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The top stories near you
• Alachua County is holding off on its single-use plastic bag and styrofoam container ban amid a threat of being sued. The Federal Retail Federation and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association sent them a letter less than a week after county commissioners passed the ordinance last month that mentioned a possible lawsuit. (WUFT News)
• In the wake of a consultant’s report on Gainesville’s proposed municipal broadband network, one of our reporters spoke to current customers about how they’d feel if more internet choices were offered. The network idea should be back in front of city commissioners for discussion by year’s end. (WUFT News)
• Whoops: All of a sudden, Marion County is part of the Florida Turnpike extension study area. That wasn’t the case before county leaders asked the state to let them provide input on the extension route. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• The Marion County School District is changing operators for struggling Evergreen Elementary, which did not bring its grade up from a D this year despite a new state law putting the outside operator in place. (WUFT News)
• A worker at an Ocala restaurant tested positive for Hepatitis A and had been there until Aug. 1. (Ocala Star-Banner)
• The police union and Gainesville city officials are beginning negotiations on a new contract today. In other GPD news, the department and public safety groups are holding a gun buyback event on Saturday. (Gainesville Sun, WCJB)
• The University of Florida moved up slightly in this year’s Princeton Review rankings of top party schools in the United States. (TCPalm)
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Around the state today
• Florida law enforcement departments have taken out more than 1,000 active risk protection orders to take weapons away since the 2018 Parkland shooting, part of what’s known as the “red flag” law. (WFSU)
• Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 work release deal. (Miami Herald)
• John Morgan played a big role in the 2016 passage of a medical marijuana amendment, and now he’s supporting a push for legalizing recreational, too. (WMFE)
• Two Tallahassee city officials pleaded guilty yesterday to federal corruption charges. (WFSU)
• A revised hurricane season forecast projects two major hurricanes for the year’s remainder. (TCPalm)
• If you’re interested in the future of journalism in Florida, WLRN hosted an hourlong discussion on the topic during the same week in which two major newspaper chains merged, meaning one company now controls many of the state’s print publications.
• Smoking on St. Augustine beaches is still allowed, but leaving butts behind is not. (St. Augustine Record)
From NPR News
• Politics: Gun Violence Prevention Research
• Books: Toni Morrison’s Legacy