The Point, June 29, 2023: DeSantis signs GRU control bill


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• Mainstreet Daily News: DeSantis signs bill changing GRU control. “The bill cuts the City Commission out of the decision-making process, placing GRU General Manager Tony Cunningham under the authority’s purview. The authority will also set rates, issue bonds and chart future energy plans for more than 93,000 customers.”

• WUFT News: Son of Mojo’s owner in Ocala arrested on charges of sexual battery on a minor. “The adult son of a prominent restaurant owner in Ocala was arrested Tuesday on charges of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious behavior on a minor. A warrant was issued with a $35,000 bail, which had not been posted as of Wednesday afternoon.”

• WUFT News: Man sentenced to 10 years in prison for Millhopper Road pedestrian crash. “Duncan will have his license revoked for the rest of his life and is not permitted to have drugs or alcohol during probation.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Update from sheriff’s office shows Alachua County Jail still severely understaffed. “County commissioners interrupted the presentation multiple times to express that the information being provided was not what they had hoped for.”

• WCJB: Alachua County Fire Chief fed up with Southern Fuelwood after latest blaze left 2 injured. “ACFR has responded to 11 structural fires at the lumber yard in the last 27 months, and the latest left one of their own with a broken leg.”

• News4Jax: Florida aims to one-up Tennessee by opening world’s largest Buc-ee’s. “DeSantis said the new Ocala location will be ‘massive’ with 120 pumps and 720 parking spaces, along with the 80,000-square-foot store.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville earns 42nd straight Tree City honor. “The designation recognizes a city’s commitment to urban forest management. According to a press release, Gainesville has the highest tree canopy percentage of any other cities in Florida that are equal in size or larger.”

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Around the state

• Florida Politics: NOAA proposal could shut down 4 Florida seaports, industry leaders say. “The proposed ‘Vessel Slowdown Zone’ would restrict nighttime water travel to 10 knots within waters that are 100 to 400 meters deep. The restrictions would be in place from Pensacola to Tampa Bay.”

• News Service of Florida: Department of Justice targets Florida’s Chinese land ownership law. “The U.S. Department of Justice is urging a federal judge to block a new Florida law that restricts people from China and six other countries from owning property in the state.”

• WLRN-Miami: UNGUARDED: How a tight-knit network of Miami real estate players bought and sold Guardianship homes for profit. “With Miami−Dade officials continuing their investigation of the Guardianship Program of Dade County and its real estate transactions, WLRN has learned that two companies — linked to Miami City Attorney Victoria Méndez — purchased and sold for hefty gains nearly three dozen properties that were once owned by the nonprofit, through a network of businesses or individuals.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida education leaders release rules regarding TikTok and adult performances. “The state Department of Education on Tuesday released a series of proposed rules that would outline restrictions on ‘adult live performances’ at field trips, prohibit school districts from using the social-media app TikTok and allow parents to control ‘any deviation from their child’s legal name’ in schools.”

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Saildrone launching more ocean-going vehicles to study hurricanes. “The mission is part of ongoing research into how and why some relatively mild tropical storms rapidly intensify into major hurricanes, which is particularly destructive when it happens just before landfall.”

• Jacksonville Today: Jacksonville NAACP raises alarms about Duval superintendent search. “The president of the Jacksonville NAACP is raising concerns that Duval County’s search for a new school superintendent ‘appears to be a mere facade,’ with a candidate decided in advance.”

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida voter registration groups await an order on new restrictions. “New restrictions on voter registration groups in Florida are expected to take effect this weekend after a federal judge declined to issue a ruling this week on whether or not to temporarily block them.”

From NPR News

• Law: 78 people face charges for $2.5 billion in attempted health care fraud, DOJ says

• National: Texas; fragile power grid is holding up through increased demand due to extreme heat

• National: Domestic terrorism charges in Georgia are prompting concern over political repression

• Environment: Western tribes’ last ditch effort to stall a large lithium mine in Nevada

• Politics: Biden’s sleep apnea has led him to use a CPAP machine at night

• Sports: Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee to return to competition, with 2024 in their sights

• Economy: The driving forces behind ‘tip-flation’

• History: Ancient women were hunters — and grandmas were the most skilled ones, study suggests

Kristin Moorehead curated today’s edition of The Point.

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