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The Point, Jan. 5, 2023: Chaos reigns in the House during Speaker vote

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The stories near you

• News4Jax: Congresswoman Kat Cammack riles up Democrats during chaotic House speaker vote. "Republican frontrunner Kevin McCarthy has been unable to secure the 218 votes he needs to become speaker as a group of Republicans, led by Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, continued to vote against him."

• Florida Politics: Joseph Ladapo used ‘seriously flawed’ science to warn against vaccines, UF faculty peers say. "Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, a professor of medicine at the University of Florida, used a faulty analysis and may have violated the school’s research integrity rules by citing a non-peer-reviewed study when he warned young men against receiving common coronavirus vaccines, a report from UF medical school faculty says."

• Ocala Gazette: FDOT reports to DeSantis on Northern Turnpike Extension effort. "The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) received nearly 4,000 public comments, had more than 50,000 visits to its website and hosted 36 well-attended public meetings during its months-long study of a possible Northern Turnpike Extension."

• WCJB: Local political expert speaks about chaos in Congress. "History continues to unfold on Capitol Hill as for the first time since 1923, a political party has been unable to elect a new Speaker of the House."

• Ocala Gazette: School board to address chronic absences and truancy issues. "On average, students in Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) are chronically absent over 7% more than the rest of the state as of 2021."

• WCJB: U-Haul Growth Index showed increase in arrivals in Ocala over the past year. "Ocala is one of the top growing cities in the country, based on what’s called the U-Haul Growth Index. The index is based on U-Haul moves into the city."

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Around the state

• WLRN-Miami: Report: Florida prisons ban more than 20,000 publications behind bars. "Also on Florida’s lengthy blacklist are cookbooks, including Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book and An Irish Country Cookbook. How-to guides on electrical work, plumbing and carpentry were also deemed too inflammatory to be read behind bars, as are books on how to play the fantasy board game Dungeons and Dragons."

• News Service of Florida: Florida's law allowing compensation for student athletes may be expanded. "A measure filed Tuesday by a House Republican seeks to allow colleges, universities and their employees to steer endorsement opportunities toward student-athletes."

• News Service of Florida: A ruling regarding which bathrooms transgender students can use could apply to sports teams. "As it upheld a St. Johns County School Board policy preventing a transgender male student from using boys’ bathrooms, a federal appeals court Friday indicated that similar reasoning could apply to disputes about banning transgender females from playing on women’s and girls’ sports teams."

• WMFE-Orlando: Perceived high cost of insurance keeps Floridians from enrolling. "Survey results from participants between the ages of 21 and 64 show the main reason people give for not enrolling in a health plan in Florida is the perceived high cost of insurance. 70 percent of people surveyed say they, 'believe they couldn’t afford health insurance.'"

• Florida Politics: Beds are empty, but waiting list persists for state veteran nursing home care. "Most of those on the waiting list to get in these homes could be accommodated if the FDVA was able to fully staff its nursing home facilities, according to Bob Asztalos, Deputy Executive Director of the FDVA, who addressed the committee. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, just 60% of the beds were filled because of staffing shortages. Now, these homes are about 80% full."

• Florida Today ($): Manatees survive Florida's first cold spell better than feared. "Already famished manatees managed to avoid any mass die-offs or the need for any dramatic rescues during Florida's first significant cold snap of the season, which sent temperatures plummeting across the state around Christmas."

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Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

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