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The top stories near you
• Gainesville has now had a direct flight to Dallas for six months, making the flight there more convenient for residents from Ocala to Gainesville, as compared to Orlando. And there’s news, too, at the Ocala International Airport, where a federal grant will help pay for a renovated taxiway. (WUFT News, WMFE)
• Pay could soon go up for many Alachua County School District employees, and yesterday the district held a well-attended job fair to hire more paraprofessionals. (Gainesville Sun, WUFT News)
• An Ocala police captain has completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Senior Leadership Program in her 25th year on the force. Angela Scroble says she advises young female officers to just go about their job with determined professionalism: “Don’t carry the chip on your shoulder that you’ve got something to prove out here as a female.” (WUFT News)
• Take a look at the possible areas for new toll roads through this region. The state might make known the actual routes early next year. For now, there’s a second task force meeting about the roads next week in Lecanto. (WUSF)
• People who exercise at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the University of Florida campus have to wrap up their laps and stair sets three hours earlier due to new “safety” measures. (Gainesville Sun)
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Around the state today
• After weeks of questions and public record requests from our Fresh Take Florida state reporting team, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office yesterday held a press conference to announce the end of an investigation into a deputy’s accidental gun firing in a middle school cafeteria. The sheriff announced the deputy’s firing because he said he was “fidgeting” with the gun when it went off. (WUFT News)
• The governor is out with his plan for boosting statewide water quality. He’s targeting sewage discharges, septic tanks, agriculture runoff and stormwater systems. (Florida Phoenix)
• “Just like any other donor” is how Gov. Ron DeSantis is describing one of the men arrested last week on campaign finance charges. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman donated $50,000 to DeSantis in his run for governor, a sum he’s since announced he’s handing over to the federal government. (News Service of Florida)
• Vaping product companies have caught state Attorney General Ashley Moody’s attention, and she’s beginning an investigation into their marketing and sales tactics. (Florida Politics)
• What is the future of the 300-year-old Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine as sea level rise becomes a reality? The National Park Service is starting a new preservation project to address that. (St. Augustine Record)