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The top stories near you
• There was considerable reaction to our report yesterday that The Swamp Restaurant and other Midtown businesses could close due to planned apartment construction in Gainesville. The Swamp’s owner told The Alligator he hopes the restaurant can make it to year’s end for its 25th anniversary. Nearly 17,000 people in the past 24 hours have signed a petition to save the spot.
• The state legislature’s push for an extension of the Suncoast Parkway north through this area hit a slight road bump this week, with Democrats asking for more specifics on its impact. (News Service of Florida)
• One of our reporters took an extensive look at the situation known as “student homeless week,” when apartment leases don’t quite overlap and an awkward University of Florida or Santa Fe College semester transition has students looking for a place to stay. Even a Gainesville city commissioner says he’s concerned about it. (WUFT News)
• The Gainesville City Commission today is set to discuss an audit report about the Reichert House, which receives nearly $1 million in funding from the city each year. Based on the Gainesville Sun’s reporting, that discussion could turn quite contentious as the city auditor, city commission, city management, and Gainesville police leadership work out their differences.
• Ocala-area state Sen. Dennis Baxley is trying to get term limits for Florida school board members put in place, but he’s having a difficult time doing so. (Tampa Bay Times)
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Around the state today
• Police say a Miami-Dade student’s obsession with the 1999 Columbine shooting spurred them to embark on a manhunt this week after her parents reported her missing on Monday. She was found dead yesterday near the Colorado high school. (Miami Herald)
• Making Florida more resilient against powerful hurricanes could have a costly effect on your electric bill. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
• TIME Magazine is honoring the man many credit with restoring felons’ voting rights in Florida. Desmond Meade made this year’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People in The World.”
• A vote along the partisan line in the Florida Senate meant Republicans advanced the proposal that would allow teachers to be armed on school campuses. It still requires one more vote in that chamber. (Florida Phoenix)
• Pentastome parasites have made their way from snakes in South Florida to some in Central Florida and killing some there. (Orlando Weekly)
• St. Augustine is getting an e-bike sharing program later this year. (WJCT)
• Can a public employer in Florida fire someone for using medical marijuana if it shows up in a drug test? The answer is still mixed. (Bradenton Herald)