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County begins planning international trip

The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce is planning a trip to China in October for the second straight year. Chamber of Commerce Spokeswoman Brittany Batsell says the trip is a great opportunity for chamber members as well as Marion county citizens who have signed up to travel with the chamber. …

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Speaker bring attention to Palestinian oppression in speech at UF

University of Florida Students for Justice in Palestine hoped to raise awareness about Palestinian oppression through various demonstrations on campus. American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights Public Education and Outreach Associate, Julia Hurley, spoke to students on her transformation from pro-Israel conservative to a Palestinian rights advocate saying she has …

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Great American Clean-up gets local

The nation’s largest community clean-up effort gets underway in Alachua County tomorrow for the Great American Clean-up. Keep Alachua County Beautiful Executive Director, Mickie MacKenzie, says the effort is about more than just planting trees. “We can plant as many flowers as we want, but unless we have communities that …

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The Moon may appear larger and brighter on Saturday

Stargazers may notice a difference in the moon this Saturday. Not only will the moon appear in its full phase, but it will also make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years. Assistant Scientist of the Astronomy Department at the University of Florida, Francisco Reyes, says viewers may notice …

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Alachua county legislative day

A handful of local residents were in Talahassee on Wednesday to show legislators how great it is to live in Alachua County. This year’s theme was “Lucky to Live in Alachua County.” Students, teachers, and senior citizens went on the trip. Executive director for Alachua County Legislative Day, Sandie Calkins …

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Area teachers react to the teacher merit pay bill

The Florida House of Representatives approved a proposal by a party line vote of 80 to 39 for the teacher merit pay bill. The new version is designed to mirror Florida’s plan for a $700 million federal race to the Top Education Grant. But, as Florida’s 89-point-one’s Lauren Buchwald reports, …

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Power plant reopening delayed

A local energy company is making sure their plant is secure, after recent natural disasters caused a nuclear plant crisis in Japan. Citrus County’s Crystal River Nuclear Plant was to restart their operations in April, however, Progress Energy Spokeswoman Sherry Jacobs says the plant won’t be reopened until the proper …

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Basketball tournament heads to Gainesville

Green Bay Packers Defensive back Nick Collins will be hosting his annual fundraising basketball tournament this weekend. The Sixth Annual Nick Collins Scholarship Fund Basketball Tournament at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for the first time this Saturday March 19, 2011. Senior Event Coordinator Chris Singleton says money raised from …

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Missing woman found

A 70-year old missing Gainesville woman has been returned to her family safe and sound. Betty Gaskin was found this morning by a Sheriff’s Deputy. Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Art Forgey said Gaskins was found in the same area she was last seen unharmed. He adds she …

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Rethinking merit pay for teachers

Lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives will weigh in on a controversial bill already passed in the state Senate today. The bill proposes a new system of teacher merit pay in Florida. More on this story with WUFT FM’s 89.1 Natalie Beigel. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/TeacherMeritPaywrap.mp3]

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Safely covering the most dangerous stories

Some of the biggest stories in the news recently have included the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and now, the earthquake in Japan. All are very dangerous for those directly involved in the story, but what about the journalists who cover them? WUFT-FM’s Miguel Lopez talked with NPR Correspondent …

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Impact of gas prices on the economy

The price of crude oil is at its highest in more than two years, driving up the prices of gasoline. Crude oil prices settled at a 29-month high on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.51nationally, with prices more than $4.00 in …

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Prisons to go tobacco free

Florida’s new prison chief says state prisons will go tobacco free. Alachua County Jail spokesman Eugene Morris agrees with this plan and says it will save taxpayers money in the long run. As Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM’s Jennifer Eckhart reports, jails in Alachua County have been practicing this policy for years. …

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UF student dies over Spring Break

University of Florida student Molly Ammon died in Pinellas County over the past week while students were on Spring Break. UF spokesman Steve Orlando says the university is always worried about students over spring break. Police are waiting for the results of a toxicology report to determine the case of …

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Social media role in Japan earthquake, tsunami response

From news network “tweets” to personal Facebook updates, social media sites can be important tools for gaining information in the wake of a disaster. As WUFT-FM’s Stephanie Brown reports, these technological tools are especially important in earthquake and tsunami-stricken Japan. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/SOCIALMEDIAWRAP.mp3]

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