The Point, March 4, 2022: Florida Legislature passes 15-week abortion ban


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The stories near you

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County HB 1493 passes Florida House 80-35. “If passed, the bill would place a question on the Nov. 8 ballot that asks Alachua County residents if they want to switch the BOCC to single-member districts instead of all county citizens voting for all commissioners.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County, Gainesville approve funding for East Side Urgent Care facility. “Alachua County and City of Gainesville commissioners met at a joint meeting to approve funding for an urgent care center extension to UF Health Shands Hospital. The agreement was unanimous, but the decision did not come without its fair share of questions.”

• WUFT News: A Bronson high school student with one hand is excelling as a three-sport athlete. “Stanley lost her right hand in an all-terrain vehicle accident at the age of 8. But her passion for sports never waned; it only intensified. She said it’s taught her about having determination in life.”

• WUFT News: Buchholz High School theater plays aim to highlight a realistic teenage experience. “Two of the three plays are original student creations, which the theater arts teacher and performing arts chair Ted Lewis said has been a tradition for 16 years. In prior years, his students have written comedies, hard core dramas, musicals and other genres.”

• News4JAX: Documents show fractured relationship between fired Alachua County superintendent, school board. “Performance reviews from school board members submitted last month show there was ongoing tension between former Alachua County schools superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon and board members — and that tension may have played a part in her dismissal.”

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Florida Republicans send 15-week abortion ban to governor. “Abortions after 15 weeks would be banned in Florida under a bill Republican senators sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis late on Thursday, capping a bitter debate in the statehouse as a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision may limit abortion rights in America. DeSantis, a Republican, has previously signaled his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.”

• Miami Herald ($): Senate passes bill seeking to keep ‘unlawful’ migrants from being brought to Florida. “Florida Republicans are poised to bar the state from doing business with companies that bring undocumented immigrants into the state, a move that Democrats and faith leaders across the state worry will complicate the resettlement of unaccompanied minors who come to Florida to be reunified with their families.”

• WFSU: Florida Supreme Court upholds new state legislative districts. “Unlike the proposed congressional districts, the state legislative maps have drawn little controversy. In its ruling, the court explained that there were no opponents challenging the maps for the first time since the existing rules governing judicial review of the maps were put in place more than 50 years ago. Democrats, however, have expressed opposition to the maps, which would favor Republicans.”

• WQCS: AAA: $4 a gallon is “a real possibility” in Florida. “AAA of Florida predicts that $4 a gallon gas may soon be coming to the sunshine state. Sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine have effectively removed Russian oil from the market, and OPEC on Wednesday agreed to only modest increases in supply. The resulting shortage has prompted prices at the pump to surge.”

• WUSF: Plan to close the troubled Piney Point phosphate plant is released. “It’s now up to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to determine whether the plan meets state regulations. It would permanently close four gypsum stacks formerly used to store toxic wastewater from the production of fertilizer.”

• Florida Storms: Areas of drought are expanding across Florida. “Although the winter months are considered Florida’s dry season, the past few months have been exceedingly dry. Year to date rainfall departures from the Panhandle to interior South Florida range from about 2 inches below normal to up to 10 inches below normal.”

• WLRN: Florida passes new rules on two iconic fish. One’s now easier to catch. “As expected, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a controversial rule for goliath grouper that will allow limited fishing for the first time in 30 years. The giant fish nearly went extinct in the 1980s following decades of heavy fishing on reefs where they hunker down and grow to several hundred pounds or more, invincible to most predators.”

• The News Service of Florida: Around-the-clock alligator hunting supported. “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday directed staff members to set up rule changes that will ensure more daylight hours for alligator hunting in most parts of the state. The commission also supported allowing pre-charged pneumatic airbows with tethered lines as part of the equipment that alligator hunters can use.”

• FOX35 Orlando: Deadly I-95 crash eerily similar to scene 10 years ago on I-75. “Thick fog was difficult to distinguish from smoke from burning trucks, mangled after a 17-car pileup early Thursday morning. Three people were killed. The fog is being blamed for drivers having little to no visibility. The site is eerily similar to another deadly pileup 10 years ago. In 2012, 11 people were killed in crashes when thick fog combined with smoke from a nearby fire on I-75 near Gainesville.”

• WJCT: Fort Mose and other African American historical sites approved for state grants. “A handful of historic sites in the Jacksonville area are receiving millions in African American Cultural Grants from the Florida Department of State. The awards include more than $900,000 toward building a representation of what St. Johns County’s Fort Mose looked like around 1738, when it was the first legally sanctioned free settlement of formerly enslaved people.”

From NPR News

• Science: Striking new evidence points to seafood market in Wuhan as pandemic origin point

• World: Russians seize nuclear plant after attack, Ukrainian officials say

• Politics: Biden wants more COVID relief funds. The GOP wants to know where previous relief went

• National: Tens of thousands of Ukrainians can stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation

• National: Ex-officer found not guilty on charges for raid into Breonna Taylor’s apartment

• Health: Purdue Pharma, Sacklers reach $6 billion deal with state attorneys general

• Sports: The NFL and players’ union agree to suspend COVID protocols for the 2022 season

• Space: In a first, a mysterious rocket part is about to slam into the moon — by accident

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

About WUFT News

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

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