The Point, July 31, 2023: GRU explained, Black history backlash and a 46,000-year-old worm


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The stories near you

• WUFT News: What’s happening with GRU? Here’s an explainer as its control shifts to new authority. “If the headlines about GRU from the last few months have left you scratching your head wondering how we got here, here’s a breakdown of Gainesville’s recent history with GRU, starting in 2009 with a plan for renewable energy.”

• WCJB: Arrest made: Two dead one injured after early morning Gainesville shooting. “Gainesville Police officers were nearby conducting crowd control when they heard gunshots. Myers was found at the scene in a stranger’s car with a gun.”

• WUFT News: Levy County prepares to end yearslong debate to block horse manure composting facilities. “The Levy County Commission has voted to add new ordinances to the land-use code and block commercial composting facilities that use farm animal waste from operating in the county.”

• News Service of Florida: Rural Land Program Draws Applicants. “More than 180 landowners have applied to a state-funded program — a target of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto pen — designed to keep swaths of rural property from commercial and residential development.”

• The Alligator: Florida’s new bathroom law prompts concern from UF students. “Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1521 into law in May, and it became effective July 1. The bill, also known as the Safety in Private Spaces Act, introduces penalties for people using a public restroom or changing facility not aligned with their sex assigned at birth.”

• Florida Museum of Natural History: UF begins elephant graveyard excavation. “About five and a half million years ago, several gomphotheres — extinct relatives of elephants — died in or near a river in North Florida. Although their deaths likely occurred hundreds of years apart, their bodies were all deposited in a single location, entombed alongside other animals that had met with a similar fate.”

• News4Jax: VIDEO: Puppy rescued from sinkhole by High Springs Firefighters. “The 15-foot sinkhole had opened a few days earlier inside a stormwater retention basin. The 11-week-old Labradoodle puppy was trapped, but uninjured, at the bottom of the hole.”

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Tim Scott criticizes Ron DeSantis over Florida’s new slavery curriculum. “U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has criticized fellow Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for supporting new standards that require teachers to instruct middle school students that slaves developed skills that ‘could be applied for their personal benefit.'”

• WJCT-Jacksonville: Just when you thought COVID was over: Cases are on the rise. “The number of new cases in Duval County has risen by 32% in past the month — and by more in other areas, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.”

• WFLA-Tampa: Most Florida students failed statewide reading test; ReadingPals seeks volunteers. “The state’s new ‘Florida Assessment of Student Thinking’ involves ‘progress monitoring’ rather than one standardized test.”

• Associated Press: Paperwork problems drive a surge in people losing Medicaid health coverage. “The nation’s top health official implored states to do more to keep lower-income residents enrolled in Medicaid, as the Biden administration released figures Friday confirming that many who had health coverage during the coronavirus pandemic are now losing it.”

• Florida Politics: Rick Scott wants answers if Air Force moves Special Forces command from Florida. “Federal officials from Florida are bracing for news that the U.S. military could move Special Forces out of the Panhandle.”

• WUSF-Tampa: As school libraries face more scrutiny, public libraries are feeling the pressure as well. “The Palm Harbor Library in Pinellas County has vibrant colors everywhere, with art covering the walls and bookshelves. Even the tables are carved and painted by local artists.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Experts share tips on getting kids back on sleep schedule before new school year. “The countdown continues to the new school year, and that also means making sure your kids are on the right routine and sleep schedule to start the year off strong.”

• WTSP-Tampa: Mating manatees cause influx of 911 calls from concerned beachgoers. “The sheriff’s office posted a short video on their Facebook page assuring beachgoers that the manatees ‘are more than fine.'”

From NPR News

• Politics: House and Senate on a collision course toward a government shutdown (again)

• Military: Biden implements sweeping changes to how the military handles sexual assault cases

• National: 14 years ago the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour. It hasn’t changed

• National: Carlee Russell is charged with kidnapping hoax

• Business: The Yellow trucking company meltdown, explained

• National: A woman is running for mayor of Uvalde in honor of daughter killed in school shooting

• Art: In a first, the U.S. picks an Indigenous artist for a solo show at the Venice Biennale

• Health: The CDC says millions of Americans might be living with an allergy to meat

• Science: A worm that survived 46,000 years in permafrost wows scientists

Kristin Moorehead curated today’s edition of The Point.

About WUFT News

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