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The Point, Jan. 25, 2024: 200 youth climate activists go to state Capitol

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• WUFT News: Youth climate activists descend on Florida Capitol to push for environment-friendly legislation. "More than 200 young climate activists navigated long corridors and packed elevators at the state Capitol Wednesday to meet with their elected representatives."

• WCJB: Gainesville Police Chief addresses K-9 unit’s return on ‘regular duty.' "Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott addressed the full return of the K-9 unit during the police advisory council meeting on Wednesday."

• Florida Storms: Unsettled end to week for Panhandle, above average temperatures continue for peninsula. "As a local flash flood threat mounts for locations like Panama City and Pensacola, the remainder of the Sunshine State will be blanketed by above average temperatures."

• WCJB: HCA North Florida Hospital resumes surgeries after postponing procedures. "Surgeons are back in the operating rooms at HCA North Florida Hospital in Gainesville after procedures were canceled suddenly last week."

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida man sentenced to decades in prison for sexual relationship with minor he met on Snapchat. "Calling it a case of 'truly horrible conduct,' a federal judge sentenced a self-described sugar daddy in north-central Florida who groomed and sexually exploited a 13-year-old girl to nearly three decades in prison."

• News Service of Florida: Florida Supreme Court justices will take up a redistricting fight. "The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to take up a challenge to the constitutionality of a congressional redistricting plan, but it appears the case will not be resolved before a candidate-qualifying deadline for the November elections."

• WCJB: Emergency crews respond to small plane emergency at Gainesville Regional Airport. "Gainesville Fire Rescue crews say a small plane ran off the end of the runway. They say no one was hurt in the crash."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County Public Schools plans for personal finance class. "This year’s freshman class in Alachua County high schools can look forward to graduating with a semester of financial literacy learning under their belts after a state law made the class mandatory in Florida high schools."

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Florida board bans use of state, federal dollars for DEI programs at state universities. "The board that oversees Florida’s 12 public universities has voted to ban using state or federal dollars for diversity programs or activities, aligning with a law signed last spring by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis."

• Politico: Florida’s GOP-controlled House passes strict social media restrictions for minors. "Florida’s Republican-led House overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday that would create some of the strictest social media prohibitions in the country by cutting off anyone under 16 years old from many platforms."

• News Service of Florida: More than 93,000 with COVID have died in Florida since the pandemic began. "According to state data, 334 deaths have already been recorded this month. In 2023, 8,403 COVID deaths were recorded in Florida."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Study: Retention ponds emit carbon dioxide, methane into environment. "Once considered the perfect way to let nature process rain that has run along the ground and picked up pollutants, most stormwater runoff ponds have now been found to emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming."

• WLRN-Miami: Buyout or bankruptcy: Are those the only options for Broward-based Spirit Airlines? "When a federal judge said JetBlue and Spirit Airlines — the two carriers responsible for most of the flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport — could not merge, Helane Becker uttered the B-word: bankruptcy."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Police, first responder harassment ban clears final committee. "Critics of the bill said they are concerned that the vagueness of what constitutes “emotional distress” could be misused to keep people from getting within 14 feet to record."

• Health News Florida: When should you stop driving? Preparing to hang up the car keys as we age. "A driving rehab therapist at USF says up to 75% of the seniors she evaluates have cognitive impairment. Some can still drive with regular testing and restrictions. Advance directives are a way to handle the challenge."

• WUSF-Tampa: USF’s Salty Science claims first place among women in the ‘World’s Toughest Row’ across the Atlantic. "USF's Salty Science rowing team raised awareness for marine conservation and empowered women with their record-breaking win in a race across the Atlantic Ocean."


From NPR News

• National: Boeing's quality control draws criticism as a whistleblower alleges lapses at factory

• Politics: 4 things to know about Elise Stefanik, as VP rumors swirl

• National: Alabama is set to become the first state to execute an inmate using nitrogen gas

• Elections: The UAW endorsed Biden — and panned Republican frontrunner Trump as a 'scab'

• National: Housing is now unaffordable for a record half of all U.S. renters, study finds

• Health: Raped, pregnant and in an abortion ban state? Researchers gauge how often it happens

• Health: The malaria vaccine that just rolled out has a surprise benefit for kids

• Culture: An American chemist's take on the perfect cup of tea causes a stir in England

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.