The Point, July 21, 2023: A small Alachua County city now has broadband internet
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• WUFT News: Florida Supreme Court rejects execution appeal for man convicted of killing two women. “The court upheld the death warrant signed by Governor Ron DeSantis signed on Aug. 17. Zack is convicted of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and sexual battery, according to court records. He is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 3.”

• News Service of Florida: Redistricting fight teed up in federal court. “As the state appeals a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that a congressional redistricting plan violated the Florida Constitution, another battle about the plan is poised to play out in federal court.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV delays Boltin Center vote for design plans. “Instead, the motion directs staff to engage with the community on the project and return on Nov. 2 to vote on a direction. The motion also tables a nearly $500,000 contract with Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Inc. for the design of the building following a partial restoration path.”

• Ocala Gazette: The ongoing impact fee debate. “In Marion County, the school board and county are in the final stages of making a decision on whether or not to reinstate impact fees so developers will pay a one-time fee for each new home they build to help offset the financial strain that development imposes on school capacity by funding the construction of new schools.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville finalizes 29% property tax increase. “The series of votes established a 29% property tax increase over the rollback rate, along with a 3% electric rate increase and 5% wastewater increase. The new millage rate for property taxes will sit at 6.4297 mills instead of this year’s 5.5 mills.”

• Ocala Gazette: Marriage license and passport services available in three-day court event. “The Marion County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s Office is hosting events for marriage license and passport services from Sept. 27- 29.”

• WCJB: Gainesville city commissioners unanimously vote in favor of Director of Equity and Inclusion’s salary increase. “While dealing with budget cuts, Gainesville city commissioners voted in favor of raising one employee’s salary by nearly $37,000.”

• WUFT News: Former non-profit executives, entrusted to help domestic violence victims, accused of swindling at least $3.7 million. “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation shows Carr and Duarte schemed to reward themselves with personal time off using funds provided through grants intended to help fund domestic violence shelters across Florida.”

• News Service of Florida: The state university system Board of Governors moves forward with carrying out a new restroom rule. “The state university system Board of Governors on Wednesday took a step in carrying out a controversial new law that includes requiring designation of restrooms for ‘exclusive use by females’ and ‘exclusive use by males.’”

• NPR: Mexico is defending an undocumented immigrant arrested under a new Florida law. “Mexico’s government is providing legal help for an undocumented immigrant arrested in Florida under a state law making it a crime to transport undocumented workers — in this case a crew of roofers.”

• WLRN-Miami: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building of 2018 Parkland shooting to be demolished. “The building had remained largely untouched for five years after the shooting. During the trial of the shooter last year it was used as evidence — as jurors took a tour of the blood stained hallways.”

• News4Jax: Citizens Property Insurance policyholders get letters in the mail asking them to switch. “In an effort to reduce the number of policies Citizens carries, it is offering customers a chance to switch to a private carrier, at a potentially higher cost.”

• WMFE-Orlando: TPS expansion for Venezuelans impacts Florida the most. Here’s why. “According to the Pew Research Center, Florida has the largest community of Venezuelan born residents, with 47 percent of the total Venezuelan population of the U.S. living in the state.”

• WUSF-Tampa: First pond atop the troubled Piney Point gypsum stack is closed. “A milestone was reached Thursday, as one of the wastewater ponds atop the Piney Point phosphate plant was closed. This means the troubled plant is one step closer to being closed – forever.”

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Taylor County prepares to face Foley Mill closure; weeks after major hurricane. “Georgia-Pacific did not respond to requests for comment, but in a statement on its website the company said production will continue for ‘a limited time’ and that GP will help its 500 employees find jobs within the company during the transition.”

• Associated Press: First private US passenger rail line in 100 years is about to link Miami and Orlando at high speed. “For the first time in a century, a private passenger rail service will launch new operations in the U.S. and this time it involves high-speed trains. Florida’s Brightline will begin running trains between Miami and Orlando on Friday, reaching speeds of 125 mph along the 235-mile route between the state’s biggest tourist hubs.”

• Media: Fox founder Rupert Murdoch steps down from his media empire, handing it to his son

• World: The world hopes to enact a pandemic treaty by May 2024. Will it succeed or flail?

• Health: Medical debt could soon be barred from ruining your credit score

• National: Abortions resume in Wisconsin after 15 months of legal uncertainty

• Race: These 2020 census results break down people’s race and ethnicity into details

• National: A Black Texas student’s suspension over his hair renews focus on the CROWN Act

• Animals: Anheuser-Busch says it will no longer amputate the tails of Budweiser’s Clydesdales

• Animals: From hangry to chonky: Fat Bear Week is coming

• Science: This 500,000-year-old structure has researchers rethinking early human intelligence

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