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The Point, Jan. 18, 2019: The Gainesville City Commission’s Two Big Decisions

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• The Gainesville City Commission selected Deborah Bowie as interim city manager yesterday afternoon. Anthony Lyons’ resignation in December came after a wave of public criticism on his management style and his role in the controversial GNV R.I.S.E initiative. (WUFT News)

• The same City Commission a few hours later passed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers in Gainesville city limits. As of August 2019, businesses will not be able to use these products, with a possible exemption for businesses that make less than $500,000 annually. That exemption will be decided on during a future meeting. (WUFT News)

• In Alachua, a new mental health hospital for mothers, Better Beginnings, is opening today at 5 p.m. It is the first of its kind in the Southeast United States. The center was created to serve women with perinatal mental health issues, such as postpartum depression, as well as providing them with psychiatric services like counseling, the center’s founder Lauren DePaola said. (The Alligator)

• University of Florida alumnus Matt Bellman and his company, Myolyn, are finalists in the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge. Myolyn is a medical technology company based out of Gainesville that created a product to help those with lower-body paralysis. Bellman received $50,000 to develop a prototype for the final event in Tokyo 2020. (The Alligator)

• The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office announced the cause of death — accidental asphyxiation — for the three children found dead in a freezer earlier this week. (Gainesville Sun)

• We spoke with Congressman Ted Yoho and others from Florida about how they’re viewing the shutdown as a new term begins. (WUFT News)

• Starting this week and continuing through late March, Ocala is hosting the 38th annual Horses in the Sun event, with both “hunter” and “jumper” events. (WUFT News)


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Around the state today

• Pasco County opened its first medical marijuana dispensary, Surterra Wellness, on Thursday. This comes immediately after Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed for legislators to stop blocking patients’ ability to smoke medical marijuana. (Florida Politics, AP)

•The remains of the USS Saratoga — a single nameplate — were refurbished and memorialized by John Lipscomb, who once was a 19-year-old radioman on the ship. (Florida Times-Union)

•If the government shutdown continues into March, 120,000 Florida veterans could lose their food stamp funding. More veterans rely on food stamps in Florida than in any other state. (WMFE)

Ron DeSantis’ cleaning crew accidentally threw out leftover holy water from his son’s baptism. DeSantis believes they did not realize the contents as the bottle was unmarked. DeSantis is looking to make a trip to Israel to increase commercial ties and likely restock on holy water. (News Service of Florida)

•After several instances of K-9 police dogs being injured this year, officers are applauding efforts to protect their deputies. Legislators have proposed tripling the jail time for those caught injuring a police canine. (Villages Daily Sun)


News from NPR

• Health: Federal Immigration Agents Separated More Migrant Children Than Previously Thought

• Politics: Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Acknowledges Scheme To Rig Polls In Presidential Race

• Politics: GOP Rep. Steve King’s Constituents Are Rethinking His Political Future

• Politics: Trump Postpones Pelosi Trip To War Zone After She Postpones State Of The Union

• World: Crews Race To Save 2-Year-Old Spanish Boy Who Fell Down 300-Foot Hole

• World: How Strong Is The Islamic State In Syria?

• Science: Teenage Diver Finds Tons Of Golf Balls Rotting Off California

•Animals: Horses In The Sun Kicks Off Season In Ocala

•Health: Federal Shutdown Has Meant Steep Health Bills For Some Families

•Health: Scientists Find Brain Cells That Make Pain Hurt

 

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