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The Point, April 20, 2023: House committee approves GRU control bill

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The stories near you

• WUFT News:GRU control bill gets House committee approval. "The House State Affairs Committee approved Representative Chuck Clemons’ bill giving the state of Florida control of Gainesville Regional Utilities on Wednesday."

• WUFT News: Gainesville commissioners continue undoing single-family zoning laws. "On Wednesday night, the commission met for a special meeting to discuss the highly debated laws passed last October that eliminated the single-family zoning category and added residential zoning districts."

• Mainstreet Daily News: ACPS begins rezoning with first input meeting. "Just over 100 parents and students sat in the Panther Palace, aka the cafeteria, for the board members to listen to concerns on how the rezoning along with other concerns like long bus rides, losing magnet programs, student discipline and facility expansion."

• WUFT News: Lake Forest Elementary School inaugurates new playground that will double as public park. "Lake Forest Elementary School in Gainesville hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning for its refurbished playground, which will also be used as a public park for the local community during non-school hours."

• WUFT News:Small business owners at the new Ocala Mall say they are thriving and plan to expand. "It has been almost two weeks since the new Ocala Mall opened where the Kmart used to be on East Silver Springs Boulevard. The mall has close to 160 new small business vendors and already has plans to expand."

• WUFT News: Universities plan future of research around AI. "When NVIDIA co-founder Chris Malachowsky approached University of Florida Provost Joe Glover with the idea of implementing an AI supercomputer at UF in the summer of 2020, Glover said he was caught 'flat-footed.'"

• WUFT News: From graffiti to fine art: The journey of Gainesville-based artist 444 IDK. "The artist who goes by the name 444 IDK has done graffiti from West Palm Beach, where he grew up, down to Miami. He said he has tagged highways and street signs in various locations. But he said he enjoys tagging trains the most because he considers them to be giant steel canvases for his work."

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Around the state

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida's education board issues near-ban on gender identity and sexual orientation instruction in public schools. "The Florida Board of Education has approved a new rule that says schools 'Shall not intentionally provide classroom instruction to students in grades 4 through 12 on sexual orientation or gender identity unless such instruction is expressly required by state academic standards.'"

• Fresh Take Florida: Hit snooze: Bills would delay middle, high school start times. "The House bill, introduced by Rep. John Paul Temple, R-The Villages, would require middle schools to start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m by 2026."

• WUFT News: Senate committee approves increased electricity bills for natural gas expansion. "SB 1162 would allow utility companies to purchase and use natural gas and hydrogen as fuel sources for electricity."

• Ocala Gazette: Partisan school board elections go on ballot. "The proposal (HJR 31) will go on the 2024 ballot and, if approved by voters, would do away with a requirement that school-board candidates run without party labels. Partisan elections could begin in 2026."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida's abortion laws protect a pregnant person's life, but not for mental health. "Under a new six-week abortion ban signed late Thursday by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and under the state's active 15-week abortion ban, there are exceptions when the life of the pregnant person is at risk, but not if the danger stems from a psychological condition."

• WUSF-Tampa: A newly discovered type of orange tree may offer hope to the Florida citrus industry. "Officials say the Donaldson tree could offer relief to citrus growers across the state whose latest crop was the lowest since World War II."

• WMFE-Orlando: Central Florida Tourism Oversight District now has supreme authority over Reedy Creek. "The vote was unanimous in setting up the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District as the local planning agency for any future land developments within the district."

• News4Jax: Unexpected 4:45 a.m. wake-up call across Florida with emergency alert test. "People living in Florida woke up to a sound louder than their alarm clocks on Thursday morning."

From NPR News

• National: 2 Texas cheerleaders were shot after 1 tried to get in the wrong car after practice

• National: Oklahoma county commissioner accused of making violent, racist remarks on tape resigns

• Law: Generic abortion pill manufacturer sues FDA in effort to preserve access

• Politics: McCarthy's bill for the looming debt limit would slash federal spending

• Health: Rural grocery stores are dying. Here's how some small towns are trying to save them

• Law: Facebook users can apply for their portion of a $725 million lawsuit settlement

• Business: Behold the tax free bagel: A New York classic gets a tax day makeover
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

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