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The top stories near you
• Alachua County charities are using the “ALICE” report released this week to help prevent homelessness. ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained, employed. (WUFT News)
• The Gainesville City Commission voted against raises for four high-ranking officials after they received a $1,600 bonus last year. Commissioners Harvey Ward, Gigi Simmons, Adrian Hayes-Santos and Mayor Lauren Poe voted against the pay increase because they said it wouldn’t be fair when some city employees make less than a living wage, which is $15 an hour. (The Alligator)
• The University of Florida Levin College of Law received a record-breaking donation of $20 million. Richard Cole, a graduate of the college, made the donation in the name of his late father, Robert B. Cole, who was also a UF alumnus. (Gainesville Sun)
• Florida state Sen. Dennis Baxley filed a controversial proposal to end abortions after a heartbeat is detected. “It’s time for us to face our history of the last 46 years and the 60 million faces of our offspring that we have extinguished,” Baxley said. “The heartbeat has always been the clear signal of the presence of life, and that life must be protected.” (Florida Politics)
• A central Florida caregiver has been arrested in the investigation of a disabled woman being raped and becoming pregnant. According to Brevard County officials, Willie Shorter is facing charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person. In 2015, staff members noticed the disabled woman was pregnant. The baby was adopted by the woman’s family. Shorter is being held on a $15,000 bond. (Orlando Sentinel)
• The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena could soon add “VyStar” to its name. This would reverse a longtime ban on allowing the building’s name to contain a business. The proposed 15-year agreement with VyStar would generate annual funding for both Jacksonville city government and for programs assisting veterans. (Florida-Times Union)
• Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel vows to get his badge back after being removed due to the fallout over last year’s Parkland massacre. He says the event does not justify his removal and that Gov. Ron DeSantis is making a political move. (Sun Sentinel)
• BB&T and SunTrust Banks, both of which have a large presence in Florida, have united into a single $66 billion corporation. The merger makes the banks the sixth largest in the nation. SunTrust shareholders will get 1.295 shares of BB&T for each share they own. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• Florida state Sen. Joe Gruters proposed a bill that would force all state law enforcement to comply and work with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The bill would prohibit local officials from passing laws preventing local authorities from communicating with or helping ICE officers. (Orlando Weekly)
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