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The top stories near you
• Alachua County’s achievement gap between white and black students is well known, but what’s not clear is whether any progress has been made since the release of a January 2018 report documenting the extent of the gap. That discussion on progress is set to happen today at 4 p.m. at Gainesville’s Thelma Boltin Center. (WUFT News)
• Friday’s late morning and early afternoon storms knocked out power for thousands of GRU customers, some of whom didn’t have it back on until Saturday evening. (WUFT News)
• The Gainesville Sun reports a majority of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners are no longer in support of selling Camp McConnell to a nonprofit whose president has in his past accusations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
• The University of Florida’s Thompson Earth Systems Institute is hosting a panel discussion Friday afternoon on the various aspects and effects of red tide. (WUFT News)
• A bill that would begin the process of extending the Suncoast Parkway through this region of Florida is ready for its final vote in the state Senate. (News Service of Florida)
• Gainesville city officials partnered with UF/IFAS to topdress a city park’s multipurpose field with compost to see if it helps with irrigation and soil condition. Here’s a video of the process. (WUFT News)
• The Ocala Star-Banner profiles the man who led the final Pan Am flight from Saigon in 1975 and was later portrayed by actor James Earl Jones in “Last Flight Out.” Today, he lives in Marion County.
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Around the state today
• Busy day in the Florida legislature yesterday: The Senate passed a bill that would allow school districts to arm teachers with guns, while the House greenlit the proposal to allow police to pull over drivers seen texting while driving. The House is also getting ready to outlaw what are known as sanctuary cities in the state. (AP, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Miami Herald)
• The state is also in the midst of coming to terms on the next year’s budget, with state representatives easing off on drastic university funding cuts and senators agreeing to look at getting rid of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing operation. (Florida Politics, Orlando Sentinel)
• Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel will not be getting his job back, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled. (Sun Sentinel)
• Brent Chrite will become Bethune-Cookman University’s new president in July during a difficult time for the school. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
• The passage of Amendment 4 last November might have helped spur a big voter registration increase compared to this point four years ago. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• A judge has ruled video of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft inside a Florida day spa won’t be released any time soon. (Palm Beach Post)