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The top stories near you
• WUFT News: Residents Rally As Decision Nears On Seven Springs’ Request To Pump From Ginnie Springs. “The old Seven Springs permit expired in June, and while Nestlé waits to see if it can get another 20-year permit renewal from the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), the community has mobilized. With the final say in the hands of its six-member governing board, residents have poured out in numbers to voice their opposition.”
• WUFT News: Melrose Volunteer Fire Department Reconstructed Water Rescue Vessel For Lake Santa Fe Safety. “The reconstructed Avon SR-4 and its crew are the first official water rescue team the area has ever seen, Florence said. Recent water emergencies, such as that of the 22-year-old man who drowned trying to save his dogs in February 2019, motivated MVFD and community advocates to fund the addition of the water rescue.”
• WUFT News: Gainesville Woman Uses Yoga To Teach Children Sign Language. “At the House of Waking Life in downtown Gainesville, Brooks teaches children ages 2 to 6 sign language, while they’re doing yoga. The studio, which opened on Jan. 28 offers family signing and yoga classes to help toddlers communicate with their parents.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): J.J. Finley Park to be renamed. “But in honor of truth and reconciliation for slavery and racial discrimination, the city will find a new name for the greenspace in the University Park neighborhood by the school at 1912 NW Fifth Ave.”
• WUFT News: Expert Panel Tackles Sex Trafficking In The Gainesville Community. “Florida ranks third in most human trafficking cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, behind only California and Texas.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): New baseball stadium takes shape, football training facility on deck. “The $65 million stadium should be complete by the end of June, putting the wraps on one of the two major projects in Phase 3 of UF’s 10-year Master Plan for facility upgrades.”
• Citrus County Chronicle: Crystal River couples wait out another day on ‘luxury prison.’ “About 3,700 passengers, including two Crystal River couples, and crew are being quarantined in their staterooms to protect them from the coronavirus.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): NAACP celebration draws crowd. “The Alachua County branch of the NAACP celebrated its first Founder’s Day with songs, history, speakers and a call to join the county’s attempts to recall, and possibly repair, past racial injustices.”
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Around the state today
• USA Today Network ($): University consolidation bill that makes New College part of FSU advances in Florida House. “The Florida House advanced a bill Wednesday that would shrink Florida’s university system from 12 to 10 schools by revoking the independent status of New College of Florida in Sarasota and Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.”
• Orlando Sentinel ($): State board votes to replace Common Core, adopt new standards for Florida schools. “The State Board of Education voted Wednesday on new academic standards for Florida’s public schools, ending Florida’s rocky 10-year relationship with Common Core.”
• St. Augustine Record ($): Memorial to U.S. Colored Troops heads to St. Augustine board. “The design has yet to be finalized by the UF board. But the plan is to have a granite memorial with lighting that lists names of people from St. Augustine who served in the U.S. Colored Troops.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Funeral home let girl’s remains rot, family says in state complaint. “The complaint alleges that Shawn Johnson Funeral and Cremation Services in Riviera Beach mishandled the body of 11-year-old Re’Asia Washington, who died of an asthma attack Jan. 22.”
• Florida Politics: Survey shows Floridians still backing proposed minimum wage increase. “That prompted 62.5% of respondents to say “Yes.” Nearly 30% opposed the proposal. The remaining 8% were unsure.”
• Sarasota Herald-Tribune ($): FBI: Romance scammers swindle vulnerable Florida residents out of millions. “There were 26 reported cases of confidence and romance scams in Sarasota County in 2019 and it cost the victims more than $1 million. The FBI says the crime is grossly under-reported.”
• Sun Sentinel ($): 140 homeless pitch tents in a park, and neighbors want them out. “No one was forced out, but the message was clear: The sprawling homeless encampment in John Prince Park in Lake Worth Beach — home to 140 people and visible from a main road — has got to go.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): ‘Anguish in the Aftermath’: Parkland shooting confronts lawmakers, visitors to Florida Capitol. “‘Anguish in the Aftermath,’ a collection of 52 photos, text and audio of excerpts from interviews, was displayed at the Coral Springs Museum of Art last year. Now, six of the 52 are on display this week at the Capitol. Friday marks two years since 17 students and staff were killed at the high school in Parkland, Broward County.”