In The News: Private School Voucher Expansion, MI Affirmative Action Struck Down, Local Bank Merger, FCAT Test Delays
Voucher expansion proposal revived by Florida Senate – A Senate committee decided to include the expansion of Florida’s main private school voucher program in a bill on Tuesday. Florida’s voucher program currently allows about 60,000 students from low-income families to attend private schools. Tampa Bay Times
Justices approve state bans on affirmative action – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision that would allow Michigan to be one of eight states to ban affirmative action programs in college admissions. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying minority enrollment will decline at Michigan’s public universities. USA Today
Alarion Bank and HeritageBank of the South announce merger – HeritageBank of the South and Alarion Bank announced plans to merge on Tuesday morning. HeritageBank, which has three Florida locations in Ocala and Lake City, will acquire all of the common stock of Alarion Bank, which has six branches in Ocala, Gainesville and Alachua, in a transaction of approximately $22.1 million. The Gainesville Sun
FCAT tests delayed over website woes – Thousands of students in Florida were unable to take the online version of the FCAT on Tuesday morning. Students were unable to log in to take the test because of issues with the company’s website. Orlando Sentinel
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Case Harrison, who grew up in Gainesville and sold drinks in the Swamp his senior year of high school, is now on the football team and one of a few walk-on scholarship winners.
The Gainesville City Commission passed a vehicle-for-hire ordinance for Uber, a ride sharing service, on Thursday. Commissioner Todd Chase said the new ordinance balances the demand for public safety while encouraging innovation and modernizing outdated requirements on traditional vehicles for hire.
Santa Fe College professor Kevin Kasper was arrested as part of a Gainesville Police Department undercover operation identifying sexual predators. Santa Fe College Police Chief Ed Book stated that human resources within the college will determine what action to take based off of information collected from the investigation.
Alachua County Sheriff candidate Zac Zedalis argued during a county commission meeting that 10 deputies would be able to keep their jobs if resources were reallocated within the departmental budget. Sheriff Sadie Darnell said the positions would have to be cut without extra funding.
A year after campus assaults, the University of Florida prepares safety measures for game day. Last year’s updated precautions are still in place after the three unsolved assaults, with the exception of UFPD’s Walk Safe Student Escort Program.