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The stories near you
• WUFT News: Inside the effort to diversify north central Florida’s largest arts festival. “For the first time, (Leira Cruz Cáliz’s) art will be on display at the upcoming Downtown Festival and Art Show, thanks to the new Emerging Artist Program. The program was developed by Chelsea Carnes in response to a challenge she saw as an opportunity: What would it take to diversify north central Florida’s largest arts festival? It’s the 41st year of the festival, and Carnes’ first year directing it. She stepped in at a unique point in festival history.”
• WUFT News: ‘It’s a fight for respect’: North Florida hijabis speak on the right to dress themselves. “While women in Iran protest national religious mandates to wear a headscarf, Florida women who wear a hijab worry they may face backlash for their decision to wear the veil. Religious and state law in Iran has required women to veil since the late-20th century following the Iranian revolution in 1979. The mandates have been a point of tension for decades, but recent protests broke out following the murder of Mahsa Amini in September for not wearing the hijab.”
• WUFT News: National Pan-Hellenic Council Garden faces third vandalism instance. “In a brief statement posted on social media after the council went public with its sentiments, the university said that ‘a law enforcement investigation continues’ into the matter, and that ‘additional security measures’ were being put into place to prevent further damage.”
• The Alligator: Man arrested for vandalizing Institute of Black Culture sign. “(Marvelle) Blair’s arrest comes a few weeks after the vandalism of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Garden, located on UF’s campus. This is now the second vandalism of monuments and signs involving UF’s Black community, but investigators don’t believe the incidents are related.”
• WUFT News: Florida’s largest food bank set for local food distribution events on Friday, Saturday. “Farm Share, a nonprofit food bank based in Homestead, secures food and crops not sold by farmers and delivers them to Floridians in need. Serving all 67 counties in Florida, it has agencies and food pantries scattered throughout the state, with several stationed in Gainesville.”
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Around the state
• Associated Press: A federal judge blocks a DeSantis law that bars ‘woke’ education in colleges. “A federal judge in Florida on Thursday blocked a law pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that restricts certain race-based conversations and analysis in colleges. Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a temporary injunction against the so-called ‘Stop Woke’ act in a ruling that called the legislation ‘positively dystopian.'”
• USA Today Network ($): How Florida turned red: Changing population, weak opposition, aggressive Gov. Ron DeSantis. “While a Republican red wave missed most of the nation this election season, it washed over Florida powered by energy from shifting demographics, a dysfunctional Democratic Party and Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
• News Service of Florida: Thousands of Florida students struggling with mental health committed under Baker Act. “Florida had 5,077 incidents of students being involuntarily committed under a mental-health law known as the Baker Act during the past school year, data presented Wednesday to a school-safety commission showed. The Baker Act is a roughly 50-year-old state law that allows courts, law enforcement officers and certain medical workers to order people who could be a harm to themselves or others to be taken to facilities for up to 72 hours.”
• Florida Today ($): Deemed unsafe after Hurricane Nicole, Melbourne Beach Resort plans to repair, reopen. “After Nicole’s gusts subsided, a chunk of the 16-room Melbourne Beach Resort’s concrete pool deck hung suspended in air — the supporting sand beneath had washed away.”
• Associated Press: Gabby Petito family settles $3M suit in killing by fiance. “The settlement was signed Thursday by Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter W. Carroll. A lawyer for Petito’s parents said whatever money is received will go to the Gabby Petito Foundation dedicated to locating missing people and curbing domestic violence.”
• Spectrum News: Funding for Homosassa River restoration hangs in the balance.“Florida springs and the rivers they feed into are some of Florida’s most precious resources, including the Homosassa River. It serves as a habitat for wildlife and plants, and is used recreationally by both residents and visitors alike. But over the years, an invasive algae has taken hold.”
From NPR News
Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.