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The top stories near you
• Alachua County is in the process of buying four separate properties for conservation purposes at a cost exceeding $1 million. (WUFT News)
• With the election of Gainesville’s mayor less than a week away, we interviewed the four candidates seeking votes. The 53-minute discussion includes questions and answers about issues like Gainesville Regional Utilities’ finances, the police union’s contract, and the city’s worsening affordable housing problem. (WUFT News)
• After working with the fire department in Alachua County for 25 years, Harold Theus is its new fire chief. (The Alligator)
• Even though Gainesville’s ban on single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers does not go into effect until Aug. 1, Life Unplastic in the Thornebrook Shopping Center has already opened as the first plastic-free shop in Gainesville. (WUFT News)
• The University of Florida earned $12.6 million on Gator Nation Giving Day — double the university’s initial goal. (The Alligator)
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Around the state today
• The lack of affordable housing in Florida has begun to concern the state legislature. Associated Industries of Florida Brewster Bevis said, “investing in Florida’s affordable housing will go a long way toward fostering stability and economic prosperity in our state.” (WFSU)
• The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees will discuss the $600,000 departure settlement for its former president at a meeting tomorrow. (AP)
• Democrats are urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to donate the $600,00o he received from John Childs to organizations across the state that fight against human trafficking. Party Chair Terrie Rizzo said the govenor sets a ” moral example for all of us.” (Tampa Bay Times)
• DeSantis is pushing to ban “sanctuary cities” and is urging some Florida sheriffs to join the federal immigration enforcement program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Florida Politcs)
• The Florida Phoenix notes UF’s Florida Blue Key organization can now claim three more notable alumni who are all women: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Secretary of State Laurel Lee and Attorney General Ashley Moody.
• Earlier this week we reported on the concerns about Hope Scholarships among Alachua County school officials. In Pasco County, the school board is looking at requiring proof of bullying incidents before awarding those scholarships. (WUFT News, Tampa Bay Times)