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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Gainesville Post Office participates in the Santa Operation program for the first time. The program started receiving letters from across the country starting Dec. 2, and it will match the benefactors until Monday.
The Angel Tree Charity Project helps make sure struggling migrant families have a normal Christmas. Hundreds of families are helped with the charity project.
While some area law enforcement are struggling to find funding for officer body cameras, Ocala Police Department has been using them since 2009 for specialized units.
The 1,000-plus acres of diverse land west of Newnans Lake in Gainesville will provide bicycle and hiking trails for the public in spring 2015.
The Palatka Police Department is currently investigating the disappearance of a 5-week-old infant, Demarion Roddrick Hampton of Palatka.