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The Point, March 29, 2022: The Florida bill critics labeled 'Don't Say Gay' is now state law

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Joshua Figueroa pleads guilty in the hit-and-run that caused Maggie Paxton’s death. "A judge on Monday rejected a plea deal in the criminal case stemming from a University of Florida student’s 2020 hit-and-run death in Gainesville."

• Mainstreet Daily News: City seeks input on latest redistricting map. "The Gainesville City Commission is asking for community input into another redistricting map – one that conforms more closely to proposed new voting precincts from the county elections office."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Large mixed-use development planned for land behind Publix at Steeplechase in Jonesville. "The 'Jonesville Business Park PD Redevelopment' will initially include 554 multi-family units and 160,000 square feet of non-residential development spread out across almost 70 acres, according to the documents."

• Florida Storms: Midweek severe threat for northern half of Florida. "A squall line of thunderstorms along a cold front is expected to sweep through the Panhandle from west to east on Tuesday night and portions of North Florida and Central Florida on Wednesday. Environmental conditions could enable storms to produce damaging straight line winds, large hail and a few tornadoes too."

• News4Jax: State Department of Corrections van backs into correctional officer inside Union County facility: FHP. "A correctional officer was hurt in a crash involving another correctional officer Monday at the Florida Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in Union County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol."

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, a policy that has drawn intense national scrutiny from critics who argue it marginalizes LGBTQ people. The legislation has pushed Florida and DeSantis, an ascending Republican and potential 2024 presidential candidate, to the forefront of the country’s culture wars, with LGBTQ advocates, students, Democrats, the entertainment industry and the White House denouncing what critics have called the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill."

• Politico: How a lawsuit over a teen spurred Florida Republicans to pass the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. "Florida’s fight over contentious LGBTQ legislation — dubbed the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill by opponents — had its genesis nearly two years ago, not in the halls of the state Legislature but in a September conversation between a Tallahassee mother and her 13-year-old teen."

• WUSF: Gas prices across Florida continue to drop, but are expected to level off. "Gas prices across Florida continued inching down last week, with some areas falling below $4 a gallon. But that trend may not last long."

• WFTS - Tampa Bay: Tampa-based company helps transport dolphin from Texas to Florida Keys. "The Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys was picked for his permanent home."

• Spectrum News: NASA test of Moon-class rocket pushes launch date of 1st all-private astronaut mission to the Space Station. "The Ax-1 mission had also been scheduled to launch on April 3, but will now launch no earlier than Wednesday, April 6."

• Nexstar Media Wire: 161 people detained, 75 guns seized over rowdy spring break weekend in Panama City Beach. "Law enforcement officials in a popular Florida spring break destination say criminals were among the massive crowds that poured into town over the weekend."

• CBS Miami: Walmart To Stop Selling Cigarettes In Select US Stores, Including Florida. "Public health advocates have long urged retailers to stop selling tobacco products, and some cities and states have also banned tobacco sales in pharmacies."

• FLKeysNews ($): How are migrants traveling to South Florida? The pictures of their boats tell the story. "Boats barely seaworthy and often homemade — many still just offshore, beached or wedged into the mangroves of the Keys — serve as floating monuments to the desperation of Cubans and Haitians escaping their homeland for South Florida."

• New York Times ($): Bobcats With a Taste for Python Eggs Might Be the Guardians of Florida’s Swamp. "The voracious appetite of the invasive Burmese python is causing Florida’s mammal and bird populations to plummet. With little natural competition to control the big snake’s numbers, the situation looks desperate. But new observations suggest that the bobcat, a wildcat native to Florida, might be able to help."

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About today's curator

I’m Gregorio Ruiz-Perez, a journalist at WUFT. Originally from Naples, Florida, I’ve always enjoyed running to clear my mind. I am a senior journalism major and am part of a team searching for local state news each week that’s important to you. Please send feedback about today’s edition of The Point or ideas for stories we may have missed to

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news