The Point, May 14, 2019: Florida’s Governor Is Currently Considering A Major Toll Road Expansion


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• Through protests and letters, Florida residents are urging DeSantis to veto a bill that would open three new toll roads in Florida, one of which would likely pass through this region. If passed, the projects could pose a threat to wetlands and conservation lands. DeSantis said he will do what he thinks is best. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

• Gov. Ron DeSantis used his veto power for the first time to veto a House bill that would have prohibited the banning of single-use plastic straws. An Alachua County spokesperson said the county is very supportive of the veto. (The Alligator)

• Despite rumors of a potential shooting at Eastside High School, The Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman said the school is not under threat, and the students involved were suspended in March. (Gainesville Sun)

• After 10 years, Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar will close its doors for good post its final celebration on Saturday. (The Alligator)

Marion and Alachua Counties will experience some varying road closures over the next few months. (Ocala Star-Banner)

• At the town hall meeting on Thursday, officials will discuss treatment for criminals with mental illness in an effort to keep them out of jails. Alachua County government and other organizations are already employing a number of tactics to address mental health. (Gainesville Sun)

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Around the state today

• Florida joined 43 other states and Puerto Rico in a lawsuit against drug companies who allegedly worked together to inflate the price of generic drugs, which are intended to typically be lower-cost. The companies involved allegedly colluded to determine market shares rather than competing. (News Service of Florida)

Publix issued a recall of Biltmore smoked salmon supplied out of St. Petersburg due to a risk of listeria discovered by the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services. (Lakeland Ledger)

• Florida lawmakers settled the Best and Brightest lawsuit with a $15 million budget that was included in the $300 million budget set aside for teacher bonuses in 2020. Lawmakers also deleted the discriminatory criteria that teachers’ bonuses be contingent on students SAT and ACT scores since many black, Hispanic and older teachers did not take those exams. (Tampa Bay Times)

• To ensure that voters are not denied the right to vote, a federal judge ruled that Spanish-language ballots and Spanish-language assistance are required in 32 Florida counties for March’s 2020 primary presidential election. (WJCT)

President Donald Trump said he will fight for $200 million in Everglade restoration funding — a major increase from the $63 million he said would be allocated two months ago. (Florida Politics)

• An Orlando attorney contributed over $1.45 million along with 120,974 petition signatures to steadily raise the minimum hourly wage from its current $8.46 to $15 by 2026. The petition has enough signatures to trigger a review by the Florida Supreme Court. (Orlando Weekly)

• U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the launch of a program intended to certify local law enforcement in Florida to arrest undocumented immigrants on behalf of ICE. Local law enforcement would be certified after an eight-hour training day – this is the first program of its nature in the nation. (Orlando Weekly)

From NPR News

• National: With Hurricane Season Approaching, Researchers Work To Better Predict Storm Intensity

• National: Free Gun Violence Prevention Course Launches To Educate Young Activists

• Politics: China Puts New Tariffs On $60 Billion Of U.S. Goods, And Stock Prices Reel

• Politics: Trump Welcomes Hungary’s Authoritarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, At White House

• Health: States Sue Drugmakers Over Alleged Generic-Price-Fixing Scheme

• Health: How Public Health Outreach Ended A 1990s Measles Outbreak And What’s Different Now

• Technology: Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, As Kavanaugh Sides With Liberal Justices

• Religion: A Fishing Line Encircles Manhattan, Protecting Sanctity Of Sabbath

About Jasmine Dahlby

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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