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The Point, Feb. 20, 2023: Alachua County approves surtax plans

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The stories near you

• WUFT News:Alachua County Commission moves forward with plans for surtax revenue. "Alachua County’s elected leaders have approved two new plans on how they will use $188 million in taxpayer money."

• WUFT News: Florida Springs Council announces big legal win. "In a Facebook post, the council said the Florida First District Court of Appeal had reversed a lower court’s decision in a legal battle that has been ongoing since 2019."

• WUFT News: Hawthorne student-athletes and coaches reflect on the mental health conversation. "'These kids show up here at 8 o’clock in the morning, most of the time they don’t leave until 5 in the afternoon. So we’re spending more time with players, student-athletes than parents,' Hawthorne’s Head football and girls basketball coach Cornelius Ingram said."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville plots repeal path for zoning changes. "Mayor Harvey Ward clarified the city’s current exclusionary zoning position at Thursday’s meeting after public commenters said they thought the issue had been repealed and resolved in January."

• Ocala Gazette: MCPS releases updated data on mental health and discipline. "Behavior specialists from Marion County Public Schools studied trends in mental health and discipline over the past year and have identified primary concerns with student drug use and fighting."

• WUFT News: Digital couponing attracting younger shoppers. "The only F-word in the Zimmer household is 'full-price.' Anne-Charles Zimmer is a true believer in couponing. Instead of paying the full fare for groceries, the Zimmer family uses scannable coupons to get discounts on groceries."

• WUFT News: Gainesville church helps prisoners find hope behind bars. "Plain walls surround Lynn Paden as she says a prayer at the Alachua County Jail, hand-in-hand with a prisoner."

• WUFT News: Photos: UF hosts annual step show. "Members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity are seen during their performance at the 34th Annual Florida Invitational Step Show at the University Auditorium at the University of Florida."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Justices refuse to block the execution of a Tallahassee killer. "The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected appeals by a Death Row inmate who is scheduled to be executed next week in the 1990 murder of a woman during a carjacking in a Tallahassee mall parking lot."

• Florida Politics: Before recent interest in train safety, Marco Rubio wanted DOT to loosen rail inspection rules. "The Miami Republican was among 22 Senators who signed onto a letter requesting the Federal Railroad Administration to waive testing and allow more automation."

• News Service of Florida: State expanding services to deal with opioid recovery. "Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced an expansion of opioid treatment and recovery services, using more than $205 million coming to the state from legal settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors."

•NPR: Parents raise concerns as Florida bans gender-affirming care for trans kids. "As for existing patients such as Liz, who may want to proceed on to cross-sex hormones (estrogen in her case; testosterone for transgender males), the language of the new rules is vague."

• Florida Politics: Mike Beltran files bill to end debt-based driver’s license suspensions, ease fine payment. "Florida lawmakers have tried for years to end the state’s policy of suspending driver’s licenses for court debt. This year, Republican state Rep. Mike Beltran hopes to break through the gridlock."

• WUSF-Tampa: Advocates say immigrants could help Florida ease health care worker shortage. "Foreign-trained medical professionals could help Florida address a workforce shortage and meet the growing demand for care. But they often face barriers to getting certified in the U.S."

• News Service of Florida: College athlete endorsement deals bill is signed into Florida law. "The bill repeals a prohibition in Florida’s athlete-pay law that prohibited colleges and universities from causing “compensation to be directed” to athletes."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Nevermind. Property appraiser says FEMA was in error when it cautioned against using county home value figures. "FEMA's letter warned that should building officials use home values provided by the property appraiser, it could result in residents losing discounted flood insurance premiums and municipalities could be suspended from the national flood insurance program."

• WMFE-Orlando: Manatee releases bring cheer as unprecedented die-off continues. "Bianca was a mere calf when she was rescued in 2021 from Florida’s ailing Indian River Lagoon. After a long recovery at SeaWorld she finally swam back into the wild, one of a huge number of rehabilitated manatees to be released this month in the state."

From NPR News

• World: The U.S. says Russian actions in Ukraine are 'crimes against humanity'

• National: All 5 ex-Memphis officers plead not guilty in the beating death of Tyre Nichols

• National: Colorado enacted a red flag law 3 years ago. One family says it prevented a tragedy

• Climate: An activist group is spreading misinformation to stop solar projects in rural America

• Education: How grown-ups can help kids transition to 'post-pandemic' school life

• Science: The hunt is on to discover a COVID vaccine that wouldn't require freezers for storage

• Race: 1 side owned slaves. The other side started Black History Month. How a family heals

• Politics: Jimmy Carter, the 39th U.S. president, enters hospice care
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org