2. But Wilson’s absence also is a chance to shine for highly touted freshman Aidan Mizell of Orlando — the Gators’ fastest player — and Andy Jean of Miami who is an excellent route-runner for a first-year player.

Florida freshman receiver Aidan Mizell is the Gators’ fastest player after starring at Orlando Boone. (John Raoux/AP)

Kicking game: The Gators’ erratic kicking cost them points, but didn’t impact the outcome of a season-opening loss at Utah or the home win against Tennessee. One day the inconsistency could. Despite two missed field goals and a missed extra point, Adam Mihalek was given a chance to keep the starting job. Trey Smack has been perfect, albeit from close rang (three extra points, a 26-yard field goal). Napier still wanted to see more. This is his next chance.

Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

When: 7 p.m.

TV: SEC Network+; Radio: ESPN FM 98.1/AM 850 WRUF, Sirius/XM 104 or 202

Weather: 82 degrees, 0% rain chance

Favorite: UF 28 points

Online: orlandosentinel.com/gators; @osgators on X.

Edgar Thompson can be reached at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com

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