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The top stories near you
• The latest entry in our Untold Florida series explores the history of the trees at Witness Tree Junction in eastern Alachua County near Rochelle. If you have a question about your community’s past, present or future you’d like us to answer, please submit it here. (WUFT News)
• Gainesville city commissioners and police have more work to do on their policy relating to undocumented immigrants who police happen to encounter in the community. Commissioners decided yesterday to discuss the policy further at a meeting, some 10 months after an incident first brought the issue to light. (Gainesville Sun, WUFT News)
• Ocala-area State Attorney Brad King will continue to prosecute Orlando-area death penalty cases. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order follows one from former Gov. Rick Scott, who first ordered the cases be taken away from Aramis Ayala after she opted not to pursue death penalty punishments any longer. (Florida Politics)
• The state attorney’s office in Gainesville says a woman who is not a U.S. citizen voted illegally in five Alachua County elections. (Gainesville Sun)
• State Sen. Keith Perry was one of four senators to vote against allowing patients to smoke medical marijuana. The House will now take up what’s been a priority for DeSantis this session. (News Service of Florida)
• A lawn mower made of wood — yes, really — is among the items on display at Gainesville’s Cade Museum exhibit on “Cuban Ingenuity.” (Gainesville Downtown)
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Around the state today
• A former Palm Beach Gardens police officer was convicted this week of manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting death of a black man whose van had broken down on Interstate 95. (NPR News)
• Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel really wants his job back and is now suing the governor. (Florida Politics)
• There was no real damage in the Panhandle from an earthquake late Wednesday night. (Pensacola News Journal)
• New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is unlikely to be present for an arraignment later this month stemming from the prostitution case in which he’s charged. (Palm Beach Post)