Subscribe to The Point to invite us into your inbox with the most important Florida news from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.
The stories near you
• WUFT News: Here are the projects around north central Florida that lawmakers funded in the 2022 budget. “Among the billions of dollars in state appropriations are hundreds of millions in local funding. Gov. Ron DeSantis is now reviewing the budget and could use his line-item veto power to cancel individual projects. The new budget takes effect July 1. Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of what got funded and in what areas.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: ACPS cut from Tallahassee recognition program. “The new education budget prevents those 12 districts, including Alachua County, from participating in the Florida School Recognition Program. The program gives recognition and monetary awards to schools that keep an ‘A’ rating or improve their rating.”
• WCJB: Alachua County school board names Shane Andrew interim superintendent. “It happened in a 3-2 vote, with board members Mildred Russell and Gunnar Paulson in dissent. Each board member brought one to two suggestions to the table, ultimately electing Chief of Operations Shane Andrew.”
• The Alligator: UF’s presidential search will be held behind closed doors under new Florida bill. “The search for UF’s next leader is expected to begin this month, UF spokesperson Hessy Fernandez wrote in an email. Senate Bill 520 and its companion bill, House Bill 703, will keep the identities of presidential candidates out of public records for most of the process. Students and faculty will be able to research and meet with finalists 21 days before a new campus leader is chosen.”
• Florida Politics: UF announces Artificial Intelligence Academic Initiative Center. “UF said the center will coordinate and develop programs and certificates; identify opportunities for faculty and students to engage with AI; co-organize seminars and conferences; develop an AI Scholars program; and partner with UF’s Career Connections Center, the Florida College System and private industry to promote an AI-ready workforce and help businesses integrate AI into their current processes.”
• FOX35 Orlando: NOAA report acknowledges ‘tornado dead zone.’ “The ‘Tornado Dead Zone’ includes parts of Marion, Sumter and Putnam counties where there is a lack of low level radar coverage to spot tornadoes. On top of this, the Jacksonville radar that should cover that area is down for routine maintenance for another week.”
Do you value local journalism?
WUFT is here for you with vital coverage during complex times. We exist to serve north central Florida and are committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news from your community, the state and the world. If you’re able to do so, please consider making a donation to WUFT to keep us going strong.
Around the state
• NPR News: The Senate approves a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. “For those wishing for an end to annual clock shifting, this most recent push in Congress is perhaps better late than never. ‘We don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore. And why we would enshrine this in our laws and keep it for so long is beyond me,’ Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the sponsors of the bill, said on the Senate floor.”
• Treasure Coast Newspapers ($): Homeowners insurance: Florida Legislature fails to pass major reform bills. What happens now? “Three property insurance bills intended to alleviate skyrocketing premiums statewide failed to pass the 2022 Florida legislative session that ended Friday. This comes at a time when homeowners and insurance companies alike are desperately seeking remedy, as property insurance premiums are up nearly 25% in the last year and businesses report billions in underwriting losses.”
• News4Jax: Gov. DeSantis signs bill that eliminates FSA in public schools, but state teachers union not happy. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that is ending the Florida Standards Assessments and replacing the standardized exams with a ‘progress monitoring system’ that would test students three times a year. The bill, SB 1048, makes it so students will be required to take progress-monitoring tests at the beginning, middle and end of each school year.”
• Miami Herald ($): Florida lawmakers OK payments to parents of children who died of brain injuries. “Following up on action taken last year, the Legislature voted to give $150,000 stipends to parents whose children were once enrolled in a state program called the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) but had been dropped from the rolls when the children succumbed to their birth injuries.”
• Florida Politics: Marianna adults with autism program to launch at former Dozier School for Boys site. “NextStep at Endeavor Academy, a program helping adults with autism develop employment and independent living skills, launched its 12-week pilot program out of Chipola College in late January. The program’s future home is Endeavor Park, a mixed-use development currently being renovated at the former site of the infamous Dozier School for Boys.”
• WLRN: Almost a century later, remnants of the Overseas Railroad are still an integral part of the Keys. “The Overseas Railroad ended its working life in 1935, when the Labor Day Hurricane destroyed part of the tracks. But the railroad is still a living part of the Keys. Monroe County just pulled up one of the last mile markers remaining, still near its original location on Big Pine Key. The marker will be restored and placed at the new Big Pine Key swimming hole near Pine Channel Bridge.”
• Northwest Florida Daily News ($): A 196-square-foot home in Santa Rosa Beach is listed at $1 million. “The home has one bathroom and functions as a studio, with one room making up the entire living space. There is not a fully equipped kitchen, but photos of the property show a mini fridge, microwave and sink.”