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Today’s top Florida stories
• WUFT News: Tiny home owners across Florida are seeking peace with local governments. “In 2021, Maine passed a law granting tiny homes the same status as single-family dwellings. However, no such statewide law exists in Florida, meaning current and prospective tiny home owners are often at the mercy of where they wish to live in or pass through.”
• Tallahassee Democrat ($): It’s law: In just days, Ron DeSantis dismantles Disney’s special tax district operating since 1967. “Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to strip the Walt Disney Co. the authority to govern its 37-mile Central Florida entertainment empire Friday afternoon. And there could be more consequences coming, DeSantis warned, if Disney does not adjust its diversity and inclusion program by Monday.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: Sparks fly at latest ACSO-union negotiation. “In March, the disagreements between the union and sheriff’s office peaked when the PBA filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. for unfair labor practices that centered on the union negotiations.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Downtown Gainesville has seen major changes in recent years. It’s just the start. “The City Commission on Thursday received its $150,000 strategic downtown Gainesville study that was partly funded by the University of Florida. It included feedback from more than 700 residents who say they want the area — so much of which is in transition — to have a unified identity.”
• USA Today Network ($): Al Lawson responds after DeSantis upends district: ‘My plan right now is to be on the ballot.’ “Under the direction of DeSantis, the Republican majority in the state legislature changed the lines of the district he represents from one that gave President Joe Biden 62% of the vote into one where 54% of the vote went to former President Donald Trump.”
• WCJB: Marion County Commissioners approve septic-to-sewer conversion plan to reduce pollution. “The program intends to convert homes with existing septic systems to sewer systems and is meant to reduce pollution into water sources. The county is using a portion of its $72M American Rescue Plan funds on the conversions and officials say converting cuts the cost of septic tank maintenance out of a monthly utility bill.”
• Palm Beach Post ($): Florida’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising again as BA.2 subvariant starts to spread. “Coronavirus-positive patients are filling up Florida’s hospitals once again, but their numbers remain smaller than before the original omicron wave engulfed the state.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): As inflation rises, Floridians say it’s hard to pay their bills. “Nearly half of Floridians included in a recent survey say inflation has impacted their ability to pay essential bills. The finding comes from a survey conducted by the University of South Florida, asking 600 Floridians how price hikes have impacted their spending — and their attitudes on various related policy issues.”
• FOX 35 Orlando: Abandoned African-American cemetery in Groveland getting facelift. “The Oak Tree Union Colored Cemetery of Taylorville is overrun with invasive trees and out-of-control vegetation. It’s also the final resting place of about 70 souls.”
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About today’s curator
I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to firstname.lastname@example.org.