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The top stories near you
• About that plan to redevelop The Swamp Restaurant property? “People are livid. They’re very, very angry,” state Rep. Anthony Sabatini tells The Alligator. For that reason, he’s proposed an amendment to a Florida House bill that would impose a hefty fine on local government if they allow its redevelopment.
• Another neighborhood workshop took place last night regarding a separate proposed development about five blocks to the east of that one. Here are the details about what’s planned. (WUFT News)
• Starting this fall, the first Arts Academy designed for East Gainesville students will open. Michael Ekbladh, the director of the music ministry at First United Methodist Church, is taking on the new role of program director when it opens in August. On Saturday, May 4, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m, there will be a Harry Potter Wizard Training fundraiser for the program. (WUFT News)
• Shutting off air conditioning in schools during summer months seems like a good idea to save on energy costs, but it could also allow mold to build. The Marion County School District is opting against shutting it off completely this year. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• The Gainesville City Commission voted yesterday to hire an outside auditor to look into more issues surrounding the Reichert House, a city-run program to help at-risk youth. (Gainesville Sun)
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Around the state today
• The Mueller Report’s release yesterday revealed a Florida connection not previously reported. Russian hackers got into the computer system of an unnamed Florida county during the runup to the 2016 election. (Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald)
• The head of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association believes the United States’ new trade deal with Canada and Mexico will be “devastating” to the state’s growers. (WUFT News)
• Mexico Beach in the Panhandle has an annual town budget of $3 million. The debris bill from Hurricane Michael? Estimated at $60 million. (WUFT News)
• Florida’s nascent hemp industry might get a major boost with this legislation about to clear the state legislature. (Miami Herald)
• Anne’s Beach in Islamorada is expected to reopen this summer for the first time since Hurricane Irma in 2017. (FLKeysNews)
News from NPR
• Politics: READ: The Mueller Report, With Redactions