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The Point, Aug. 3, 2023: School year prep, COVID rising, a woman cooks free meals

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Need-to-know: Be prepared for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. "The start of a new school year is just around the corner, and the tax-free week on buying school supplies in Florida ends on Sunday. Here is what parents and students should know to be prepared for each county in north central Florida."

•  WCJB: Sheriff Watson voids investigation into captain after ‘unlawful detention.' "Sheriff’s office officials say investigations are not typically voided in this manner. The sheriff previously voided an investigation accusing Butcher of insubordination for her 'body language and tone' after she sued the sheriff’s office."

• WUFT News: Youth Energy Academy gets kids excited about energy. "Eight middle- and high-school-age students from around the state gathered on Wednesday at GRU’s Eastside Operations Center to learn about the energy industry, as well as participate in activities like an electricity demonstration, a solar car race and virtual reality activities."

• Mainstreet Daily News: School board grudgingly passes tentative budget. "The School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) voted to approve a tentative millage rate and budget of $604 million for 2023-24 in a public hearing on Tuesday but plans to meet again to clarify the budget’s priorities and integrity."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Former GPD officer appointed FDLE division director. "The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced Tuesday that former Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer Chad Brown will direct the FDLE’s Criminal Justice Professionalism division."

• WUFT News: Meet the woman cooking free meals every week for downtown residents. "Melanie Rodriguez-Martinez, 23, has always loved cooking but it wasn’t until this February that she saw how she could use her passion to fill a need in the community."

• WUFT News: The Florida Wrestling Empire looks to conquer North Central Florida with more competitions. "Tyler Nimmons once got beat up for a living. Now, he wants to share his passion for professional wrestling with the people of Marion County."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Florida inmates and prison officials grapple with ‘oppressive’ heat. "Nearly a month into a stifling heat wave, corrections officials are attempting to alleviate sweltering conditions in Florida’s unairconditioned prisons, but advocates for inmates say the efforts fall short and aren’t being carried out the same way at all facilities."

• WUSF-Tampa: Here are some reasons why COVID cases are on the rise in Florida. "The state Department of Health documented nearly 3,000 more cases per week over the two weeks ending July 20 compared with the prior five weeks. Health officials say waning immunity could be the reason."

• Florida Politics: Florida’s delegation wants farm bill to protect growers, benefits. "Congress only passes a farm bill every five years. Florida leaders say that means urgency in getting things right on legislation impacting a top state industry."

• WUSF-Tampa: Richard Corcoran is among three finalists to become New College president. "Richard Corcoran, a former state representative, House speaker and education commissioner, has served as the interim president at New College of Florida since February."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida officials are testing new technology that turns algae into fertilizer. "With the help from the University of Florida research department, the green gunk can now be turned into an alternative fertilizer."

• WLRN-Miami: Scientists racing to save coral from bleaching are running out of space. "Scientists hoping to provide a genetic lifeline to Florida’s ailing reef are removing hundreds of colonies of healthy coral off Miami, hoping to outpace a wave of lethal bleaching spreading from the Florida Keys."

• News Service of Florida:FSU mulls leaving ACC citing distribution of conference revenue. "Athletic conferences’ revenue distribution among schools relies heavily on media deals between the conferences and the networks that broadcast games."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants the public to help the state’s burrowing owl. "The burrowing owl is the smallest owl in Florida. This species is found in open areas with short vegetation throughout the Florida peninsula."

From NPR News

• Politics: Trump's attorney tells NPR how he plans to defend against the latest charges

• National: After the East Palestine train derailment, are railroads any safer?

• National: Jury recommends death sentence for gunman in 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

• Law: New federal laws have money for climate projects — if communities can actually get it

• Politics: That's cold: Three-quarters of Republicans prioritize the economy over climate change

• Health: Doctors have their own diagnosis: 'Moral distress' from an inhumane health system

• Sports: With Brazil's exit, Marta delivers an emotional farewell to the World Cup
Kristin Moorehead 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