The Point, March 25, 2021: How Proposed Changes To Florida’s Bright Futures Program Are Evolving


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The top stories near you

• Fresh Take Florida: Lawmakers Abandon Efforts To Limit Popular Florida Scholarships For Specific College Degrees. “State Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, initially suggested limiting scholarships to students in fields considered lucrative, although lawmakers were careful never to specify which college degrees they considered less valuable.”

• WUFT News: Homeless People In Gainesville Can Receive Their Stimulus Payments: Here’s How. “According to Three Rivers Legal Services outreach advocate Mark Watson, local outreach workers have worked with the homeless community in Gainesville to receive this round and the previous rounds of stimulus payments.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Police Advisory Council Discusses Use Of Police Body Cameras. “The Gainesville Police Advisory Council discussed Wednesday the process of internal and external GPD investigations as well as when officers should turn on their body cameras.”

• WMFE: Sumter County Approves 75% Increase In Impact Fees To Help Fund Roads Tied To Growth Of The Villages. “New homes and businesses will cover more of the cost for roads in Sumter County, where The Villages continues to expand rapidly.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Criminal Courthouse Renamed After Judge Stephan Mickle. “Mickle broke many racial barriers during his lifetime. He was Alachua County’s first African American County Court Judge and the first African American Circuit Court Judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida. In 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated Mickle as the first African American United States District Judge in the Northern District of Florida. He was also the first Black student to obtain an undergraduate degree at the University of Florida in 1965 and continued his education by earning his master’s degree. In 1970, he became the second Black student to earn a law degree at the UF College of Law.”

• WUFT News: Joseph Dixon Takes Over At Gainesville Fire Rescue Helm. “Dixon’s hiring marks the second recent major milestone for the department. He will be the first African American to hold the position as chief. Dixon follows interim Chief JoAnne Rice, the first woman to hold the position in the department’s 139-year history.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Officials Explore Repurposing Former High Springs Church For New Community Resource Center. “The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is exploring the idea of purchasing the former Fellowship Baptist Church in High Springs to serve as the location for a new community resource center. The church, located off of U.S. Highway 441, came up for sale after the church leaders decided to relocate its services.”

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Around the state today

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Poisoned. “Hundreds of workers at a Tampa lead smelter have been exposed to dangerous levels of the neurotoxin. The consequences have been profound.”

• Florida Politics: Bill to bolster education plans for students with disabilities ready for House floor. “Legislation designed to help students with disabilities plot out their continuing education after they graduate high school has passed its final committee on the way to the House floor.”

• Politico: Florida Senate leader Simpson under fire for prison closure proposal. “The fight broke out over the Senate’s proposed $5.6 billion Department of Corrections budget and a possible $140 million budget cut that would result in the closure of four state prisons. But it also highlights the arcane customs of the upper chamber.”

• WMFE: The Orlando Community Mourns The Death Of Fallen OPD Officer Kevin Valencia At Funeral. “Valencia was critically injured responding to a domestic violence call in 2018. The gunman shot and killed four children between the ages of 1 and 12 before fatally shooting himself.”

• WTSP: Data breach involving former Polk County Schools vendor could impact thousands. “This issue involves a company hired by Polk Schools to collect information about students using the school’s free and discount meal program.” (Read our 2017 or 2019 reporting on this statewide problem.)

From NPR News

• Politics: 5 Questions Ahead Of Biden’s 1st News Conference As President

• Race: Asian Grandmother Who Smacked Her Attacker With A Board Donates Nearly $1 Million

• National: First Dogs Return To White House After Major Biden Causes Minor Injury

• National: One’s Antifa. One’s In A Militia. How An Ancestry Match Led To An Unlikely Bond

• National: Virginia Governor Signs Law Abolishing The Death Penalty, A 1st In The South

• Health: Rachel Levine Makes History As 1st Openly Trans Federal Official Confirmed By Senate

• Health: The Pandemic Pushed People Outside And Now, Some Companies Hope They Stay There

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

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Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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