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The top stories near you
• “We done went from Colored to Black, but ain’t too much change ‘cept what they callin’ us.” This was one of the lines of Brittney Caldwell’s last performance at the University of Florida. The production “From Colored to Black” continued to live on as it reflected the past and present race disparities. Caldwell partnered with Samuel Proctor Oral History Program to showcase a first-hand accounts people who live through segregation. (WUFT News)
• Residents have mixed emotions about Alachua County commissioners’ plans to shut down part of County Road 2082. Some believe the cost of fixing the damages is not worth the money, while others are concerned for future traffic flow. The final decision will be made at a public hearing in April or May. (WUFT News)
• With the number of burglaries in the area doubling over the last year, the city of Waldo proposed having off-duty police officers in the neighborhood to combat this issue. This would be through the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office extra-duty program, which is typically used for pubic or private events in the county. This program would allow for off-duty deputies for a minimum of three hours a day. (WUFT News)
• Last year it was uncertain whether the Hawthorne Middle/High School would remain open due to years of failing grades. However, instead of closing, the school revived its image by reopening its agriculture program. This gives students a reason to maintain their grades. The program currently has 33 pigs, five goats, two rabbits and eight cows. (WUFT News)
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Around the state today
•Bay County revealed its current estimate for Hurricane Michael recovery as $650 million. More than half of the funding would be directed toward debris removal. On Tuesday, the Bay County Commission approved another $100 million loan. (Panama City News Herald)
• William Hunter Hardesty, 31, posted a video of himself jumping on top of a pelican last month and is now in a Keys jail. He remained in jail Tuesday morning with an $80,000 bail. He is facing two charges of felony animal cruelty, one count of intentionally feeding pelicans and two counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (FLKeysNews)
• Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he had selected Scott Rivkees for the dual role of surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health. However, Rivkees has been investigated for sexual harassment by the University of Florida. According to the investigation report, Rivkees would say, “If we can’t agree on this we’ll have to get naked in a hot tub and work it out.” (Orlando Sentinel)
• Jacksonville police have stopped providing the location of some crimes as well as the location of the victims involved. Law enforcement in other countries say that this would prolong the process of solving the crimes. This change was triggered by Marsy’s Law which says that victims have the “right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.” (Florida Times-Union)
• Hundreds of members from the group Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice traveled by bus to major cities in Florida to meet with state lawmakers. At a press conference on Tuesday the group recited the names of family and friends who were crime victims. Aswad Thomas, the founder of the group, said, “We need our stories in the media… To let policymakers know who crime victims are, what happened to us, and what can make us heal.” (Florida Phoenix)
• The Senate Education Committee is pushing for a bill that would explore “intellectual freedom” on college campuses. This assessment would be through a survey for review by the university system’s Board of Governors as a way to quantify diversity. Among state universities, Florida State University will be participating in this survey. (WSFU)