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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Two Alachua County law enforcement officers were reprimanded after using an armored vehicle to pull a man over. Lucas Jewell was on his way home after the Orange and Blue game with one other passenger in his car.
Gainesville resident Thomas Sanders has produced about 800 Vine videos and amassed an army of 5.8 million followers on the social app. Despite this new-found fame, Sanders is still an active member of the local community.
Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.
A University of Florida student combines faith and spirituality with the ancient art of henna to comfort cancer patients. Jeena Karr uses henna paste made from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, to create intricate designs on the heads of those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.
Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.