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The Point, June 14, 2022: Heat indices could reach 110 in parts of Florida this week

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Today's Florida stories

• Florida Storms: A stifling heat wave is ahead this week for most of Florida. "The Panhandle and northern and central parts of the peninsula are expected to be most substantially impacted by the heat wave, as these regions will be closest to the center of mid-level high pressure. In these locations, afternoon highs are expected to soar to the mid-90s by Wednesday and the upper 90s by the end of the workweek."

• News Service of Florida: Average gas price hits $5 per gallon in areas of Florida. "Statewide, gas prices hit another record high Monday, averaging $4.89 per gallon. According to the AAA Auto Club, Florida gas prices increased another 13 cents last week."

• WUSF-Tampa: Florida leads the nation in percentage of residents living in high-risk coronavirus counties. "While many Floridians are living their lives without COVID-19 precautions, the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state is on the rise. More Florida residents are now living in what are called 'high-risk counties' than anywhere else in the country. The state has 86 percent of people living in high-risk counties, compared to the national average of 22 percent."

• Florida Politics: One quarter of Legislature poised for election without opposition as qualifying starts. "By noon Friday, 25% of the Legislature could be elected without voters getting a say in the matter."

• NPR News: Critics worry Florida's new elections chief will make the office more partisan. "The new elections chief, Cord Byrd, has a history of sparring with Democrats and, when asked, he has refused to say Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. Voting rights advocates and some Democrats in the state say they are worried that Byrd's appointment could make the office less independent."

• Associated Press: Attorneys in Surfside condo collapse settlement case seek about $100 million in fees. "The total represents a discount of as much as $200 million compared with the amounts typically charged by lawyers in major class-action lawsuits, Miami attorney Philip Freidin said in the document. The settlements also avoid court battles that could have taken years and cost even more."

• WCJB-Gainesville: Alachua County animal shelter waives adoption fees due to overcrowding. "County officials said springtime brings a natural increase of puppies and kittens, but that’s not the only reason for the drastic increase of animals."

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Lake Weir health alert: Blue-green algal toxins detected during state testing. "The Florida Department of Health in Marion County on Monday issued a health alert for Lake Weir in Ocklawaha due to the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins found in a June 7 sample."

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Florida's Next Cash Crop?: The humble blackberry. "Several years ago, farmers asked University of Florida scientists to help them produce blackberries as part of an effort to test whether so-called 'alternative' crops could grow in the Sunshine State. Crops like hops, blackberries, pomegranates, and others."

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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

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news