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The Point, May 19, 2023: Disney opts against $1B investment in Florida campus

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The stories near you

• WCJB: State appeals court has no standing to judge a dispute between Alachua County and three of its cities. "Newberry, Alachua, and Archer filed suit after voters approved a charter amendment allowing the county to regulate growth management. In 2021 a circuit court judge ruled against the cities’ primary complaint."

• WUFT News: UF group holds memorial service for one of campus’ oldest residents, the Bicentennial Tree. "There’s no evidence indicating the Bicentennial tree was the oldest tree standing in UF. Still, the curiosity to discover UF’s oldest tree started with (Terry) Harpold’s literature on sustainability class."

• Mainstreet Daily News: City to close T.B. McPherson Park on Sundays. "The city of Gainesville will start closing T.B. McPherson Park on Sundays starting this week in response to improper park usage during Peaceful Sunday events. In a press release sent Thursday, the city said that the park closure is in the interest of public safety. The Sunday closure will remain in place until further notice."

• WUFT News: Gainesville youth football coach takes plea deal in animal cruelty case. "Landis J’Marcus Finch will spend two years in a state prison and five years probation on eight misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, two felony aggravated animal cruelty charges and two felony animal fighting charges."

• WUFT News: Rev. Milford Griner has personal experience with gun violence. It’s driven him toward solutions for 54 years. "Griner, who lives in Gainesville, said his activism goes back about 30 years. He was a pastor for 38 years in 14 churches across Alachua and Marion County, and he was also a former police officer. Now that he is retired, he said he has more time to dedicate to his activism."

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Around the state

• NPR News: Disney cancels plans for $1 billion Florida campus. "The announcement comes a week after Disney CEO Bob Iger said an ongoing dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised questions about the company's continued investment there. In a conference call with analysts, Iger said actions by DeSantis and Republican lawmakers amounted to a 'campaign of government retaliation' against Disney."

• Tampa Bay Times ($): At New College of Florida, a show of defiance as grads say goodbye. "Hundreds of students, family members and friends gathered at a Sarasota art gallery Thursday evening for an 'alternative commencement' that gave New College of Florida graduates a chance to both celebrate their milestone and defy the state officials who are altering the character of their school."

• News4Jax: Defense for man charged with murdering Nassau County deputy aims to challenge Florida’s new death penalty law. "The attorneys for a man who pleaded guilty to killing a Nassau County deputy in 2021 told the judge Thursday that a motion would be filed arguing that Florida’s newest death penalty law was unconstitutional."

• WMFE-Orlando: Orlando-area home builders monitor workforce impacts of new immigration law. "Some construction workers are foreign labor. And despite videos of empty worksites on social media, like TikTok and YouTube videos from a housing development in Davenport, (Chasity) Vega said she isn't seeing that happening in Central Florida — yet."

• WUSF-Tampa Bay: New law makes changes to high school sports in Florida and allows prayer before games. "A new law overhauls the Florida High School Athletic Association, essentially giving Gov. Ron DeSantis control over the nonprofit that largely governs high school sports in the state. It also gives some student athletes more choices about where to play and allows schools to offer 'opening remarks,' like prayer, before games."

• WTSP-Tampa Bay: Tampa Pride on the River event canceled amid new laws condemned by LGBTQ+ community. "Its president, Carrie West, acknowledged the decision amid fear over the new laws. 'We do not want to be picked up or arrested and then taking away our license,' West said."

• WLRN-Miami: Lawmakers want to temporarily block new local fertilizer bans. Will DeSantis allow it? "Environmental groups and local governments are battling state legislators over the fate of the fertilizer in Floridians’ lawns. The outcome could sway the health of Florida’s beaches and waterways, which have been plagued by fish kills and algae blooms."

• NPR News: Checking in with Joseph Dituri on his 79th day living underwater. "He is studying how extreme pressure affects the human body over long periods of time from his base in Jules' Undersea Lodge. It's a tiny suite deep in the tropical waters of the Florida Keys. And he's teaching online classes, spreading his love for science, technology, engineering and math with thousands of students."

From NPR News

• National: An 8-year-old girl died after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol

• Health: FDA advisers support approval of RSV vaccine to protect infants

• Business: Soaring pasta prices caused a crisis in Italy. What can the U.S. learn from it?

• Business: Montana banned TikTok. Whatever comes next could affect the app's fate in the U.S.

• Climate: Arizona's farms are running out of water, forcing farmers to confront climate change

• World: The G-7 is tightening up economic sanctions on Russia for its war on Ukraine

• Science: An 'extremely rare' rainbow sea slug was spotted along the coast of England
Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news