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The Point, Oct. 4, 2023: Low air quality in Florida from Canadian wildfires

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: New lawsuit seeks to block DeSantis’ appointments to control city’s utility. "Members of Gainesville Resident United Inc. filed a lawsuit Monday against Gov. Ron DeSantis for his appointees to the Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority board."

• WUFT News: Death row inmate Michael Zack executed Tuesday night for 1996 murder of two women. "The state of Florida executed the man who killed two women in the Florida Panhandle during a nine-day crime spree in 1996."

• Florida Storms: Canada wildfires bring dangerous smoke levels to Florida. "Low air quality levels are prompting alerts and advisories in Florida after smoke from wildfires in Canada is closing in on the Southeast."

• Gainesville Sun ($): County limits calls from Alachua County Jail, provide 2 free non-attorney calls. "Alachua County Jail inmates on Sunday began making free phone calls to friends and family members thanks to an initiative passed in April by the County Commission."

• WUFT News: Air Force base could threaten Florida’s endangered Rice’s whale. "Although Rice’s whales were only confirmed as their own species in 2021, they have been around for much longer. They were named after Dale W. Rice, who first published that Bryde’s whales lived in the Gulf of Mexico in 1965, according to NOAA."

• WUFT News: Extreme weather tests Chiefland football team, inspires community. "In many rural towns across America, football is king. That’s no exception in Chiefland, a small Florida hamlet slammed by Hurricane Idalia at the end of August."

• WUFT News: Living alongside coyotes, Floridians defend their livlihoods. "In areas like Fort White, Trenton and Bell, packs of coyotes often leave traces behind. From murdered chickens to attacked cats, the area has seen its fair share of encounters."

• WUFT News: Meelypops, the nickname that turned into a business. "After earning two diplomas from the University of Florida and beginning a career in health sciences, he and his wife took a big risk. They left their comfortable jobs and turned their late night hobby into a full-time job."

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Around the state

• WFSU-Tallahassee: A federal trial over North Florida's congressional lines ends early. "The federal three-judge panel is set to issue a decision on the constitutionality of North Florida’s congressional districts by early next year to give lawmakers time to adopt a new map during the 60-day regular lawmaking session if the current one is struck down."

• Florida Politics: Elections supervisors ask GOP lawmakers for no major changes to election laws in 2024. "Since Florida last voted for a president in 2020, the state Legislature has passed three major election reform bills that supporters say have enhanced voter integrity, but critics argue that the reforms restrict voter access to the polls."

• WUSF-Tampa: Richard Corcoran selected to become permanent president of New College of Florida. "The Republican former state House speaker and Florida education commissioner has served as interim president since March."

• News Service of Florida: Judge backs a Florida teacher in a case involving a trans student. "An administrative law judge Monday backed a Miami-Dade County teacher who reportedly told a transgender student that, 'I’m a Christian, and my God made no mistakes' while refusing to call the student by preferred pronouns."

• Florida Politics: Supreme Court gears up for marijuana legalization arguments. "The amendment, titled “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana,” would allow non-medical use of the narcotic and prohibit any law subjecting use to criminal liability or civil sanctions. It would also clear all licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in the state to start making and selling recreational cannabis products."

• WUSF-Tampa: The race to protect Florida's Wildlife Corridor. "More than half of the Florida Wildlife Corridor's 18 million acres is protected conservation land. But that leaves a lot of land vulnerable to development."

• WLRN-Miami: Rare clawed creature lives in Miami’s underground water supply. Can it survive sea rise? "It’s called the Miami cave crayfish, a rare and rarely seen crustacean whose future — like the underground freshwater where it lives — faces increasing threats from climate change as rising seas and tides push salty water deeper into the holes and cavities of the Biscayne Aquifer’s Swiss-cheeselike lime rock."

• WMFE-Orlando: To Infinity and Beyond: How Space impacts Florida's economy. "Jim Gregory is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He explains how space is impacting our lives down on Earth."

From NPR News

• Politics: McCarthy will not run for speaker again after being removed

• Politics: The growing racial gap in U.S. census results is raising an expert panel's concerns

• Law: Judge issues gag order on Trump in business fraud case

• Law: A federal appeals court blocks a grant program for Black female entrepreneurs

• Health: A 'dream' come true: Now there are 2 vaccines to slash the frightful toll of malaria

• National: The Hollywood writers strike is over. What's next for the writers?

• Law: A Department of Defense official faces up to 5 years in prison in dogfighting case

• Animals: Tarantulas in Colorado are on the move, and they're looking for love
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