The Point, May 17, 2023: Three teenagers charged as adults in Marion County murders
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• WUFT News: Three teenagers indicted in Marion County triple homicide. "The State Attorney's Office for the 5th Judicial Circuit announced on Tuesday that 17-year-old Robert Robinson, 16-year-old Tahj Brewton and 12-year-old Christopher Atkins are all charged as adults. Robinson and Brewton were indicted on three counts of first-degree murder. Atkins faces one count of first-degree murder."
• WUFT News: Swamp Car Wash shooter convicted of murder, sentenced to life in prison. "Nearly two years after a man was shot and killed at a car wash in Gainesville, a six-person jury on Monday night convicted Eugene Javon Patrick of second-degree murder. Circuit Judge James Colaw immediately sentenced him to life in prison."
• WUFT News: Alachua County law enforcement agencies seek recruiting solutions. "With dozens of vacancies across different local agencies, Alachua County has not been immune to national law enforcement recruitment challenges. As local law enforcement applicant pools dwindle, agencies in Alachua County are launching new efforts to combat recruiting struggles and strengthen their relationship with the community."
• News Service of Florida: Gainesville challenged a Florida law about police budgets, but lawmakers just revised it. "Part of the 2021 legislation enhanced penalties and created new crimes for protests that turn violent. But the law also created a process in which state attorneys or certain local elected officials could appeal decisions by municipalities to reduce funding for police departments."
• WUFT News: Gainesville Human Rights Board perseveres amid cancellations. "After months of canceled meetings and missing members, the Gainesville Human Rights Board has begun to find its footing this year. Of the 29 Gainesville city advisory boards, the Human Rights Board is one of the two sole quasi-judicial boards, meaning it can hear legal cases and enforce rulings. It has jurisdiction over cases brought to the city involving many different identities, including race, sexuality, religion and disability."
• WUFT News: Gun instructors offer their perspectives as Florida becomes a ‘constitutional carry’ state. "The permitless carry bill, House Bill 543, also dubbed 'constitutional carry' by proponents, goes into effect July 1. The bill allows for the concealed carry of firearms without the need for a Concealed Weapon and Firearm License, which is acquired through a course."
• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Environmentalist: Better enforcement on Weeki Wachee River could have saved taxpayers millions of dollars. "This month, the Southwest Florida Water Management District is overseeing a dredging project along the river, outside of the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park boundaries. Crews will use machinery on the river’s bottom to suck out harmful sand and sediment."
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Around the state
• WJCT-Jacksonville: Donna Deegan tops Daniel Davis for Jacksonville mayor. "Deegan, who will be the city’s first female mayor, framed herself as a voice of opposition who will clean up what she asserts is a widely viewed culture of corruption in city government and bring in those who have historically been 'left behind' when it comes to economic development. Her priorities are infrastructure, public health and small business."
• Politico: DeSantis snaps back at Trump over Florida’s 6-week abortion ban. "DeSantis — in some of his strongest comments to date on the topic — also defended his decision to sign a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy even though it has been criticized by some Republicans as too strict. The comments set up a potential fault line for DeSantis when he officially jumps into the race for president, which could come as soon as next week."
• Florida Politics: Disney seeks to dismiss lawsuit filed by DeSantis-appointed tourism board. "The lawsuit centers around development agreements Disney made with its outgoing Reedy Creek board in the weeks before the state took it over and DeSantis appointed five new members. In the state lawsuit, the new board members accused Disney of making “11th-hour deals” that stripped them of their power to regulate Disney World’s special taxing district."
• Tampa Bay Times ($): New College students spurn changes by holding their own graduation. "In one final act of defiance, New College of Florida students plan to hold their own graduation ceremony Thursday, eschewing an official commencement that organizers said felt disrespectful to the college community."
• News Service of Florida: Adult-use pot proposal goes to Florida Supreme Court. "Attorney General Ashley Moody on Monday formally submitted a proposed recreational-marijuana ballot initiative to the Florida Supreme Court — and signaled she will argue that the proposal doesn’t meet legal requirements to go before voters in 2024."
• WFTS-Tampa Bay: One of Florida's biggest Ponzi schemes sees $80 million lost, 700 victims impacted. "Charismatic, wildly successful and spouting investment jargon like a pro. That’s how federal agents and victims of a Sarasota-based Ponzi scheme describe the man at the center of one of the IRS’s biggest fraud cases of 2022."
From NPR News
• Education: The case for financial literacy education
• Politics: House Democrat introduces resolution to expel Rep. George Santos from Congress
Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.