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The stories near you
• Fresh Take Florida: Florida soccer coach leaving after complaints by players over comments about eating habits, bodies. “The University of Florida fired its new soccer coach Wednesday after only one season amid unprecedented numbers of players leaving the program after his hiring and complaints by athletes who said he pressured them about eating habits and their bodies. Florida’s athletic director, Scott Stricklin, notified players of the decision regarding coach Tony Amato in a private meeting. That came just before Stricklin and Amato were scheduled to discuss the players’ complaints in separate one-on-one media interviews for an investigative news article about the program’s problems that was to be published later this week.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: BOCC approves boundaries, adds new precinct. “The new map layout splits Alachua County into two senate districts, roughly dividing the county in half between north and south, and three congressional districts. The new state lines based on the 2020 Census forced the SOE to revise boundaries to eliminate split precincts.”
• News Service of Florida: Federal appeals court wades into Ocala prayer vigil fight. “A federal appeals court Thursday will take up a long-running constitutional dispute about a prayer vigil that was backed by the Ocala police chief amid a spate of shootings in the community.”
• WUFT News: Why some college students dropped out during the pandemic, and how others struggled through. “Nationally, college enrollment is at a historic low with one million less students enrolled today then before the pandemic, according to NPR. Moreover, there has been a 5.1% drop in enrollment in the last two years since the pandemic as of fall 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. With Florida having among some of the least expensive universities in the nation, enrollment has steadied, said administrators at the University of Florida, University of Central Florida and University of North Florida. And yet Florida college students are not absolved from the effects of COVID-19.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Gators football found opponent it couldn’t block: Parking enforcers. “…Campus parking enforcers have issued hundreds of tickets to players parked illegally around the stadium during mandatory practices. On the sprawling campus of 2,000 acres at the state’s flagship university – where finding parking can be a daily challenge for students, faculty and employees – Florida’s new coach, Billy Napier, found a solution: premium parking for his players in a convenient lot and forgiving fines for up to 10 tickets each.”
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Around the state
• Miami Herald ($): Disney tells investors state can’t dissolve special district without paying debt. “As Florida legislators were rushing through passage of a bill to repeal the special district that governs Walt Disney World last week, they failed to notice an obscure provision in state law that says the state could not do what legislators were doing — unless the district’s bond debt was paid off. Disney, however, noticed and quietly sent a note to its investors to show that it was confident the Legislature’s attempt to dissolve the special taxing district operating the 39-square mile parcel it owned in two counties violated the ‘pledge’ the state made when it enacted the district in 1967, and therefore was not legal. The result, Disney told its investors, is that it would continue to go about business as usual.”
• Associated Press: Florida school shooting judge reverses; confusion follows. “The judge overseeing the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz reversed herself Wednesday and said she is not dismissing more than 200 potential jurors who survived a first round of screening earlier this month. In the latest confusing turn since jury selection began three weeks ago, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer overturned her Monday decision to start jury selection anew because of a possible mistake she made. She had said then that she would throw out 243 potential jurors who said they could serve from June to September, the expected length of the trial.”
• Fresh Take Florida: As sale of Twitter proceeds, US appeals judges to hear arguments over new Florida law cracking down on social media companies. “In a major free speech case, a federal appeals court panel will hear oral arguments Thursday on whether Florida can implement parts of a controversial new law that would prohibit social media companies from banning political candidates’ accounts. The case being considered by a three-judge panel in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has become a conservative rallying cry, with a host of Republican-led states, including Texas, Alabama and South Carolina, filing briefs in support of Florida’s appeal.”
• WMFE: DeSantis vetoes rooftop solar legislation, siding with clean energy advocates. “The legislation involved net metering, a billing arrangement aimed at compensating rooftop solar customers for excess energy they send back to the grid. DeSantis says he vetoed the measure because of the potential cost for energy consumers, who already are experiencing inflation and increased prices for gas and groceries.”
• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Pinellas County Commission votes to sue Florida over newly-passed election law. “On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law creating the nation’s only election crimes police unit. The very next day, the Pinellas County Commission voted to sue the Sunshine State, challenging the legality of the legislation.”
• News4Jax: A closer look at Florida’s property insurance crisis. “Florida’s crisis has been fueled by home insurance fraud and out of control litigation costs. Another major contributor is the billions of dollars in losses from recent natural disasters. It’s led to three insurance companies leaving the state of Florida in the past three months. Another hurricane season is weeks away and insurance agents are hoping legislators can find a quick fix.”
• New York Times ($): In Florida, It’s ‘Go West’ for Arts Donors and Patrons. “Though the east coast of Florida — with the Perez Art Museum Miami, myriad other museums and Art Basel Miami Beach — often grabs headlines, as real estate prices soar across the state, transplants from the North and Midwest and even California are flooding to cities on the state’s west coast. Not only are they bringing enthusiasm for the arts but robust gifts to back it up, allowing museum directors to plan for the future more aggressively than ever.”
• NPR News: Lawyers say sheriff’s remark about shooting home intruders was ‘wildly irresponsible.’ “A Florida sheriff who encouraged homeowners to shoot intruders in order to ‘save the taxpayers money’ is being lambasted by Florida defense attorneys, who are accusing him of offering ‘wildly irresponsible’ advice that could cause needless loss of life and aggravate racial tensions.”
From NPR News
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.