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The top stories near you
• Construction finally got underway last month on a new boardwalk at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, nearly a year and a half after Hurricane Irma damaged the last one. Still, people have found uses for the park throughout that time. (WUFT News)
• The Gainesville Sun followed up on the potential sale of Camp McConnell in Micanopy from Alachua County to a business with apparent connections to state Sen. Keith Perry, who once threatened to sue the county over the property. Perry now says he has nothing to do with the company that wants to buy it for less than half the cost the public paid for it in 2017.
• Elementary students in rural Gilchrist County are learning to use 3D printing technology, and this week they made heart necklaces to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (WUFT News)
• Change within Gainesville’s city management is one reason for the delayed redevelopment of the Power District south of downtown. (Gainesville Sun)
• Rapper 21 Savage was released from immigration custody earlier this week, but his performance this month at the University of Florida is not yet a sure thing. (AP, The Alligator)
• There’s been a lively discussion on r/GNV the past 24 hours about the best place to get chicken wings in the area, if that seems like a worthy cuisine for Valentine’s Day.
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Around the state today
• It’s been one year since the mass shooting in Parkland, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling that and the state’s other mass shootings of the past three years “avoidable tragedies.” He’s asking for more emphasis on intelligence in policing. (Florida Politics)
• The most compelling journalism done this week in relation to the anniversary of the Parkland shooting comes from The Trace and the Miami Herald. Student journalists led the nationwide project. “Since Parkland” is worth your time.
• A state representative from Brevard County made news yesterday in a House subcommittee hearing when he floated the idea of closing down the University of Central Florida for a few years. The idea, which received fierce pushback from Randy Fine’s colleagues and the university, stems from the tens of millions of dollars misspent on construction at the nation’s largest university (in terms of undergraduate enrollment). Later in the day, he said “there’s an element of hyperbole” in his tactic. (WUFT News, Orlando Sentinel)
• The Orlando-area state attorney’s office has announced no civilians were shot by law enforcement during the night of the Pulse nightclub tragedy. (WMFE)
• Gwen Graham’s husband, Stephen Hurm, is going to oversee concealed weapons permitting and the state’s other licensing duties in the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
• Vehicles caused the majority of last year’s Florida panther deaths, but the third one so far this year was likely killed by another panther. (AP)
• The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of hurricane response across the U.S., will need new leadership after Brock Long’s resignation yesterday. Peter Gaynor will be acting administrator beginning next month. (Politico)
• A new report says more than 10,000 people now work in the solar energy industry in Florida after last year’s employment bump in that sector. (WJCT)