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The Point, March 1, 2022: A bill changing how Alachua County elects commissioners is moving through the Florida House

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Bill reshaping Alachua County Commission progresses in the Florida Legislature. “Under the bill offered by State Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, the commission would be reorganized so each of its five elected members would represent a single district, rather than them all being at-large, as the composition is now. The bill would make it so that voters in the county would only cast a ballot for their district commissioner – and not the others.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville High School student advocates to reduce teen violence. “Franklin would like to see less violence in the community; he believes a lot of strife can be avoided by handling conflicts more professionally and maturely.  ‘I would like to see just less violence in the community,’ he said. ‘A lot more things can be handled more professionally or more maturely. If people just came together talking about a situation or just to disagree and let the situation go.’”

• WUFT News: Mayor Lauren Poe gives his last State of the City Address, covering equity and inclusivity. "For the first time in two years, Gainesville residents were invited to the annual State of the City Address as it took place in person.About 40 people gathered at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention Monday as Poe addressed Imagine GNV, the city’s proposed 10-year plan, along with strides in affordable housing and sustainability."

• WUFT News: Two historical markers unveiled in Alachua help preserve prominent church community. “On Sunday, the Alachua County Historical Commission unveiled two new historical markers in the city of Alachua Sunday, one commemorating the history of Spring Hill and Old Bellamy and the other commemorating William Henry Traxler Jr., a late 19th, early 20th century store owner. The two markers make 70 total in Alachua County.”

• WUFT News: Alachua mayor honors high school volleyball champions with Santa Fe High School Lady Raider Volleyball Day. "The James A. Lewis Commission Chambers was more than three-quarters full as players, their families and city leaders gathered to recognize the achievements of the team and coaching staff. At the meeting, (Mayor Gib) Coerper proclaimed the day to be 'Santa Fe High School Lady Raider Volleyball Day,' in recognition of the team’s first-ever state title."

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Around the state

• USA Today Network ($): Florida Gov. DeSantis attacks President Biden over Ukraine, but praises Trump. “Giving his most expansive comments yet on the Ukraine crisis, following an event in Vero Beach, DeSantis said it was important for the U.S. to exert more pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin by crimping that nation’s energy markets, saying: ‘Hit him where it counts.’ ”

• Florida Politics: House prepped to consider bill critics label ‘union-busting’. “Under the proposal (HB 1197), public employees would have to sign a member authorization form every year to maintain union membership. Members also couldn’t opt to have union dues automatically deducted from their salaries. Additionally, unions with less than 50% of eligible members in the union would have to recertify as the recognized collective bargaining agent, effectively canceling the existing union contract.”

• The News Service of Florida: DeSantis pick for DEP secretary headed to confirmation. “Hamilton has been with the department since 2007, after 20 years with the U.S. Air Force. Hamilton started as a public affairs manager in the state agency’s Northwest District Office and moved to assistant district director in 2010 and district director in 2011. Before his appointment as secretary, Hamilton was deputy secretary overseeing land acquisition and long-term conservation.”

• WFSU: How Leon Schools ended up in the middle of a debate over how to deal with LGBTQ students. “The Leon County School district is in the middle of revising its guidance for schools on how to deal with LGBTQ students. The revisions come after a lawsuit was filed in November against the district by parents of a student who say their child’s school intentionally withheld information from them regarding their child’s preferred pronouns and other types of accommodations. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the district announced the creation of a group tasked with coming up with a new LGBTQ guide for schools. The new group is made up of parents, teachers, and school administrators.”

• USA Today Network ($): Anti-fraud squad: DeSantis voting police force clears key Florida House Committee. “The proposal calls for 40 new employees at a cost of $3.7 million the first year to cover the new duties outlined in the Perez bill: 10 Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators, 15 Department of State employees to handle voter registration workload and 15 Department of State staff for the Office of Election Crimes and Security.”

• WUSF: Hundreds rally in Sarasota to push back against a Florida bill that would impact LGBTQ children. “Hundreds of people gathered in Sarasota Sunday to rally against a bill which they say targets LGBTQ children.”

• News4Jax: Florida Lottery makes history with new, $50 scratch-off game. 500X THE CASH Scratch-Off game is a $50 ticket that features more than $1.5 billion in cash prizes and the best odds to become an instant millionaire.”

• WTSP/Associated Press: Gov. DeSantis not sending National Guard troops from Florida to President Biden's State of the Union. “Florida's Republican governor and the Democratic leader of our nation are no strangers to disagreements. Most notably, in 2021, the two went back and forth about COVID-19 pandemic policies.”

• NPR News: Derek Jeter steps down as CEO of the Miami Marlins. "Derek Jeter announced he is stepping down as CEO of the Miami Marlins, effective immediately. Jeter said Monday that the current vision of the franchise and its future is 'different than the one [he] signed up to lead.'"

From NPR News

• Law: Supreme Court to hear a case that could limit the EPA's power to fight climate change

• National: 1st trial of a U.S. Capitol riot defendant opens Monday in D.C.

• National: New York could lift its vaccine mandate for indoor spaces as soon as March 7

• Sports: A ticket stub from Jackie Robinson's majors debut sells for a record-breaking $480K

• Technology: Facebook and Twitter remove disinformation and hacking campaigns targeting Ukraine

• Politics: Montgomery, Ala., mayor on leading the city through the voting rights battle

About today's curator

I’m Gregorio Ruiz-Perez, a journalist at WUFT. Originally from Naples, Florida, I’ve always enjoyed running to clear my mind. I am a senior journalism major and am part of a team searching for local state news each week that’s important to you. Please send feedback about today’s edition of The Point or ideas for stories we may have missed to

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