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The Point, Aug. 9, 2023: One year of 988, DeSantis campaign shuffle, 'Barbie' makes $1 billion

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: 988 hotline, one year later: mental health professionals talk positives and pitfalls. "Erin Brooker Lozott has worked in the field of autism and mental health for 29 years. She answers calls from people in crisis every day. But she never expected the call to come from someone in her own family."

• Mainstreet Daily News: ACSO arrests organizer of Lake Butler pop-up party. "Many of the individuals at the party were allegedly intoxicated, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, in possession of illegal substances, driving under the influence, affray, discharging a firearm and battery on others. One of the individuals allegedly committed aggravated battery with serious bodily injury, was arrested and remains in the Union County Jail."

• WCJB: GRU asks for rate increases to pay debts. "On Wednesday, officials will give their fiscal year 2024 budget presentation. They say the rate increases are part of the utility’s plan to become more financially stable."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV’s Chestnut appointed to national committee. "Gainesville Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut will serve for a year on a National League of Cities (NLC) committee, providing direction for the organization's federal advocacy on topics like housing, land use, economic opportunity and entrepreneurship."

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): State clears deputies in fatal shooting. Man's family's lawyer says force was excessive. "Chief Assistant State Attorney Walter Forgie wrote in his report: 'The use of deadly force by these deputies was reasonable, and therefore lawful, under these circumstances.'"

• News Service of Florida: Supreme Court denies insurer’s appeal in Marion County blood “pollutant” dispute. "The Florida Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a property insurer’s appeal in a dispute about whether blood should be considered a pollutant under a homeowners’ policy."

• Florida Politics: University of Florida AI instruction rolling out to more public schools this year. "The UF-designed AI education program was piloted last year in three school districts. UF is expanding the program to 12 districts beginning this month."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Even students need a place to decompress. This middle school's calm room has that covered. "A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday morning at Fort Clarke Middle School in Alachua County to initiate the opening of a 'calm room' in the school’s library. Its purpose: To give students an environment to cope with their emotions, no matter the cause."

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Around the state

• Associated Press: DeSantis replaces his campaign manager as he resets his faltering 2024 presidential bid. "The changes come after DeSantis made two big staff cuts in the past few weeks, laying off about a third of his staff in late July as the campaign faced financial trouble."

• WMFE-Orlando: Experts warn more AP courses could be banned in Florida. "AP African American History has been banned outright in Florida, and for a few days last week, AP Psych was also banned in the state over its themes of gender identity and sexuality."

• WLRN-Miami: Expanded 'Don't Say Gay' law remains contentious as new school year begins. "As teachers and students return this month to school, the expanded law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” and the new Florida Board of Education rules — from limits on discussion of gender and sexual orientation and use of preferred pronouns — continue raising concerns about its potential harm to the public education system while winning praise among its proponents, including Gov. Ron DeSantis."

• Associated Press: Judge denies a request to block a Florida law making it a crime to drive people in the US illegally. "The judge said Gov. Ron DeSantis and other defendants who include prosecutors from across Florida hadn't been properly given notice about the motion. The judge said the civil rights groups could file the request again."

• WUSF-Tampa: Our Changing State: imagining a future for Florida's transportation needs. "You can see the signs of our growing population just by taking a drive anywhere in Florida. Whether it’s a commute that takes twice as long as it did a few years ago, the frustrating search for parking, or the chaos around road expansions, the simple fact is more people means more cars on the road."

• WMFE-Orlando: Orange County considers giving Universal a district of its own for its Epic Universe. "Amid controversy over Disney World’s special district, Universal Studios is asking the Orange County Commission for a district of its own."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Lee district unveils program to track students via school buses. "A card-scanning program called Student Ridership begins with the new school year this week. It will allow parents and school officials to see when and where a student gets on or off a bus."

• WMFE-Orlando: Central Florida Seen and Heard: Immigration Divides The Economy. "Many businesses in Florida are navigating murky waters as they try to figure out the state’s new immigration laws. WMFE’s Talia Blake continues our series Central Florida Seen and Heard: Immigration Divide with a look at the cost to businesses and undocumented workers."

From NPR News

• National: Uvalde shooter's cousin arrested in San Antonio for threatening to shoot a school

• World: U.S. continues to push for a diplomatic resolution in Niger

• Health: A new clue to the reason some people come down with long COVID

• National: He was a top church official who criticized Trump. He says Christianity is in crisis

• National: Being in-between jobs is normal. Here's how to talk about it

• World: The saga of Hong Kong's protest anthem, which authorities are trying to ban

• Media: 'Barbie' is the only billion-dollar blockbuster solely directed by a woman

• Culture: The Visual Effects workers behind Marvel's movie magic vote to unionize
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