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The Point, July 2, 2019: The Ins And Outs Of Florida's New Texting While Driving Law

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Today's top stories

• On Monday, the Gainesville Charter Review Commission voted to raise city commissioners' maximum time in office from eight to 12 years, or three consecutive four-year terms. (WUFT News)

• A man who claimed he was a substitute teacher at Sante Fe High School near Houston during the 2018 shooting shared his experience of being at the school in the aftermath of the event. Time, CNN and the Wall Street Journal all reported on his story of heroism and survival. However, in April, nearly a year after the shooting, it was made evident that his story was a hoax and he never actually worked at the school. Where was he living instead? Florida. (The Texas Tribune)

Florida's new law making texting and driving a primary offense went into effect yesterday. The law still allows drivers to use their phones for navigation and phone calls while the vehicle is moving, and texting while not in motion is acceptable, too. Beginning Oct. 1, the law will prohibit the use of handheld phones while in school and work zones. (Tampa Bay Times)

• Last year, in an effort to be more inclusive, UF Health Shands formed a committee of employees focused on patient care and education who understand the difficulties LGBTQ+ members face in the medical field. “We’re trying to create another resource, but we have to be aware that sometimes when you’re trying to be helpful, you can sort of inadvertently be abrasive or be demeaning or not be inclusive,” said Ed Jimenez, the hospital's CEO. (The Alligator)

The Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced a new crash data website Monday. The website provides historical and detailed data on fatalities and accidents across the state. (WJCT)

A 77-year-old woman who contracted the flesh-eating bacteria necrotizing fasciitis through a cut on her leg two weeks ago at a beach on Anna Maria Island died Thursday. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

• A Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus and an Amtrak train collided Monday morning. Although no one died, and the bus driver was the only one injured in the accident, the collision is the fourth serious accident involving JTA buses in three weeks. (News4Jax)

• Ex-Sheriff Scott Israel, who lost his job in January when Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed him for the mishandled way the Broward Sheriff's Office responded to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, yesterday filed paperwork to launch a reelection bid. (Miami Herald)

DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that eliminates the ability of local governments to impose affordable housing rules on developers. Counties can no longer require developers to include a minimum number of "inclusionary housing" units without providing incentives to offset the costs to the developers. (WJCT)

Today's sponsored message

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