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The Point, July 21, 2022: Jurors hear testimony from former students during Parkland sentencing trial

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Today's Florida stories

• WLRN-Miami: "We were shielding ourselves with our backpacks:" Former students continue to testify in Parkland school shooter trial. "For the second day in a row, teachers and former students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas described the shooting that killed 17 and injured 17 others. Many who testified Wednesday were themselves injured –including Anthony Borges, who showed his four bullet wounds to the court."

• WPTV-West Palm Beach: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried faces high stakes as Thursday's primary debate for governor looms. "This week could make or break Nikki Fried's campaign for governor. On Thursday, Florida's agriculture commissioner faces presumptive frontrunner U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., in the first and only primary debate scheduled for the two Democrats. Fried is lagging in most polling, fundraising and endorsements — but is hoping to capitalize on a solid performance."

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: How conservative moms became the new class of candidates hoping to flip the balance of power at schools. "Much of that attention can be traced to grassroots, conservative-leaning moms' group Moms for Liberty. The organization, born just two years ago amid the pandemic by a few small-town Florida moms angered by mask mandates, has become a major conservative force with chapters in 37 states and a membership roster of 100,000, according to its founders."

• WMFE-Orlando: Florida manatees are having a better year, but their outlook remains grave. "Manatee deaths are down some 26 percent compared with the end of June last year. Wildlife officials say that’s because of a milder winter and possibly a smaller population."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Veterans can now teach in Florida with no degree. School leaders say it 'lowers the bar.' "Last week, the Florida Department of Education announced that military veteran, as well as their spouses, would receive a five-year voucher that allows them to teach in the classroom despite not receiving a degree to do so. It's a move tied to the $8.6 million the state announced would be used to expand career and workforce training opportunities for military veterans and their spouses."

• Pensacola News Journal ($): Desperate for more teachers Escambia County schools suspends new-hire, tobacco-free policy. "The Escambia County School district is desperate for more teachers and starting to go to whatever lengths are necessary to attract new hires."

• WUFT News: Alachua County is battling overcrowding at its animal shelter, so adoptions are free for now. "The county in late June instituted an emergency intake shutdown at the shelter, located at 3400 NE 53rd Ave. The shelter is temporarily not accepting owner-surrenders or confiscations until the animal population aligns with the shelter's capacity for care, the county shared in a press release. It has announced ongoing free adoptions and an event on Friday and Saturday at the shelter to help alleviate the overcrowding."

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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

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