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Today’s top stories
• With two votes remaining in the coming months, it appears Gainesville’s city commissioners plan to raise property taxes, utility rates and a fire assessment fee to help meet a multimillion-dollar budget gap. They voted 4-3 yesterday to move forward with that plan, while also looking at trimming $1.5 million in city expenses. All of these changes would take effect Oct. 1. (WUFT News)
• Here’s how some South Florida defense attorneys reacted to the charges against the former Parkland sheriff’s deputy. He’s still in jail because a judge ordered he can’t be released until the court has his passport, which is in North Carolina. (Palm Beach Post, Sun Sentinel)
• Scot Peterson’s arrest thus raises the question of whether an armed teacher who acted similarly to the way he did on that day would also face criminal charges. (Miami Herald)
• State Rep. Mike Hill came out with an apology yesterday via press release for his remarks at an event last month. It read, in part, “I deeply regret how the tone of my response to a constituent was received at this event.” (Pensacola News Journal)
• Former Gov. Rick Scott famously held his wealth in a blind trust that voters couldn’t see while he was in office. His successors won’t have a similar option after current Gov. Ron DeSantis signed this bill yesterday. (GateHouse)
• Moon landing equipment manufacturer Orbit Beyond will work on a $97.7 million NASA contract in Volusia County. In other space news, American and European astronauts are will spend 10 days training to complete tasks in zero gravity by using an underwater base near The Keys. (Daytona Beach News-Journal, FLKeysNews)
• Increased wildfires aren’t the only problem that fallen timber from Hurricane Michael could exacerbate. Invasive species and more insects are also likely to pop up more if the Florida Forest Service can’t keep up with their removal and prescribed burning. (WFSU)
• In Florida, homeless shelters serve as protection from both the cold in the winter and then the heat when the weather gets this hot. (WJCT)
• Adjunct instructors are no longer working on just college campuses in Florida, but also in its K-12 classrooms. (Florida Phoenix)
• A manatee ended up on an oyster bed in St. Augustine yesterday and had to be rescued. A biologist says she may have been trying to escape males that wanted to mate. (St. Augustine Record)
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