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The Point, Jan. 3, 2024: State fights free speech lawsuits from UF students

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The stories near you

• News service of Florida: DeSantis, university system dispute free speech lawsuits brought by UF students. "Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state university system are trying to fend off lawsuits from pro-Palestinian student groups that allege First Amendment violations amid campus debates about the war between Israel and Hamas."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville shooting near Rose Food Store injures four. "The shooting took place over three different crime scenes in Gainesville and investigators are still trying to locate the suspect."

• WCJB: Complaints about Galen college spread well beyond Gainesville. "Since our last story on Galen, TV20 has received dozens of e-mails and phone calls from students and parents all over the country expressing concerns about Galen."

• Mainstreet Daily News: New High Springs commissioner resigns over new Florida law. "After less than two months in office, High Springs Commissioner Steve Tapanes resigned on Saturday, Dec. 30, citing issues with Form 6—Florida’s new, mandated form for elected officials."

• WCJB: Ocala receives $104,000 road safety grant. "City officials say the money will go to making plans to keep roads safe and manage speeding in residential and school areas."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Eastside High School students learn medical skills. "Getting a job at UF Health through a regular job portal can sometimes take months, but Eastside High School students have a special opportunity through their school’s medical skills program. Within weeks of graduation, they could be working behind the scenes at a UF Health facility."

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Around the state

• Politico: Authorities expanding investigation into Florida GOP chair accused of rape. "Sarasota authorities are expanding their investigation into Florida Republican Chair Christian Ziegler to probe whether he broke any laws when he allegedly recorded a sexual encounter with a woman accusing him of rape, according to a search warrant affidavit."

• News Service of Florida: A battle over DeSantis' travel records ratchets up. "A legal battle has intensified about public records related to travel by Gov. Ron DeSantis, as The Washington Post accused the governor’s office of taking 'control' of Florida Department of Law Enforcement compliance with the state’s Sunshine Law."

• News4Jax: CDC data shows spike in respiratory illnesses during holiday season and its burden on the healthcare system. "According to the CDC, during the week of December 23, there were more than 29,000 patients admitted to hospitals with COVID-19. Roughly 15,000 people were admitted with the flu and thousands more have been diagnosed with RSV."

• News Service of Florida: Here are 10 big issues to watch during the Florida legislative session. "Florida lawmakers will start the annual 60-day legislative session on Jan. 9, with Gov. Ron DeSantis giving his State of the State address. Here are 10 issues to watch during the session."

• WMFE-Orlando: Economist says Gov. DeSantis' 2024 proposed tax relief is "marginally beneficial." "Gov. Ron DeSantis' proposed Focus on Florida's Future budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 includes more than $1.1 billion in tax relief."

• News Service of Florida: Proposed law could limit pride flags at public buildings. "A Senate Republican has proposed a bill that would restrict the types of flags that can be flown by local governments, schools and colleges, including possibly preventing LGBTQ pride flags."

• WUSF-Tampa: A lack of affordable child care puts the burden on working Florida parents. "The Florida Chamber of Commerce estimates that child care issues are resulting in a $5.38 billion annual loss to the state economy."

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Tampa reports hottest year since records began, National Weather Service says. "NWS numbers showed that more than half of the hottest years since records began in 1890 have happened since 2017."

From NPR News

• Education: Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigns

• Elections: What Trump's removal from ballots means for him — practically and politically

• Health: Threats to abortion access drive demand for abortion pills, analysis suggests

• National: U.S. citizens have been accidentally caught up in the Texas crackdown on migrants

• Music: People in prison explain what music means to them — and how they access it

• World: An Australian cyclist has died after being hit by a car. Police arrested her husband

• Law: A librarian was fired after refusing to ban books. She fought back

• Health: 9 ways to get healthier in 2024 without trying very hard
Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org