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The Point, May 3, 2023: Investigation reveals trend around Florida's new loud music law

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The stories near you

• WCJB: Alachua County School Board members vote to keep superintendent until June 2024. "After hours of discussion, Alachua County School Board members voted to postpone superintendent search until January 2024."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV project to narrow NW 8th Avenue, add bike lane. "If the project moves forward, the modifications would impact around one third of a mile of NW 8th Avenue that forms a part of State Road 20, from the Gainesville Police Department headquarters at NW 6th Street to U-Haul Moving and Storage at Main Street."

• FOX35 Orlando: No backpack procedure instituted at Marion County school after first-grader brings airsoft gun to school. "On Monday night, a recorded message went out to parents to let them know that a first-grade student had brought an Airsoft gun to Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary, which is part of Marion County Public Schools."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Gainesville's CBS4 to cease local broadcasts, staff laid off by Sinclair. "Beginning May 15, WGFL-CBS4 will cease all local news broadcasts, according to an emailed statement sent to The Gainesville Sun on Tuesday from the station's owner, Sinclair Broadcasting Group."

• WUFT News:Gator Motorsports team transitions to an electric car for the Formula SAE competition in June. "For the first time in program history, the team is racing an electric car, which marks a significant milestone for the team and highlights the growing trend toward electric vehicles in motorsports. For over two decades, the Gator Motorsports team, a student-run organization, has competed in the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) design competition."

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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: ‘Stop being racist:’ Tickets for loud music nearly 3 times more likely for Black drivers under new Florida law. "The figures showed that Black drivers received almost 37% of the tickets, despite Black people making up only about 16% of Florida’s driving-eligible population. White non-Hispanic drivers received about 46% of the tickets, with white non-Hispanic people making up 56% of the state’s driving-eligible population. Police officers and deputies issued the rest of the tickets for loud music to drivers identified as Hispanic, 'other,' such as multiracial, or Native American."

• News Service of Florida: Florida’s new proposed budget hits record $117 billion. "Flush with cash, Florida lawmakers on Tuesday released a $117 billion budget for the fiscal year that will start July 1. The record budget would be about $7 billion larger than the spending plan for the current fiscal year. House and Senate negotiators finished working out details Monday."

• Politico: Florida GOP passes sweeping anti-immigration bill that gives DeSantis $12 million for migrant transports. "Florida Republicans on Tuesday handed Gov. Ron DeSantis another legislative victory after lawmakers signed off on a sweeping anti-immigration measure that will guarantee millions of dollars more for a controversial program the governor used to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard."

• Action News Jax: DeSantis expresses support for proposed downtown UF graduate campus. "The state’s proposed budget includes $75 million for this campus project. The city had already committed $20 million with an additional $30 million likely over the next two years. While the governor said that he has not looked at the state’s part of the budget just yet, he is in favor of the project’s proposed vision."

• Palm Beach Post ($): Giant mats of seaweed lurk off Florida coast and have beached in spurts but will peak soon. "A massive seaweed bloom expected to grow to record proportions before peaking in June is assaulting Florida beaches in hit or miss fashion depending on the way the wind blows."

• New York Times ($): Florida Legislature Moves to Shield DeSantis’s Travel Records. "Though the law purports to shield Mr. DeSantis’s and other top officials’ travel records under the umbrella of increasing threats and operational security, it also includes a sweeping retroactive clause that would block the release of many records of trips already taken by Mr. DeSantis and other officials, as well as those taken by their families and staff members."

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Pay raise makes budget for state workers in Florida; but union bill sparks fears. "The House accepted the Senate plan to spend $389 million to boost the average pay for 97,000 workers in the state personnel system by about $2,300 annually, and to spend another $108 million to reward select employees and recruit new ones."

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida’s skating rinks look for insurance relief from Legislature. "The House voted 117-0 on Tuesday – after the Senate passed the bill last week – on a measure that would require consumers to accept “inherent risks” that come with roller skating. The bill was expected to be sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign into law. The effort was the latest in Florida to limit damages that can be recovered in liability lawsuits, which Republican lawmakers said makes the state a better environment for businesses."

• WLRN-Miami: Consultant: Florida politics are driving away Broward superintendent candidates. "Florida’s education politics are keeping qualified candidates from applying to be the next superintendent of the state’s second largest school district. That’s according to a search consultant hired by Broward County Public Schools to help find the district’s next leader."

• Associated Press: Homosassa man charged with throwing explosive at Capitol riot. "Daniel Ball, 38, of Homosassa, Florida, was arrested in Inverness, about 60 miles west of Orlando, according to court documents. He is charged with multiple felonies, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon."

• NPR News: Amid anti-trans bills targeting youth, Dwyane Wade takes a stand for his daughter. "Dwyane Wade is a retired NBA player, who starred for the Miami Heat and won 3 NBA championships there. Wade is also the father of 15-year-old Zaya Wade, a transgender model and activist who came out in 2020, with the vocal support of Dwyane and his partner Gabrielle Union."

• WMFE-Orlando: Cars, trucks and bears? The plan to keep wildlife off Interstate 4. "The Florida Department of Transportation is developing an $11.9 million wildlife overpass across a section of I-4 that’s designed to protect wildlife from the threats posed by the highway. The overpass will connect their habitats on both sides of the interstate, which is important to their survival."

• FLKeysNews ($): A grave under the ocean? Team finds what could be submerged hospital off Florida Keys. "Archaeologists have found a submerged gravestone in Dry Tortugas National Park near the Florida Keys, and they say the discovery could also mean there’s a cemetery and hospital in the area. The site could have been used for quarantined yellow fever patients on a small island that has since eroded into the sea."

From NPR News

• National: The Texas man accused of killing 5 neighbors is in custody, authorities say

• National: Writers Guild of America goes on strike

• National: Police discover 7 bodies at the home of a sex offender on his scheduled court date

• Health: America has a loneliness epidemic. Here are 6 steps to address it

• Business: Digital news sites fight to survive as online ad dollars dry up

• Politics: Dueling narratives at the Senate hearing on the Supreme Court
Ethan Magoc curated today's edition of The Point.

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