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The Point, Jan. 31, 2024: Poultry industry still recovering after Idalia

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Poultry industry still crippled in North Florida after Hurricane Idalia. "He explained that chickens are more susceptible to dying after hurricanes because of how farmers have to keep them. Chickens require raised houses and need to be kept cool to survive. This means hurricane-force winds alone can take down countless chicken houses and power outages can overheat them, effectively putting local farmers out of livestock and business."

• WUFT News: From inmate to advocate: How incarceration motivated six individuals to try changing the system. "Leaving incarceration is a unique experience that forever changes the lives of those that go through it. Meet six former inmates from across north Central Florida who have become advocates for better reentry programs."

• WUFT News: Raising the adult literacy rate in Alachua County. "Jones grew up in Newberry with his mother until he left home at 16, two years after he dropped out of Oak View Middle School. Despite eight years of public education, Jones was functionally illiterate. He had to ask seven people to read him stop names and signage on his bus journey from Glennville to Newberry, the only home he had ever known."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Newberry looks to form historic society. "Though the still-unformed society does not yet have defined tasks, Marlowe said it would work to preserve the town’s history in multiple ways, including words, pictures and buildings."

• WUFT News: North Central Florida high school student-athletes navigate a future without sports. "According to the 2022-23 High School Athletics Participation Survey, the National Federation of State High School Associations found that 297,389 boys and girls in Florida participated in the state’s high school-level sports. But getting into NCAA sports is harder than getting into an Ivy League College."

• The Alligator: Viral TikTok street preacher 'Sister Cindy' attracts small crowd at UF. "Cindy Smock, "Sister Cindy," an evangelical street preacher with over 425,000 TikTok followers returned to UF campus on Monday"

• WCJB: New Trend: Cow-Cuddling. "If you’re seeking a unique experience, Rooterville Animal Sanctuary in Melrose might have exactly what you’re looking for. It’s just as it sounds, cuddling cows, and studies have shown interacting with these animals can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and even boost feeling of happiness."

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Around the state

• WUSF-Tampa: County Supervisors of Elections talk about everything voters need to know about voting in 2024. "On this episode of Florida Matters, host Mathew Peddie sat down with election supervisors Julie Marcus, Brian Corley, and Craig Latimer from Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties. They talk about what keeps them up at night and what people need to know as they prepare to vote this year."

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis administration changes a gender identity policy for driver's licenses. "Amid continued efforts targeting transgender people, Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration quietly changed a policy that allowed Floridians to obtain driver's licenses and state identification cards that reflect their gender identity."

• Jacksonville Today: Massive fire torches Rise Doro apartments Downtown. "Fire Chief Keith Powers called the fire 'one of the worst' in the city in a decade. He said the building appeared to be a total loss, although that won’t be determined until engineers can get inside."

• WUSF-Tampa: Florida lawmakers want to re-up funding for a program designed to lower property insurance costs. "The program, which was originally created in 2006, incentivizes homeowners to make property repairs that, in turn, should lower risk for insurers and costs for policyholders."

• WLRN-Miami: Scholarships for Rosewood, Ocoee descendants are set to continue despite DEI ban, official says. "For years, descendants of people who suffered the racist attacks in Rosewood and Ocoee have been able to attend college for free, through state-funded scholarships created by the Florida Legislature."

• WMFE-Orlando: On Your Mark: Athletes will race for a spot on Team USA at the Olympic Trials Marathon in Orlando. "Downtown Orlando will be on the national stage when the trials are televised on Saturday."

• WMFE-Orlando: A new space race and dust from an ancient asteroid. "Former NASA administrator Mike Griffin expressed the lack of urgency from the U.S. to send astronauts before another nation does at a congressional hearing earlier this month."

From NPR News

• Elections: A federal court declines to revisit a ruling that could weaken the Voting Rights Act

• National: The IRS got $80B to help people and chase rich tax avoiders. Here's how it's going

• Politics: House GOP advances impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

• Technology: What to know about Elon Musk's Neuralink, which put an implant into a human brain

• World: Protests by farmers block highways to Paris and elsewhere in France

• Business: Has remote work really been tragic for big companies' bottom lines?

• Science: 'Like moths to a flame'? Here's what's going on with insects and porch lights

• Culture: Another Super Bowl bet emerges: Can Taylor Swift make it from her Tokyo show in time?

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.