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The top stories near you
• As the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year weighed whether to deactivate the Gainesville Job Corps Center, we reported deeply on its history and the events that led to its initial closure after Hurricane Irma. It became clear this month the federal government won’t be reopening the site as a place to train youth for skilled trades and other employment opportunities. Gainesville’s city leaders yesterday realized the need to reclaim the center’s mission (and perhaps someday its property) and carry on. (WUFT News)
• It’s official: Florida’s Auditor General will visit the City of Gainesville to examine discrepancies raised by constituents and its former city auditor, who was fired in June. (WUFT News)
• A second city in Alachua County has opted out of its new tobacco ordinance. The High Springs City Commission followed Newberry in voting to allow customers between the ages of 18 and 21 to buy tobacco products. (WUFT News)
• A week of giving to the needy ahead of the holidays continued yesterday with the Strike Out Hunger event in Gainesville. “There’s somebody who needs this. They really need it,” one volunteer said. (WUFT News)
• Some two years after his arrest on grand larceny charges, a former University of Florida housing director reportedly has information to share with investigators about others at UF who may have run afoul of the law. (Gainesville Sun)
• Citrus County is ready to next week revisit the New York Times digital subscription decision that captured outsized attention this past month. (Bay News 9)
• Not enough people want to deliver hard copies of the Lake City Reporter newspaper, so the publication will be mailing them from December onward. (WCJB)
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Around the state today
• A state senator has his eyes on prison reform and is taking aim at Florida’s massive clemency backlog as an initial step. (Florida Politics)
• The Miami Herald has continued its reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, now three months after his death in a New York City jail cell. His brother had much to say to the publication.
• U.S. Rep. Ross Spano is under investigation for alleged campaign finance violations. (Politico)
• Federal reimbursement is still flowing to Southwest Florida more than two years after Hurricane Irma caused tens of millions of dollars of damage in that region. (Fort Myers News-Press)