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The Point, Aug. 17, 2022: Gainesville's controversial zoning changes could take effect as soon as October

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The stories near you

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville zoning changes sent to county, state. "The ordinances, which change the zoning for existing residential property in the city, combine the city’s four single-family zoning categories into one neighborhood residential category. The new category allows for small-scale multifamily units and greater housing density in neighborhoods that traditionally have been made up of single-family homes. After state and county feedback on the ordinances, the Gainesville City Commission can schedule a second reading, and assuming an identical vote, the ordinances could go into effect as early as October."

• WCJB: Camp Crystal Lake director sues school board, former superintendent for defamation. "Scott Burton and his wife Holly Burton, principal of Shell Elementary School, say former Superintendent Carlee Simon began a vendetta against them for opposing her plans to build a new school in Hawthorne. The Burtons filed suit on Tuesday against Simon, the school board, and school board candidate Prescott Cowles, who once worked at the camp."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville Community Playhouse hires investigators to probe 'serious allegations.' "The allegations of sexual assault by those involved with the playhouse were posted on social media in late July and early August. Others quickly sided with the victims and demanded in Facebook posts that the theater fix its issues. The theater responded on Aug. 1 by announcing the cancellation of its season opener, 'Assassins,' which was scheduled to run from Sept. 15 through Oct. 7. The announcement, however, made no reference to the sexual assault allegations."

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Around the state

• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis wants retired cops as teachers. "Gov. Ron DeSantis is rolling out new proposals intended to bring teachers to Florida, with shortages affecting districts throughout the state. One such proposal would take first responders, including former police officers, firefighters and EMTs, from those high-pressure environments and move them to K-12 classrooms."

• News Service of Florida: Security costs for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, family increase. "Florida taxpayers spent more than $6.097 million during the 2021-2022 fiscal year on protective services for the first family and visiting officials. The bulk of the costs, $5.94 million, went to guarding DeSantis and members of his family, along with securing the governor’s mansion, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s annual 'Report of Transportation and Protective Services.'"

• Associated Press: Brightline gets $25 million federal grant to improve safety measures after spate of deaths. "Tracks used by the nation’s deadliest railroad will see added fencing to keep pedestrians away and safety improvements at crossings under a $25 million federal grant announced Monday. Brightline and government officials announced the grant as the privately owned passenger line continues to be plagued by deaths along its tracks between Miami and West Palm Beach."

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): More than a cough: New study shows red tide exposure can cause neurological woes. "Eating red tide-tainted seafood has long been known to make people sick, just as being near water with blooms can cause sneezing, coughing and a raw-feeling throat, but this is the first time published, peer-reviewed research has suggested toxins produced by the saltwater algae can trigger brain and nervous system illness in some people."

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: DEP releases rainwater from Piney Point before shut-down operations begin. "Manatee County is currently drilling an injection well so the contaminated water still in the other gypsum stacks can be treated and then injected 3,600 feet underground. The expected Piney Point closure completion date is December of 2024."

• WUSF-Tampa: The latest on monkeypox in Florida: state records pediatric case, expands vaccine supply. "The state reported its first case in a young child on Tuesday. The patient is younger than five and tested positive in Martin County. The state has also recorded eight cases in the 15-19 age group. While health officials want everyone to take measures to protect themselves against infection, they stress it's rare for kids to get it."

• Miami Herald ($): Florida court says 16-year-old in state care is too immature to choose abortion. "Jane Doe 22-B, a 16-year-old in the care of Florida child welfare authorities, lacks the maturity to be allowed to terminate her 10-week-pregnancy, an Escambia County judge said. She will have to grow up fast: Under a ruling handed down by an appeals court Monday, Jane may be forced to become a mother."

• WMFE-Orlando: Central Florida Democrats are preparing to help women go out of state to get abortions. "Democratic Senator Randolph Bracy says Florida could soon ban abortions outright. During a press conference Tuesday he rolled out an initiative aimed at helping women travel out of the state to get the procedure done if a ban does come to fruition here."

• WUSF-Tampa: Students who want to change their name or pronouns in Sarasota schools must now get parental permission. "The Sarasota County School district has adopted a new policy that requires school staff to notify the principal and school counselor and seek parental permission if a student asks to be called by a name and/or pronouns that are different than assigned at birth, apparently to align with the Parental Rights in Education law, which was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and took effect in July."

• FOX35-Orlando: Why do Florida airports have so many flight delays? Weather, rocket launches, and more visitors. "Capt. Shem Malmquist, a visiting instructor at the Florida Institute of Technology explains, how uniquely Florida factors can slow down flight operations everywhere. 'Those launches shut down big areas of airspace for blocks of time,' he explained. 'When there’s a thunderstorm or electrical storm, that also restricts your ground operation.'"

From NPR News

• Politics: Liz Cheney just lost her House seat, but her fight against Trump continues

• Politics: To encourage fans to vote, the NBA won't hold games on Election Day

• Health: Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19

• Health: Is there enough monkeypox vaccine to go around? Maybe yes, more likely no

• Health: How to keep your pets safe from monkeypox — and what to do if they get it

• Science: An astronomer's plan to trawl the ocean floor for signs of extraterrestrial life

• Science: How can we help humans thrive trillions of years from now? This philosopher has a plan

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