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The Point, Sept. 20, 2022: Two Gainesville-area proposed developments, totaling 6,000 acres, are up for discussion this week

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: One of the largest underdeveloped areas in Gainesville is set for another round of rezoning meetings. "The proposal reignites a debate over the potential for large-scale development in the northern edge of the city. Three years after the Gainesville City Commission rejected a proposal to rezone close to 2,000 acres of land near State Road 121, Weyerhaeuser, the largest private owner of timberland in the United States, has come back to amend the plan for another presentation."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County Commission to hold workshop on proposed 'Lee property' development. "The Alachua County Commission will hold the first of two public meetings on Tuesday evening regarding a proposed 4,000-acre development along Southwest 122nd Street west of Gainesville."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Local leaders launch surtax campaign for November. "Community leaders launched a campaign on Monday to pass a ballot initiative slated for public vote on Nov. 8, encouraging the public to support a 10-year, one-cent surtax that Alachua County approved in March."

• WUFT News: College Board National Scholars program recognizes Alachua County students for academic achievement. "College Board rewards students from underrepresented groups through its African American, Hispanic, Indigenous and Rural/Small Town Recognition programs. This distinction identifies academic excellence from underrepresented students for colleges and universities."

• WUFT News: Florida Bar Exam scores announced, with UF having second-best passage rate. "The Florida Bar announced its passage rate on Monday for the July 2022 bar exam, and the University of Florida Levin College of Law maintained its recent steady scores."

• WUFT News: Snapchat drug ring suspects dodge trial by accepting plea deals. "Three Gainesville men accused of operating a drug-trafficking ring using Snapchat avoided trial Monday after negotiating last-minute plea deals. Authorities began investigating the group after a late-night shootout at Cabana Beach — an apartment complex popular with University of Florida students."

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Around the state

• Politico: Doubts rise over whether DeSantis had budget authority to fly migrants. "Much of the focus is on budget language that state lawmakers wrote to authorize the flights. Specifically, state Democrats and others are questioning whether the flights were legal since they originated in Texas and not Florida. According to the budget language, the $12 million DeSantis is using was specifically earmarked to 'facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.'"

• NPR News: A Texas sheriff will investigate DeSantis' flight of migrants to Martha's Vineyard. "Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, said in a news release Monday that his office is investigating whether the migrants were victims of crimes: 'The Bexar County Sheriff's Office has opened an investigation into the migrants that were lured from the Migrant Resource Center, located in Bexar County, TX, and flown to Florida, where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves in Martha's Vineyard, MA.'"

• WLRN-Miami: Judge in Parkland school shooter trial refuses to step down after defense request over outburst. "Judge Elizabeth Scherer made her ruling Monday afternoon during a hearing on what evidence and witnesses the prosecutors can call during their rebuttal case later this month. The defense team for Nikolas Cruz filed their request to remove the judge last Friday following an outburst she made towards them. They said the her animosity 'has infected this entire trial.'"

• WUSF-Tampa: Ruling not made in Andrew Warren case and it may still go to trial. "Andrew Warren's fight to be reinstated as Hillsborough County's state attorney will possibly be heading to a trial. While a ruling was not released following Monday morning’s hearing where oral arguments were heard, Tallahassee federal judge Robert Hinkle appears to be leaning towards a trial as opposed to immediately reinstating Warren like he wants."

• The Tributary: ‘They’re not compact. They’re sprawling.’: Federal judge probes Jacksonville City Council redistricting. "U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard didn’t say which way she was going to rule, but she plans to file a written order that either strikes down or preserves the Jacksonville City Council and Duval School Board districts that plaintiffs say were racially gerrymandered."

• Florida Politics: Marco Rubio declines to say whether he’ll accept election results, calls Democrats the real election deniers. "Rubio, Florida’s senior U.S. Senator, is facing his stiffest test in years in Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings. Polling shows the two candidates are in a veritable tie. When asked Sunday by the Washington Post if he’d accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, Rubio joined 11 other GOP candidates — including Gov. Ron DeSantis — declining to answer the question."

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• Books: New report finds a coordinated rise in attempted book bans

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• Health: Why Ryan Reynolds is telling people to get a colonoscopy
Ethan Magoc curated today's edition of The Point.

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