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Today’s Florida stories
• Associated Press: Parkland school shooter to get life sentence for killing 17 people. “Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz will be sentenced to life without parole for the 2018 murder of 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, after the jury said Thursday that it could not unanimously agree that he should be executed.”
• WLRN-Miami: ‘A gut punch’: Families of Parkland victims rage against shooter’s life sentence. “The jury determined that mitigating circumstances – including that the shooter suffered brain damage and abuse as a child – outweighed the nature of the crimes, described by prosecutors as heinous, calculated and cruel. Lori Alhadeff – who was elected to the Broward County School Board on a campaign of school safety and accountability after her daughter was murdered – said she was completely shocked by the decision.”
• Fresh Take Florida: Living without internet: Library is hot spot after hurricane disconnected parts of Florida. “The Punta Gorda Charlotte Library is one of the few places in the area that offers public access to the internet, and it is the only library open in Charlotte County. Residents find themselves temporarily limited to a disconnected era before smartphones, Wi-Fi, streaming video and 5G.”
• New York Times ($): Why Ian May Push Florida Real Estate Out of Reach for All but the Super Rich. “The hurricane’s record-breaking cost will make it even harder for many to get insurance, experts say — threatening home sales, mortgages and construction.”
• Fresh Take Florida: DeSantis extends early voting by up to 2 days in hurricane-ravaged counties. “DeSantis also allowed officials there to open “super” voting centers, made it easier to request mail ballots and permitted use of poll workers who haven’t been trained for this election. Under the governor’s order, early voting will run from Oct. 24 to Election Day, Nov. 8. Sarasota and Charlotte counties previously were allowing early voting through Nov. 6. Lee County had allowed early voting through Nov. 5.”
• News4Jax: A new hotline is created for reporting displaced boats and vessels due to Hurricane Ian. “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has established a hotline for reporting displaced vessels still on Florida state waters because of Hurricane Ian. Thousands of vessels were displaced by wind and storm surge due to Hurricane Ian. Some were pushed ashore, some damaged in marinas, private docks and others were relocated but still afloat, fully or partially sunken.”
• The Alligator: UF Faculty Senate President: Search committee had no choice in naming one presidential finalist. “Of the dozen final candidates the presidential search committee zeroed in on, all of them said they would drop out of the running unless they were named the sole finalist, (Faculty Senate President Amanda) Phalin said. Under the new search conditions created by a new Florida law, UF had no obligation to release the identity of any shortlist of candidates until three weeks before those individuals would interview with the UF Board of Trustees.”
• Lakeland Ledger ($): Rebuild or give up? Florida citrus growers explore options after losses to Hurricane Ian. “Last year, Florida growers picked 42 million boxes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture – an amount that was already the lowest on record since World War II. Decades ago, during the heyday of citrus growing in Florida, 250 million boxes were harvested mostly for orange juice.”
• WUFT News: High schools across Florida receive false active shooter phone calls, following disturbing nationwide pattern. “Law enforcement received phone calls that active shooters were present at Eastside High School in Gainesville and Santa Fe High School in Alachua. Law enforcement responded to both schools and found that there was no actual threat.”
• WUFT News: City of Gainesville plans to provide free sanitary products in public restrooms. “The city plans to implement this into park bathrooms across the city. Such places include Depot Park, Tom Petty Park, Possum Creek Park, Westside Park and Porter Community Center.”
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Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.