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The stories near you
• The Gainesville Sun: Alachua County school bus driver shortage woes resume as district increases hiring efforts. “Alachua County Public Schools has been experiencing a bus driver shortage for over a year and is in dire need of dozens more drivers. At this point, anything would help, officials say.”
• WCJB TV20: Political leaders respond to the FDLE investigation into the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office. “Investigators say, it is ultimately up to the voter to know whether they are eligible to vote. But after multiple inmate interviews, they concluded that inmates “were either told or believed they were able to legally register and/or vote” by former Director of Outreach, TJ Pyche.”
• The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville’s mixed-use housing buildings have an abundance of vacancies. Why? “The closing of the Target store at The Standard building has highlighted the fact that mixed-use student housing buildings in Gainesville are struggling to keep or attract retail businesses on the bottom floors.”
• WCJB TV20: Judge rules against former ACPS school board member Diyonne McGraw in her suit against Governor DeSantis. “Eighth judicial circuit court judge Monica Brasington ruled that it was quote ‘proper for Desantis to remove her and appoint Mildred Russell to her seat.'”
• Ocala Star Banner: What’s up with all those caterpillars? Experts explain Ocala area’s fuzzy insect outbreak. “The ubiquitous insect undergoing its annual outbreak is the fir tussock moth, or Orgyia detrita for those who prefer the scientific nomenclature. The creatures, which are abundant throughout the state, can cause skin irritation, so read up before rounding them up or otherwise touching them.”
• WCJB TV20: Lake City council members increase fine costs for panhandling ordinance. “First time violators pay a fee of $100, second offense is $175. Although, Bowden thinks the homeless will bear the brunt of the burden.”
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Around the state
• CBS Miami: State Says Redistricting Case Should Be Put On Hold. “The motion came three days after Gov. Ron DeSantis called a special legislative session from April 19 to April 22 to try to reach an agreement on new congressional districts as part of the once-a-decade reapportionment process.”
• WLRN: Jury selection begins in Parkland school shooter trial. “Lawyers expect it will take at least two months to seat a 12-person jury because the case is so well known.”
• Miami Herald ($): Miami feds seize $34 million of bitcoin in fraud case. It’s one of largest seizures in U.S. “In a lawsuit, they accused the Parkland suspect — who is neither named nor charged — of using anonymous identities on the ‘Dark Web’ to carry out more than 100,000 fraudulent computer transactions between 2015 and 2017.”
• First Coast News: NYC mayor buys Florida billboards to denounce ‘Parental rights in Education’ bill. “Mayor Eric Adams said the campaign will reaffirm his ‘commitment and unconditional support for the LGBTQ+ community,’ his office explained in a press release. Adams called the new Florida law ‘shameful’ and of ‘extremist culture.'”
• WFSU News: Florida’s elections supervisors were meeting in Orlando as a federal judge slapped down part of a 2021 law. “At Thursday’s workshop at a Kissimmee hotel, the news broke that federal judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee had struck down key provisions of last year’s election law changes as unconstitutional, including restrictions on vote-by-mail drop boxes that the judge said discriminated against Black voters.”
• Associated Press: Union urges Florida faculty to ignore controversial survey. “In a letter to its members, the United Faculty of Florida urged faculty, staff and students to ignore the survey, saying it would create a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association on campuses.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida’s yo-yo’ing gas prices on the decline after double-digit increase last week. “Florida’s gasoline prices, although still above $4 a gallon, are on the decline following a month of rising costs and a 13-cent jump just in the last week. “
• Mainstreet Daily News: FWC: Boaters slow down for manatees. “Manatees are leaving their winter refuges and are more likely to be in rivers, canals and nearshore waters. Florida boaters are also enjoying the season, so it is crucial to stay alert and avoid manatees while traveling through Florida’s waterways.”
From NPR News
• Politics: U.S. ambassador to the U.N. calls for suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council
• Sports: Kansas uses its historic rally to claim a fourth men’s NCAA basketball title
• Health: Another booster? A vaccine for omicron? Here’s what could be next for COVID vaccines
• World: Australia steps up missile upgrade due to growing threats from China and Russia
• World: World Bank says war shocks will drag on Asian economies
• Science: A construction project caused damage to 100-million-year-old dinosaur tracks in Utah
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 email@example.com.