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The Point, March 14, 2022: Lawmakers will vote on a Florida budget that's 10% bigger than last year's

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The stories near you

• Ocala Gazette: Tornado damage in parts of SW Ocala, Marion County. "Ocala Police Department officials said they did not have any reports of personal injury. The damage to buildings, however, was evident at locations such as the Paddock Park Animal Care Center at 3931 SE 42nd St., Ocala."

• Florida Politics: Ralph Massullo secures $83M for Citrus, Hernando projects in state budget. "Lecanto Republican Rep. Ralph Massullo sought more than $80 million in funding for projects in Citrus and Hernando counties, and he got nearly all of it. Massullo’s largest request was $20.7 million for upgrades to Turkey Oak Drive, a Citrus County road east of Crystal River that connects State Road 44 to U.S. 19."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville commissioners hope to tap $70 million fund to rebuild Citizens Field area. "City officials have discussed building a senior center and sports complex on the property, along with space for stores and homes."

• Mainstreet Daily News: RTS bus hits, kills pedestrian on West University. "According to the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) spokesperson Graham Glover, the RTS bus was traveling north on NW 13 Street and the pedestrian was crossing from west to east at the West University intersection around 7:45 p.m. 'There’s no charges or citations right now,' Glover said."

• The Alligator: The Mike White tenure comes to an end. "Now, White has elected to step away from Florida, taking the vacant head coaching position at the University of Georgia. ... White is leaving Gainesville due to a toxic environment created by the fanbase and fear it would begin to affect his five young children, according to a tweet from the Associated Press’ Mark Long."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: The Florida Legislature hammers out a deal on a record $112.1 billion budget. "Florida lawmakers will vote Monday on a record $112.1 billion state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, up 10.4 percent from a spending plan approved for the current year."

• WFSU: What's next after firefighters contain massive blaze in northwest Florida? "Forestry crews and firefighters have made progress on containing a massive blaze in northwest Florida, with the help of recent rainfall."

• Spectrum News: Florida supervisors of election weigh in on latest election reform bill. "The most significant provision of the bill creates the Office of Election Crimes and Security under the auspices of the Florida Department of State. It will review fraud allegations and conduct preliminary investigations. That office will also be required to present an annual report to the governor, the Senate president and the House Speaker detailing the number of election fraud complaints as well as the number of investigations launched."

• Miami Herald ($): Many condo owners can’t agree on funding reserves for repairs. Legislature can’t, either. "In the end, legislators couldn’t face the prospect of forcing thousands of condominium owners across Florida to be subjected to massive fees for repairs of their aging buildings."

• Politico: Why Florida is ground zero for America’s ‘culture war.’ "It was a session in which the GOP-led Legislature’s constant focus on 'culture war' issues resulted in lawmakers approving policies to grant more power to parents over what their children learn, heighten scrutiny on school instruction and books, and ensure there will be turnover among local school boards, which have been frequent targets of the state GOP."

• WFSU: An officer-involved shooting case from Tallahassee continues to divide law enforcement agencies. "The Pinellas County Sheriffs' office wants to weigh in on a case that will decide whether officers can use the state’s crime victims law to shield themselves if they’re involved in a shooting while on duty."

• WMFE: Disney will pause all political contributions after “Don’t Say Gay” controversy. "CEO Bob Chapek expressed concerns about the bill that would limit conversations about gender and sexuality in K-3 classrooms earlier this week."

• NPR News: One person was arrested after West Point cadets on spring break overdosed on fentanyl. "One person was arrested Saturday in connection with an incident involving several people, including cadets from the West Point military academy, overdosing on fentanyl on Thursday in Wilton Manors, Fla., police said."

• WUSF: Tom Brady is ending his retirement and returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "His retirement lasted all of six weeks — Tom Brady is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."

From NPR News

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• World: Russia's wars in Chechnya offer a grim warning of what could be in Ukraine

• World: The humble bravery of a young neurologist from Kyiv

• Business: High inflation is an annoyance for some. Others make painful choices of what to cut

• National: A Texas judge blocks the state from investigating parents of transgender youth

About today's curator

I'm Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I've found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today's edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

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