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Today’s top stories
• The Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force took down a drug ring that authorities described as one of the largest marijuana and cocaine investigations in the region. This is a story that had our reporter reviewing more than 1,000 pages of court documents over the past six months in an effort to piece together the scope of law enforcement’s investigation. It’s a case that prompted no news releases nor press conferences to draw attention to the busts, though it’s so expansive that prosecutors so far charged at least 30 people with criminal racketeering. (WUFT News)
• Although the recent heat has been record-setting in some areas of the state, temperatures are expected to gradually reduce by the middle of the week. (Florida Storms)
• Farmers and scientists at a University of Florida panel yesterday discussed how the state’s agriculture industry is already encountering the effects of climate change. (WUFT News)
• Juan Carlos Gil has made his presence known statewide in an apparent push for better Americans with Disabilities Act compliance by local governments. One of his latest lawsuits is against Alachua County, whose commissioners today in a closed session will decide how to handle the case. (WUFT News)
• A special type of outdoor fitness apparatus called the Traveling Rings will rise in the soon-to-open Reserve Park in Gainesville. Users are supposed to a combination of arm pulls and leg swings to travel from one of the 10 aluminum rings to the next, each attached to a steel beam suspended by a chain 7 feet above the ground. Only a handful of the rings exist nationwide. (WUFT News)
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Around the state today
• After the El Paso, Texas, shooting, Florida Republican lawmakers decided to postpone the statewide immigration “listening tour.” According to Republican Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, the tour will include a discussion on what the state can do about illegal immigrants. (AP)
• The number of boats that people have just left floating or partially sunken around Florida’s waters remains in the hundreds. (WUSF)
• The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of every U.S. resident every 10 years, and this month, an army of 40,000 workers will start visiting neighborhoods around the country to verify addresses in preparation for the largest headcount in United States history. The workers are known as “listers” and will cover one-third of the nation. (AP)
• On Monday, Jacksonville had its 100th homicide of 2019. (Florida Times-Union)
• Three Florida men were arrested on charges of illegally hunting deer out of season, hunting alligator without a license, illegally fishing for snook, and hunting gopher tortoises, which are listed as a threatened species by the state. (Tampa Bay Times)
• A charter captain caught a Burmese Python swimming in Naples Bay. Although the snakes typically swim in freshwater, the summer rain may have made the salt water more tolerable for the snake. “I’ve never seen a python swimming across the bay like that, and I’ve had many hours and days that I’ve driven through there,” said Stephen Iannotta, the Florida charter fisherman. (USA Today)