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• Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 487, allowing Florida paramedics assigned to special tactical teams to carry guns while in the field. Although Gainesville has not yet decided if it will participate, the law goes into effect July 1. “This way, paramedics can defend themselves and their victims as they treat them. That’s why this law was passed,” said Capt. Jorge Campos, Gainesville Police Department spokesperson. (The Alligator)
• The University of Florida intends to spend more than $2 billion in the coming years on campus construction projects. (Gainesville Sun)
• At the Florida Association of Counties Annual Conference celebration dinner on Thursday, the Florida Counties Foundation awarded Alachua County the “County Government Best Practices Award” for its Emergency Operations Center Shelter Communications App. In the event of a hurricane, the app can track all people and pets in a home in real time with no internet signal, broadcast alerts from the Emergency Operations Center and provide a communication method for shelter managers and the Emergency Operations Center. (The Alligator)
• Although Marion County has made progress over the last five years in hiring more minority teachers and school district administrators, it still has much room for improvement on the school-based leader level. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• Mowing your lawn less this summer can make your yard more bee-friendly. Weeds and bare patches provide sources of food and shelter to the bees. (UF News)
• In an effort to study wind hazards and hurricanes, UF constructed a fan bank that can simulate a range of wind conditions, mimicking those occurring from severe storms and tornadoes. “Wind hazard is an important aspect of community resilience in Florida and other coastal areas,” said Kurtis Gurley, associate director of UF’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment. “Having a laboratory where we’re able to study how the infrastructure of buildings feels the load is an important first step in learning how to design systems to resist them.” (The Alligator)
• Two arrests resulted from the Father’s Day protest event at the Alachua County Jail. Here was our background story from Friday about the protesters’ motivation. (WCJB, WUFT News)
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Around the state today
• One month after learning about Russia hacking into two Florida county elections systems in 2016, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that he will allocate $2.3 million in unspent election-security money from last year, in addition to the upcoming fiscal year’s $2.8 million for elections cybersecurity on identifying vulnerabilities in the system prior to the upcoming elections. (News Service of Florida)
• Barely 10% of the 119,000 registered voters cast a ballot during early voting in Pasco County. District 38 went without representation in the Florida House in this year’s legislative session. (Florida Politics)
• Since citrus greening surfaced in Florida in 2005, the annual harvest has declined over 70% and citrus acreage has declined 40%. Florida citrus industry leaders created a program called Citrus Research and Field Trials to start the journey to recovery from the fatal bacterial disease. The program plans to plant 5,000 acres of citrus groves over the next two years to be used as models for caretaking techniques to fight the effects of citrus greening. (The Ledger)
• While this session’s Legislature cut funding for digital classrooms by $50 million, the governor committed to investing $10 million to hire and train computer science teachers in an effort to make Florida the number one state in technology education and jobs. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Florida has the third highest rate of HIV diagnosis in the country, and on Monday, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez met with officials from Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss plans for reducing the HIV infection rate both in the state and across the nation. (Florida Politics)
• Sea turtle researchers with the University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group found a hawksbill turtle, one of the rarest sea turtles, in the Indian River Lagoon. The lagoon is far from where the turtles are generally seen. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)