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The top stories near you
• After being released from prison in January 2016, Rashey “Shay Baby” Garrison took to rap music to escape drug dealing in East Gainesville. On May 2, 2016, two days after posting his first video to YouTube, he was killed in a drive-by shooting. Our reporters took an in-depth look at Garrison’s life ahead of the three-year anniversary of his death, which will be followed days later by the trial of a former childhood friend charged with killing him. (WUFT News)
• The East Gainesville community is “tired of releasing balloons” after attending a candlelight vigil for Montez Davis, a mechanic who was shot and killed outside of a grocery store. See what the community is doing to combat these crimes. (WUFT News)
• The Fair Food Program is helping farm workers get more protections and rights across the country. Meanwhile, University of Florida students yesterday joined some farm workers who are still fighting for such rights and took part in a boycott and protest of Wendy’s in Gainesville and on the UF campus. (WUFT News)
• In a four-part series, reporters at The Alligator are investigating homelessness within Gainesville. There were 641 documented cases in 2018, a number that is dropping, according to the North Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry.
• The chief executive of Liberty Health Sciences resigned last month, and now a sexual assault allegation against him has emerged. Liberty Health is a medical marijuana company based in Toronto with an operation in Alachua County. The case is still pending as prosecutors decide whether or not to move forward. (Gainesville Sun)
• The Gatornationals drag racing event is very much underway at the Gainesville Raceway, and here’s some of the scene from yesterday. (WUFT News)
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Around the state today
• Orlando Melbourne International Airport will house some of the grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. These planes were grounded around the world after two major accidents involving similar planes. Two planes arrived Thursday evening. Airport officials say there is a possibility of 20 more coming. (Florida Today)
• Seven months after a high-profile mass shooting there, Chicago Pizza at Jacksonville Landing is closed for good. The structure is to be demolished, leaving possible future tenants up in the air. (Florida Times-Union)
• The Tampa Bay area (15.25 percent) ranks third among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas in the percentage of vacant households, exceeded only by the Miami (17 percent) and Orlando (16 percent) areas. Among the metro areas that have high vacancy rates for “negative reasons,” like sluggish economic growth, are New Orleans, Memphis and Birmingham. (Tampa Bay Times)
• An Orlando man died after jumping eight floors from an Orlando International Airport parking garage. Police tried to talk him down but could not. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died. (Orlando Sentinel)
• The investigation into misspending at the University of Central Florida concluded Thursday with a declaration it created a breach of public trust, but the institution is on the road to recovery. The university accepted an investigative report that details the Florida House’s findings. The report also makes half a dozen general recommendations for changes in how Florida should oversee public universities. (Florida Politics)