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The Point, June 6, 2023: Special Report: Living in the shadow of the fertilizer industry

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The stories near you

• WUFT News Special Report: Today WUFT News continues The Price of Plenty, a special report on the fertilizer industry by student journalists from the University of Florida and the University of Missouri. Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center’s nationwide Connected Coastlines reporting initiative, we spent 16 weeks reporting on fertilizer from Florida’s farm fields and phosphate mines to agrichemical plants along the Mississippi River and the communities that live in their shadow. In Part II: Justice, UF’s Alan Halaly’s “When the Storm Hits” investigates the vulnerability of fertilizer plants, mines and stacks of radioactive waste to hurricanes and extreme rains. In “Living in the Sacrifice Zone,” MU’s Sofi Zeman reports on environmental justice along a short stretch of the Mississippi River that includes some of the largest fertilizer plants in the nation.

• WUFT News: City Commission to discuss how to proceed in the sale of Ironwood Golf Course at June 15 meeting. "Commissioners have discussed selling the course as the city anticipates cuts to its budget. The course has experienced hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational losses over the last three fiscal years and has become a burden to the city, officials said."

• WUFT News: Tensions rise in Hernando County over school superintendent position. "House Bill 773 is approaching Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk, and if he signs it, it will be up to Hernando County voters to decide whether the superintendent will be an appointed position by the school board or elected by voters in a partisan election."

• Mainstreet Daily News: School board discusses priorities for rezoning. "The Alachua County Public Schools’ (ACPS) priorities for its comprehensive rezoning efforts will again be on the agenda for the school board’s Tuesday evening meeting, along with public hearings for proposed changes to student conduct codes and other board policies."

• The Alligator: Ben Shapiro to come to UF in the Fall. "The UF Student Government budget for student organizations for Fall 2023 allocated $10,500 to the UF Young Americans for Freedom organization to host Ben Shapiro on campus."

• Mainstreet Daily News: UF Health unveils new mobile stroke unit. "The first new mobile stroke unit will be housed in Gainesville and, in cooperation with Alachua County Fire Rescue, is expected to be deployed by the end of July 2023. Soon after, UF Health will add a unit in Central Florida in The Villages, and, later, in Jacksonville."

• The Alligator: Local businesses show support for Pride Month amidst recent backlash experienced by big companies. "UF LGBTQ students expressed their disappointment toward larger businesses and their inauthentic support, sometimes referred to as rainbow capitalism."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Judge to weigh Florida’s legal fight over new ‘drag show’ law. "State lawyers filed arguments Friday as U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell prepares to hold a hearing Tuesday on a motion by operators of the Orlando restaurant Hamburger Mary’s for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the law, which DeSantis signed last month."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Anti-hunger advocates worry families could be left without enough food amid debt limit deal. "The new law increases the age limit for people with no disabilities and no dependents to be exempt from work requirements for food stamps. Before the change, the work requirement only applied to people between the ages of 18 and 49."

• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis signs bill raising penalties for attacking defense attorneys, public defenders. "The measure’s inspiration was a vicious assault in November on Gainesville attorney Eric Atria, whose client, a career criminal named Obadiah Dillard, sucker punched him during the trial to have the case thrown out."

• NPR: Journalists at Gannett newspapers, including some in Florida, walk out over deep cuts and low pay. "Journalists at 24 Gannett newspapers, including The Florida Times-Union and The Palm Beach Post, are protesting the failure of contract negotiations to resolve what they say is low pay and increasingly stressful working conditions."

• WLRN-Miami: DeSantis suspends North Miami Beach mayor amid illegal voting charges. "In a statement posted late Monday afternoon, North Miami Beach officials sought to distance themselves from the mayor. 'The circumstances surrounding the former Mayor is not a reflection of the City staff or the rest of the City Commission,' the statement said."

• WLRN-Miami: Good seaweed news: Sargassum belt has actually shrunk. It may mean cleaner beaches. "The belt is supposed to get bigger at this time of year. In fact, this is the first time since studies began in 2011 that the amount of sargassum in the Atlantic in May has decreased."

• WUSF-Tampa: This rare snake will be considered for the endangered species list. "One of the rarest snakes in North America will now be considered for inclusion on the list of endangered species. This is a reversal of the position held by federal environmental regulators."

From NPR News

• National: 5 questions answered about the unresponsive plane that flew over D.C.

• World: New U.S. immigration rules send asylum requests soaring in Mexico

• Climate: Colorado pushes ahead in green hydrogen — a new technology to curb global warming

• Business: Sky-high egg prices are finally coming back down to Earth

• World: Prince Harry to be 1st royal ever to testify in a phone-hacking tabloid trial

• National: Swimmers should get ready for another summer short on lifeguards

• Media: Did the 'Barbie' movie really cause a run on pink paint? Let's get the full picture
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org