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The top stories near you
• “When it’s not working and we keep getting the same outcomes, something will change and it will be an urgent matter.” The Alachua County School Board is starting to put together bold plans for closing the achievement gap between the district’s black and white students. (WUFT News)
• Global company Thermo Fisher Scientific has concluded its $6 million expansion at Progress Park in Alachua. One of its vice presidents celebrated that progress Friday, saying, “I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years in gene therapy, and over the last three years, it’s completely transformed.” (WUFT News)
• Marketplace visited Gainesville to see a University of Florida professor’s efforts to improve the flavor of tomatoes.
• State Sen. Keith Perry is taking an interest in the problem of police arresting people with epilepsy during their seizures. (WTSP)
• The first two Democrats vying to replace state Rep. Clovis Watson, who is term-limited from running again next November, have filed paperwork during the past month or so. Watson now intends to unseat Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell. (WUFT News, News Service of Florida)
• UF’s fall semester is wrapping up in the next few weeks, but as it does so, there’s a racial and political mess simmering that on Friday afternoon prompted a campuswide email from a vice president. (The Alligator)
• One of Micanopy’s longtime religious leaders is stepping down after 37 years. Les Singleton’s final service as vicar took place yesterday at Church of the Mediator. (WCJB)
• Three years ago, it seemed Amtrak was on a path to returning to serving parts of north Florida. The process of getting passenger trains going again between Pensacola and Jacksonville has moved extremely slowly. (WUFT News, Pensacola News Journal)
• A slice of old Florida has been preserved at the Orange Lake Overlook at a cost of $1.3 million. Another piece of local Florida natural history was celebrated this weekend at Little Orange Creek. (Ocala Star-Banner, WUFT News)
• Correction from Friday’s edition, which had the incorrect title of Ibram X. Kendi’s latest book. It is called “How to Be an Antiracist.”
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Around the state today
• WFSU put together a helpful guide on how state Supreme Court justices come to hold that position. It’s particularly timely with the governor set to make two more selections.
• USA Today tracked a man who in the 1990s was to face trial on rape charges in Vermont but who has been living in Florida without consequence for more than two decades.
• CBS spotlights the role Florida played in the 2016 election hacking by Russian operatives, including what happened within Annette Taddeo’s failed run for the U.S. House.
• Not everyone is on board with recreational marijuana in Florida, and that group now has a political action committee. (BayNews9)
• “Being a prisoner (of high water) in Key Largo is not that bad,” but it is reality, a resident there tells the New York Times. Its report on King Tide flooding is worth your time.
• What’s west of Key West? The Dry Tortugas, and they have a fascinating 500-year history. (Florida Memory Blog)
• Here’s a helpful guide on some of the state’s worst invasive plant species. (Florida Today)