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The Point, Dec. 19, 2023: Alachua County allows comments on social media again

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Alachua County turns social media comments back on following trial period. "After 2 years of having its comment sections off in these platforms, the county announced through a post on November 6th that comments would be opened up for a 30-day trial period."

• WUFT News: Seniors Helping Seniors lands contract with VA in Gainesville. "The Walters recently partnered with the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville. Seniors Helping Seniors will now be able to provide care to veterans all over the area."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County Public Schools reaches tentative teacher salary agreement. "If approved by the employees and the School Board of Alachua County, teachers and support staff would receive an across-the-board 3.5% salary increase."

• WCJB: Hundreds pay respects to Charles S. Chestnut III before burial. "He was laid to rest on Monday at Mount Pleasant UMC Cemetery after a funeral at the performing arts building. He died at the age of 83 on Dec. 4."

• Mainstreet Daily News: DeSantis appoints Santa Fe College grad to Union County BOCC. "Jackson currently serves on the Union County Housing Authority and previously served for the New River Public Library Cooperative as the finance director."

• WCJB: Floridians warned of utility bill scam growing across the state. "According to Moody, some crooks are sending threatening texts and emails to Floridians, threatening to cut off utilities unless the victim immediately sends money or financial information."

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Florida deputy's legal team says he didn't have an obligation to stop Parkland school shooter. "The attorney for a former Florida sheriff’s deputy is arguing that his client had no legal duty to confront the gunman who murdered 17 people and wounded 17 others at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nearly six years ago."

• News Service of Florida: Biden administration pushes back in transit dispute stemming from Florida union law. "Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Labor and other defendants Friday filed court documents disputing Florida’s arguments that federal officials were improperly threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars for local transit programs in the state."

• Politico: Complaint accuses DeSantis campaign of illegally coordinating with Never Back Down. "A watchdog group that has already filed several complaints against Gov. Ron DeSantis is now alleging that the Florida Republican and a super PAC aiding his presidential bid violated federal campaign finance laws."

• The 19th: LGBTQ+ people are nearly twice as likely to be displaced after disasters, new research shows. "A first-of-its-kind analysis found that LGBTQ+ people are more likely than the general population to be displaced after disasters and to experience challenges like food and water insecurity."

• Key Biscayne Independent: Dozens of Florida country clubs and HOA’s are being sued over alleged PPP fraud. "A lawsuit unsealed in federal court last month alleges dozens of South Florida’s most luxurious country clubs and homeowners associations – including one in Key Biscayne – improperly got as much as $29 million in federal pandemic or 'PPP' loans and should be ordered to pay up to triple damages."

• The Conversation: FIU researcher: Your car might be watching you to keep you safe — at the expense of your privacy. "Depending on which late-model vehicle you own, your car might be watching you — literally and figuratively — as you drive down the road. It’s watching you with cameras that monitor the cabin and track where you’re looking, and with sensors that track your speed, lane position and rate of acceleration."

• News Service of Florida: New medical marijuana licenses could come within the next six months. "State Office of Medical Marijuana Use Director Christopher Kimball offered the tentative timeline after giving a presentation about the medical marijuana program to a House panel."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: New study identifies Florida’s potential invasive species threats. "A team of experts, led by University of Florida scientists, evaluated terrestrial, aquatic and marine species with characteristics that make them particularly adept at invasion. Their list includes 460 vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and plants."

From NPR News

• Weather: Deadly storm batters the Northeast, knocking out power and grounding flights

• National: Texas governor signs law making it a state crime to cross the border illegally

• Technology: Google to pay $700 million in case over whether its app store is an illegal monopoly

• World: Earthquake rattles western China, killing more than 100 people

• National: Southwest will pay a $140 million fine for its meltdown during the 2022 holidays

• National: A controversial Census Bureau proposal could shrink the U.S. disability rate by 40%

• Technology: Artificial intelligence can find your location in photos, worrying privacy experts

• Culture: A look back at some of the biggest and weirdest auctions of 2023
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