The Point, May 4, 2023: Alachua County’s $38M events center is opening later this month


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• WUFT News: Alachua County Sports and Events Center in Celebration Pointe set to open May 27. “Construction of the $38 million Alachua County Sports and Events Center in Celebration Pointe was funded by the county’s Tourist Development Tax. The facility will work with the state of Florida and Viking Inc. to host sports and events.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida lawmakers ban political ‘loyalty’ tests at state colleges and universities. “Senate sponsor Keith Perry. R-Gainesville, and other bill supporters have cited an example of the University of Florida College of Medicine using what they characterize as political loyalty tests.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Former death row inmates slam new Florida law making it easier to impose capital punishment. “With Florida making it easier for juries to impose the death sentence, two formerly condemned inmates who are still behind bars are warning that the change gives too much power over life and death to elected prosecutors. Their concerns are at odds with some families of murder victims.”

• Rolling Stone: That’s Dr. Tom Petty to You. “The University of Florida is posthumously recognizing Tom Petty’s contributions to music by honoring the late Heartbreakers leader with an honorary Doctor of Music degree. His brother Bruce will accept the diploma at the school’s spring commencement on Thursday.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Archer Library to double in size, add programs. “From the parking lot, the Archer Library appears the same as when it opened in 1993. After a few steps inside, clues like bare 2x4s and plastic coverings indicate the internal remodeling is underway.”

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Around the state

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida is adding restrictions to pronoun use in schools and expanding book challenges. “Senate Bill 1069 creates a process for people to challenge public school library books — an expansion of last year’s parental rights in education law, which critics have dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ It also limits pronoun use for students and employees to the ones that align with a person’s biological sex.”

• Politico: Florida Republicans pass bill targeting transgender bathroom use. “Florida Republicans passed legislation Wednesday that would make it a misdemeanor trespassing offense for someone to use certain bathrooms that don’t align with their sex at birth. The bill, now headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature, is limited to people using restrooms and changing facilities in state and local government buildings, schools, colleges and detention centers.”

• WMFE-Orlando: Legislature approves Tyre Sampson Act to improve safety of amusement park rides. “It is named after a 14-year-old boy who died in March 2022 when he fell from a drop tower at ICON Park in Orlando.”

• USA Today Network: About a dozen protesters arrested while singing in DeSantis’ office during sit-in. “The protest was organized by human rights group the Dream Defenders, which nearly a decade ago hosted a similar sit-in protest, this one a non-stop month long, at then-Gov. Rick Scott’s office.”

• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis again decries ‘anonymous sources’ after anti-defamation bill fails. “Gov. Ron DeSantis remains on the offense against ‘anonymous sources’ after controversial legislation making it easier to sue media outlets for defamation failed.”

• Associated Press: Man executed in Florida for woman’s 1986 stabbing death. “A Florida man was executed Wednesday for breaking into a woman’s home and stabbing her to death in 1986, a crime committed months after he was released from prison for rape. Darryl B. Barwick, 56, was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m. Wednesday following a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, the office of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said.”

• WLRN-Miami: Bill threatens hundreds of Florida’s historic buildings with demolition. “State senators just passed a bill to prevent local governments from blocking the demolition of structures on coastal areas – where many of Florida’s most historic buildings are. Supporters say it’ll protect people from structures that are potentially vulnerable to natural disasters, but preservationists worry developers will swoop in and destroy iconic areas.”

• Yahoo Finance: Florida’s Retirees Are Fleeing: Here’s Where They’re Going Instead. “Once thought of as the ideal place to live out one’s golden years, Florida is quickly losing favor with retirees. Remote workers and the wealthy are flocking to the state and driving up home prices, leaving those on a fixed income feeling the pinch.”

• WMFE-Orlando: Pulse memorial to move after onePulse, property owners fail to reach a deal. “A national memorial remembering the 49 people killed during the Pulse shooting will no longer be located at the South Orange Avenue location of the nightclub.”

• New York Times ($): ‘Bone Valley’ Podcast Subject Denied Parole Again in Wife’s Murder. “For 34 years, Leo Schofield Jr. has been imprisoned in Florida for the murder of his wife, Michelle Schofield. He has maintained his innocence and has been denied parole three times, even after another man convicted of murder in a separate case admitted to the killing.”

From NPR News

• Business: The Fed raises interest rates again in what could be its final attack on inflation

• Politics: Biden and congressional leaders will face off in a high stakes debt ceiling meeting

• National: There’s a toxic brew of mistrust toward U.S. institutions. It’s got real consequences

• National: These states are narrowly defining who is ‘female’ and ‘male’ in law

• National: Tyre Nichols’ autopsy reveals brain injuries from blunt force trauma, attorneys say

• Education: Schools ended universal free lunch. Now meal debt is soaring

• Science: This star ate its own planet. Earth may share the same fate

• World: From ‘the other woman’ to Queen: how Camilla turned her image around

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