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The Point, May 9, 2023: Police in Gainesville have backed off of criminal penalties for underage drinking

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Today's Florida stories

• Fresh Take Florida: Underage drinking in a college town: How strictly should police, prosecutors enforce laws? "City and campus police have effectively stopped imposing criminal penalties in most cases for underage drinking starting in 2018, when the number of criminal complaints fell to 14 compared to nearly 200 a year earlier. It is a public policy choice by law enforcement and prosecutors that weighs the risks of underage and excessive drinking against prosecuting first-time offending young adults for behaviors common on college campuses."

• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Gov. Ron DeSantis bans TikTok on state government, education devices. "On Monday, DeSantis held a news conference at the American Aviation Flight Academy in Brooksville and signed three bills into law that he says will keep foreign interests such as the Communist Party of China from influencing 'the Free State of Florida.'"

• City & State Florida: RIP: The high-profile bills that died in the 2023 Florida legislative session. "Dead bills are the norm, not the exception: Roughly, only one out of 10 bills passed this year."

• News Service of Florida: Florida groups launch a ballot drive on abortion rights. "Taking aim at 'government interference' in abortion decisions, a coalition of groups Monday formally began a drive to try to pass a constitutional amendment in 2024 to ensure abortion rights in Florida."

• Spectrum News: Disney amends federal retribution lawsuit to include recent legislative actions. "The Walt Disney Company filed an amended federal lawsuit Monday, claiming that recent actions taken by the Florida Legislature were a continuation of a 'targeted campaign' of retaliation against the company after former CEO Bob Chapek criticized the 'Parental Rights in Education' bill, dubbed 'Don't Say Gay' by its detractors."

• WCJB: Newberry City Commissioners discuss establishing a city police force. "City Commissioners reviewed whether to establish a city police force versus maintaining patrols by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Clovis Watson made his case to continue policing Newberry streets."

• Gainesville Sun ($): P.K. Yonge football gets its guy, hires Blue Wave alum Willie Jackson Jr. as head coach. "Jackson went on to play football for the Florida Gators, following in his father's footsteps. Jackson's father, Willie Jackson Sr., is recognized as being one of the first two Black scholarship football players at UF, signing his paperwork alongside Leonard George in 1968."

• Palm Beach Post ($): Randy Fine got so angry he launched a political career. What upset him? A math problem. "Randy Fine, a Republican who represents Brevard County in the state legislature, is said to be a candidate for Florida Atlantic University president."

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Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

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