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The Point, Feb. 16, 2023: Florida school board races could become partisan

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Residents asked to review Santa Fe Watershed Flood Risk maps. "The Suwannee River Water Management District has completed a flood-risk review of the Santa Fe River Watershed."

• WUFT News: Local governments tackle pedestrian safety, panhandling. "In the past 10 days, three local governments have started taking measures to keep pedestrians safe."

• The Alligator: Alachua County Commission clarifies position on meat processing facility, passes clean water resolution. "The discrepancy came from Commissioner Anna Prizzia’s Feb. 9 statement regarding the plans for the new facility. In it, she wrote the commission 'supports a local meat processing facility' due to its value to county ranchers."

• Mainstreet Daily News:GRU receives $22M wastewater grant. "The facility will be modernized to improve nutrient removal and accommodate future growth in the community by expanding its capacity from 7.5 million gallons per day to 10 million gallons."

• WUFT News: This cemetery’s flowers are planted, not placed. "Perhaps one would not expect musicians playing, artists creating and kids running through the grass meadows at a loved one’s burial. However, for Eleanor Blair, this was the reality of the first burial she attended at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery (PCCC)."

• WUFT News: Shana Banana will teach at the Hippodrome Theatre spring break camp in March. "Shana Banana is a Gainesville-based singer, songwriter, author and educator who has been, as she calls it, 'edutaining' people of all ages for over two decades."

• WUFT News: Read FPREN’s full severe weather awareness series here. "The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network recently compiled a series on the dangers of severe weather in the state and the value of residents being aware of weather safety best practices."

• WUFT News: The ‘Citrus Coffee Coalition’: How a minority party finds strength in tiny numbers. "For the small, outspoken liberal minority in Citrus County, death threats, bullying and harassment are common occurrences for their vocal opposition to conservative beliefs in the area."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: A move for partisan Florida school board races takes a step forward. "A Florida House panel on Tuesday took a first step toward shifting to partisan school-board elections and backed a proposal that would limit school-board members to eight years in office instead of the current 12."

• Florida Politics: Matt Gaetz will face no charges in federal sex trafficking investigation. "The public first became aware that Gaetz had become the target of a federal investigation when The New York Times published details in March 2021. At that point, the investigation was already underway."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Hundreds in Tallahassee protest the state's ban on AP African American studies. "Civil rights leader Al Sharpton led a march on Wednesday, to the Florida Capitol building to combat Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration over the halt of an Advanced Placement course in African American studies in public classrooms."

• Florida Politics: Measures to lower cap on property tax hikes clear first committee hurdle. "Voters could get the chance to reduce the size of property tax increases in the 2024 election, as one Senate panel gave its approval to a ballot measure that would cut the cap on annual property value hikes from 3% to 2%."

• WLRN-Miami:‘People got screwed.’ Despite troubles, green energy lender seeks restart in Florida. "Late last year, Ygrene, the state’s most high-profile green energy finance company, suddenly vanished from the Florida market — a move that left contractors in the middle of projects unpaid and homeowners scrambling to pay big unexpected bills."

• WMFE-Orlando: "The Voice of NASA" Hugh Harris has died. "Harris spent 35 years at NASA, including more than two decades as a public affairs officer at Kennedy Space Center. He was known for his Shuttle launch commentary -- including the broadcast of the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981."

From NPR News

• National: The Buffalo Tops shooter has been sentenced to life in prison without parole

• Economy: The U.S. could run out of cash to pay its bills between July and September

• National: Dozens of inmates have died in a Houston jail since 2021. Now the FBI is investigating

• Politics: Congress presses acting head of FAA on safety lapses and computer system failure

• National:A penitentiary unit will shut down after deaths, exposed by NPR and Marshall Project

• National: Texas considers a bill banning people from 4 countries from buying real estate

• Education: High-paying jobs that don't need a college degree? Thousands of them sit empty

• Animals: An owl that escaped from the Central Park Zoo is still loose — and hunting on his own
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org