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The top stories near you
• At the beginning of this month, we reported on the evolving financial situation of the Gainesville mental health support non-profit organization known as Peer Respite. Yesterday, Mayor Lauren Poe visited the location and heard about its improving finances and its ongoing efforts to fill needs not addressed by other healthcare operations. (WUFT News)
• Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson is hoping to have a federal judge approve her Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim as a means of getting clear of nearly $90,000 in debt. (Gainesville Sun)
• “I hope that I’m an inspiration to older adults, and if you stay active, you can accomplish anything.” With that credo, 76-year-old Robert Blok recently completed a master’s degree from the University of Florida. (UF News)
• Alachua County Fire Rescue deployed its aerial drone to help contain a brush fire in Hawthorne. (WCJB)
• The Hippodrome Theatre in June is hosting a production of “Million Dollar Quartet,” about a 1956 jam session featuring Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. (Gainesville Downtown)
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Around the state today
• Federal aid for the Panhandle’s Hurricane Michael damage was again blocked yesterday, a day after Bay County businessmen criticized another congressman in a newspaper ad, saying, “This wasn’t a partisan issue. It was grandstanding.” U.S. Sen. Rick Scott visited Pensacola and reiterated “we’re still trying to get our money for” Michael relief. (News Service of Florida, Panama City News Herald, Pensacola News Journal)
• Media organizations are having a difficult time covering today’s Florida Cabinet meeting that’s being held in Jerusalem, so they sued. A judge decided not to intervene, and Gov. Ron DeSantis said the gathering will be streamed and “it’s going to be a neat meeting.” (Florida Phoenix, Florida Politics)
• The Tallahassee Democrat has a correspondent on the delegation’s trip to Israel, and here’s all of its coverage.
• The state’s cannabis director predicts 2020 will be the year Florida farmers begin growing industrial hemp. If you missed it, earlier this month one of our Fresh Take Florida reporters wrote extensively about Holly Bell’s background. (WFSU, WUFT News)
• Florida’s ongoing commitment to capital punishment is in “direct conflict with my view and my vision for the administration of justice,” Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala says. She won’t run for reelection next year. (WMFE)
• Now is the time of year to be most aware of alligators in Florida. (Fort Myers News-Press)
• For three years, SunRail ridership in Central Florida steadily decreased. This year, it’s up big. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
• Check out this video of a hammerhead shark swimming just past a boat near Anna Maria Island. The boaters opted against a swim in that spot. (Bradenton Herald)