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The Point, Dec. 12, 2023: Three months post-Idalia, some are still recovering

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Big Bend residents still recovering from damage from Hurricane Idalia three months later. "Hurricane Idalia hit the Big Bend area as a Category 3 hurricane on Aug. 30. Over three months later, residents in the affected areas are still wrangling with government agencies for financial assistance to help rebuild or repair the damage from the natural disaster."

• WUFT News: Queens of the stage react to temporary victory stalling Florida’s ‘Anti-Drag Show’ law. "Daizy Haze confidently commands the stage, her cascading neon hair extending down to her waist. Once the spotlight fades, however, she seamlessly transitions back to Scott McKinnon, a merchandising manager at Five Below."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Stolen ambulance chase ends at Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. "A man in an altered mental state stole an ambulance Saturday evening in Lake City and led law enforcement on a chase that ended on the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) operations center front lawn."

• WCJB: ‘One was shot in both legs’: Marion County nightclub shooting victims identified. "Around 2:15 a.m., shots were fired near a crowd of people outside of Club Time on Southeast Maricamp Road. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Warner and Ricard Brown, a citizen, were shot."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County Public Schools receives “B” grade. "The district’s overall 'B' grade is the same as last year, though down from an 'A' in 2021, which was the only grade other than 'B' since 2016."

• WUFT News: Buchholz football continues to breed a culture of greatness on the field. "The Bobcats accomplished the rare feat of going undefeated throughout the entire 2023 regular season. It was the first time a Buchholz team has finished undefeated since 2001."

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Around the state

• WUSF-Tampa: Latest version of AP African American Studies course makes some key concepts 'optional.' "The College Board's latest version of the AP African American Studies course includes teachings on intersectionality and Black feminism, but makes instruction on the Black Lives Matter Movement and reparations optional."

• WMFE-Orlando: Central Florida LGBTQ+ groups, Democratic politicians plan statements against HB 599. "The bill, by Belleview Republican Ryan Chamberlin, goes beyond recent Florida laws restricting personal pronoun use and talk of gender identity in schools. It targets those issues at work for government contractors and agencies."

• News Service of Florida: The Seminole Tribe of Florida will resume gambling payments to the state. "Amid a celebrity-fueled launch of new casino games this week, the Seminole Tribe intends to resume making payments to the state as part of a 30-year deal that included giving the tribe control over sports betting."

• WLRN-Miami: 'You have to earn it': Top Florida Democrat visits colleges in outreach tour to young voters. "A lot of the students in this class are political science majors. But for many of them, it was the first time they had ever met an elected official. And they don’t necessarily believe their government is representing their interests."

• WUSF-Tampa: Huge turnout expected as Sarasota School Board votes on asking Bridget Ziegler to resign. "The Sarasota School Board on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that urges board member Bridget Ziegler to resign, saying that her continued presence poses an 'irreparably harmful distraction,' as her husband is the subject of a police investigation for sexual assault."

• News Service of Florida: Brightline is moving forward with Orlando-to-Tampa plans despite no federal funding. "Rep. Karen Gonzalez Pittman, R-Tampa, has submitted a $50 million proposal to the Florida Legislature for the next legislative session that would go toward rail improvements in the I-4 corridor."

• WLRN-Miami: How South Florida is a study in economic contrasts for the Biden administration. "South Florida is a place of pride for the Biden administration's efforts to draw attention to its economic policies. It's also a place of frustration."

• WUSF-Tampa: To capture carbon, Florida researchers are studying what's known as the ‘plant diamond.' "Matias Kirst is a professor of genetics and genomics at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and he’s the project’s lead. He said scientists have tried to make plant roots better at capturing carbon for good, but plant materials typically degrade and send that captured carbon back into the atmosphere after 10 or 20 years."

From NPR News

• Health: Texas Supreme Court rules against woman who sought abortion for complicated pregnancy

• Law: Special counsel asks Supreme Court to decide whether Trump has immunity

• Law: High Court, in declining to weigh conversion therapy ban, allows law to stand

• World: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has gone missing, his spokesperson says

• Climate: 18 California children are suing the EPA over climate change

• National: The Air National Guard disciplines 15 members in wake of Discord intel leak

• Science: Scientists have found the mostly intact skull of a giant, deadly sea reptile

• National: How to survive your workplace holiday party
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