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The Point, March 31, 2023: Special Report: Animals on the barrier islands

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The stories near you

• WUFT News Special Report: Living on the Edge: Animals.For the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Ian, we're publishing Living on the Edge, a five-part series on Florida's barrier islands in an era of climate change. Today's stories look at animals that make their home on barrier islands. Humans helped draw animals to these fragile habitats. Now, we're squeezing them out. And: should humans rescue animals from the perils of climate change?

• WUFT News: Former church official ordered to pay restitution for sexual battery of fellow church member. "A senior official at a non-denominational Christian church in Gainesville has been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay for counseling for a fellow church member after assaulting her, according to police."

• WUFT News: UF Law professor weighs in on the Reedy Creek-Disney agreement prior to DeSantis-backed board’s takeover. "A University of Florida law professor says there might not be many good legal options for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to fight Walt Disney World."

• Mainstreet Daily News: UF: Chances to get COVID not race-based. "Whether your ancestors were Black or white makes no difference in your susceptibility to COVID-19, according to a new University of Florida study comparing two types of ancestral origins of patients from a Florida population infected with COVID-19."

• WUFT News: “Carmen” performance addresses ageless struggles of race, social class and gender. "The University of Florida Opera Theatre, UF Symphony Orchestra and UF Performing Arts bring Georges Bizet’s 'Carmen' to the stage at the Phillips Center Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m."

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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida:Florida Senate passes bill that would undermine most of state’s teacher unions. "The Senate voted 23-17 on Wednesday to pass a measure that would increase the required percentage of union members who pay dues from 50% to 60% for all public sector employees excluding police, firefighters and correctional officers."

• News Service of Florida: Permitless gun carry passes the Florida Senate and now awaits DeSantis' signature. "It allows people to carry concealed weapons without having to meet requirements such as firearms training and background screening."

• Florida Politics: Senate approves lowering death penalty threshold. "Florida is one step closer to allowing death sentences by an 8-4 vote of a jury — instead of the current requirement that the vote be unanimous — after the Senate voted in favor of SB 450."

• WUSF-Tampa: Health advocates help Floridians navigate Medicaid unwinding. "Now that pandemic protections are expiring, millions of Floridians will have to reapply for Medicaid and some could lose coverage. But families don't have to go through the process alone."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: DeSantis signs Passidomo's $711M affordable housing bill. "The bill would provide incentives for private investment in affordable housing and encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas, while barring local rent controls and pre-empting local government rules on zoning, density and building heights in certain circumstances."

• NPR: After 50 years, a Florida aquarium plans to return Lolita the orca to her home waters. "Nearly five decades after being captured and held in the Miami Seaquarium, Lolita the orca will finally be able to return to the Pacific to live out the rest of her days."

• WUSF-Tampa: Big Cat Rescue's merger means a new Arkansas home for the animals and a property sale. "In announcing the plans, Howard Baskin, husband of owner Carole Baskin, cited finances, a declining cat population and a desire to continue their focus on rescuing other cats from abuse and extinction."

From NPR News

• Politics: Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury

• Politics: As debt ceiling talks stall, Speaker McCarthy says GOP may move its own bill

• World: The U.S. condemns Russia's arrest of a Wall Street Journal reporter

• National: A train carrying ethanol derails and catches fire in Minnesota, evacuation lifted

• Health: A therapist has advice for how to cope with repeated mass shootings: Lean into family

• Religion: The Vatican repudiates 'Doctrine of Discovery,' which was used to justify colonialism

• Technology: All new cars in the EU will be zero-emission by 2035. Here's where the U.S. stands
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

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