The Point, March 30, 2022: Gainesville officials are trying to improve the city as a destination for immigrants


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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Gainesville becomes first community in Florida to publicly launch blueprint to become a certified welcoming city to immigrants. “The plan was unveiled at the Matheson History Museum to a room packed with city and county officials and community members. Surrounded by illustrations of the city’s history, speakers described a chapter still unfolding: an influx of immigrants. More than 10% of people in Gainesville are foreign-born, and this number is likely to grow. Almost a quarter of the city’s total population growth between 2014 and 2019 is attributable to immigrants.”

• WCJB: A 14-person committee was announced by UF officials to find the university’s new president. “UF officials have announced the members of the 14-person committee tasked with finding a new president of the university before President Kent Fuchs steps down at the end of the fall semester.”

• WUFT News: Delay in spending American Rescue dollars is leaving Gainesville’s homeless community in limbo. “Gainesville received half of its federal stimulus funds in July of last year and expects to receive the remaining funds by July, according to Mayor Lauren Poe.”

• WUFT News: Florida’s Appleby entering transfer portal; police name him as possible witness in sex assault case against roommate Keyontae Johnson. “Appleby, 23, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, was among five people listed by name as involved in the case on a Gainesville police incident report made available this week.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville’s immigration inclusion blueprint unveiled to community on Tuesday. “The document lists more than 70 action items to build “a more inclusive, accessible and welcoming community for all Gainesville immigrant neighbors,” though there was no anticipated cost for implementing the changes.”

• The Villages Daily Sun: State parks get a boost in restoration funding. “The Florida Legislature recently approved nearly $233 million — a record amount — in the 2022-23 state budget, dedicated to maintenance and improvement projects at state parks.”

• News4Jax: 1-year-old Jose Lara’s body found in Putnam County. “The Sheriff’s Office says there is nothing to indicate foul play, but it is still an active investigation.”

• WUFT News: The owner of the new Swamp Restaurant aims to bring a Gainesville tradition back to life. “This summer, the Swamp Restaurant will reopen in a new location on Southwest Second Avenue, and the new owner Ryan Prodesky wants to maintain what made the old location so special.”

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Florida AG files suit challenging federal rules on COVID mask wearing for travelers. “In Florida’s latest salvo against the Biden administration over COVID-19 restrictions, Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging requirements that people wear masks in airports and on planes, trains and buses.”

• USA Today Network ($): Gov. DeSantis vetoes congressional map, calls Florida lawmakers back into session. “The Republican governor specifically targeted Congressional District 5 as unconstitutional and racially gerrymandered. Stretching from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, it’s where voters have elected Black Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson since 2016.”

• WFSU: Cabinet meets over Florida’s dysfunctional insurance market and lingering Russian investments. “Florida’s top insurance regulator tried to get out in front of a fast-moving story – a dysfunctional property insurance market with dramatic increases in premiums for homeowners, two months before the start of another hurricane season.”

• Politico: DeSantis says Disney ‘crossed the line’ in calling for ‘Don’t Say Gay’ repeal. “DeSantis, a Republican who signed the bill into law on Monday, was reacting to a tweet from Disney calling on the state Legislature to repeal the law or for the courts to strike it down.”

• Panama City News Herald ($): 70+ mph winds, tornadoes possible: Bay County expecting severe storms Wednesday and Thursday. “Karleisa Rogacheski, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee office, told The News Herald on Tuesday that the biggest threat from the cold front pushing through the area will be damaging winds in excess of 70 mph, embedded tornadoes and heavy rainfall.”

• WLRN: Four years after the Parkland shooting, advocates urge lawmakers to take action on gun control. “Survivors of the Parkland shooting and their families members wanted to send lawmakers a message they couldn’t ignore. So last week they used more than 1,000 body bags to spell out the words ‘thoughts and prayers’ on the National Mall.”

• WJCT: Looking to buy a house? This may be the worst time. “Despite rising interest rates, the scorching housing market in Florida has not cooled, a surprising development that should concern people looking to buy a home, new research suggests.”

• FLKeysNews ($): Coast Guard makes a different kind of rescue — and 2 turtles are now at a Keys hospital. “On Monday, Coast Guard crews from Station Key West rescued two injured green turtles in separate discoveries off the Lower Florida Keys.”

From NPR News

• World: Russia vows to reduce Ukraine attacks after talks, but the U.S. is skeptical

• Health: Do I really need another booster? The answer depends on age, risk and timing

• Health: The more contagious BA.2 version of omicron is now the most common in the U.S.

• Politics: Lynching is now a federal hate crime after a century of blocked efforts

• Politics: As medication abortion becomes dominant, red states restrict pills

• Politics: The 2022 midterms are underway. Here’s the calendar of primary elections

• National: Federal Trade Commission accuses Intuit of deceptively advertising TurboTax as free

About today’s curator

I’m Melissa Feito, a journalist at WUFT. Originally from Miami, I got my start in public radio covering religion stories like the spiritual roots of Afro-Brazilian music and modern communities of pagans. I’m a graduate student getting my master’s degree in mass communication and am part of a team searching for local and 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

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