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The Point, Feb. 1, 2024: Opponents push back against changes to child labor laws

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Gainesville police request help in identifying Depot Park gunman. "Law enforcement are still working to identify the man who shot a woman in the leg and stole her belongings in the Depot Park area. After a week of searching, they’re now asking for help from the community."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Gainesville evicts nonprofit after unauthorized property use. "The city of Gainesville forced Keep Alachua County Beautiful staff to leave a city-owned building on Tuesday and defended its stance following a social media post by the nonprofit."

• Ocala Gazette: ‘It is a crisis:’ School board to pursue both impact fee and sales tax. "After months of deliberation among local government entities and years of planning from the school board, officials have reached a tentative agreement about the rates to reinstate impact fees."

• Associated Press: Federal judge won't take action against Florida in effort to stop pro-Palestinian student group. "A federal judge refused to take action against Florida on Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging an order to deactivate pro-Palestinian student groups, essentially because nothing has been done to follow through with the directive."

• WCJB: City of Ocala staff discuss raising parking costs, other changes coming downtown. "Finding parking is a struggle anyone in Downtown Ocala can understand, which is why city staff want to increase parking prices."

• WUFT News: Phase two of Woodland Park in southeast Gainesville to break ground in December. "Residents of the Woodland Park neighborhood should expect to pay their own utilities, add in-unit appliances to their homes and walk on an upcoming $200,000 walking trail, among other planned upgrades."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua Conservation Trust adds Gilchrist County farm to protected list. "A former dairy farm in Gilchrist County near Devil’s Ear Springshed will transition 561 acres into lower-impact farming over the next 10 years through a conservation easement."

• WUFT News: Archer pastor develops cooking classes for families receiving federal food aid. "Kelly Lauren, a 28-year-old pastor at Archer First United Methodist Church and Celebration United Methodist Church, experienced challenges using WIC – especially at the checkout line."

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Around the state

• WLRN-Miami: 'We are children': Push to weaken Florida's child labor laws draws ire from opponents. "If passed, the bill would allow bosses to ask 16- and 17-year olds to work more than 30 hours a week during the school year, something that is currently illegal under Florida law. If it passes, Valdez fears jobs will simply ask teenagers to work more and more hours — because they can."

• WMFE-Orlando: Judge sides with DeSantis, throws out Disney lawsuit over Reedy Creek. "Disney publicly opposed the Parental Rights in Education or what critics call the Don’t Say Gay law which was backed by the Republican legislature in 2022. The law bans most instruction of gender identity and sexuality in the state’s K-12 schools."

• WUSF-Tampa: More than 4.2 million Floridians sign up for ACA health plans during open enrollment. "Florida and the nation broke records for signups. Expanded financial assistance and the ongoing Medicaid unwinding contributed to the spike."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Changes, more funding coming to 2023's affordable housing law. "Last year’s $700 million affordable housing initiative was the brainchild of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. It is meant to solve Florida’s affordable housing crisis in the coming years, but there are some concerns about how the rapid building of housing could negatively affect communities."

• News Service of Florida: Passing a balanced budget is the one thing Florida lawmakers must do. Now they're one step closer. "With differences on issues such as funding prisons, a health-care plan and home-hardening grants, Senate and House budget committees on Wednesday approved spending plans that top $115 billion."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida's agriculture commissioner says food is a national security issue. "Simpson says he’s also focused on securing the future of state agriculture interests and prioritizing Florida-grown food."

• WUSF-Tampa: Following Gasparilla, Tampa workers and volunteers collect around 20 tons of trash. "Hundreds of volunteers and employees worked from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon to collect 20 tons of trash from this past weekend's parade."

From NPR News

• Politics: House passes bipartisan tax bill to expand child tax credit

• Technology: 'You have blood on your hands,' Senator tells Mark Zuckerberg for failing kids online

• Education: A new FAFSA setback means many college financial aid offers won't come until April

• World: As North Korea launches missiles and artillery, this island's residents are terrified

• Health: Syphilis cases rise to their highest levels since the 1950s, CDC says

• National: A look from Maui six months after devastating wildfires

• Health: The fight over banning menthol cigarettes has a long history steeped in race

• Music: Taylor Swift, Drake, BTS and more may have their music taken off TikTok — here's why

• Culture: Elmo takes a turn as a therapist after asking, 'How is everybody doing?'

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.