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The top stories near you
• Advanced voice-identity technology used to monitor inmates across Florida (including at the Alachua County Jail) is so controversial that its manufacturer urged government agencies to coordinate with the firm’s public relations office before responding to questions from news organizations. The secrecy surrounding the software leaves many questions unanswered. (WUFT News)
• In response to The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ rained-out graduation ceremony on Sunday, the University of Florida announced that all future graduation ceremonies will be held indoors. (The Alligator)
• The business scene continues to develop in Ocala, including plans for the addition of RaceTrac, more Dollar General stores and a Coca-Cola distribution hub. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• Alachua and Gainesville commissioners decided to close Dignity Village by Jan. 1, and they will focus on moving people to GRACE Marketplace and finding others more permanent housing. (Gainesville Sun)
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Around the state today
• It may take up to 18 months to complete the investigation of the Boeing 737-800 plane crash that occurred Friday night in Jacksonville. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• The morning before the pedestrian bridge at FIU fatally collapsed in March 2018, a meeting was held to determine the safety of the bridge. The meeting was called to discuss cracks in the bridge that were increasing in length – engineers did not know the cause of the cracks, and the project team decided not to close Tamiami Trail while attempting to make repairs. (Miami Herald)
• Andrew Gillum compared the Florida Legislature’s support of a bill that would require ex-felons to pay all fines and court costs in order to become eligible to vote to a poll tax, saying that it would equate to a discriminatory tax against black citizens. (Florida Phoenix)
• Florida Decides Healthcare has submitted over 53,000 petition signatures in support of a constitutional amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage to currently eligible low-income citizens. The committee needs about 23,000 more signatures to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of the proposal. (News Service of Florida)
• A bill to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, a measure requiring parental consent for minors to get abortions, and the imposition of an 8-year term limit for school board members, are among some of the major issues that died in the Florida Legislature. (Orlando Sentinel)
• May is Mental Health Awareness Month — Florida is failing its children as Southwest Florida has only three stabilization units that treat young people even though pediatric visits for mental health continue to rise. Here are the numbers. (Fort Meyers News-Press)