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The Point, Feb. 12, 2024: Levy County approves sand mine

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• WUFT: Levy County approves sand mine over objections from people living in Bronson. "A crowd was angry Tuesday night at the Levy County Commission meeting after the county approved a sand mine. Now, a few county residents are planning legal action to stop it."

• WUFT: Santa Fe High School wins district title and finds new love for soccer behind alumni coaching staff."Three hundred and seventy-two days before Santa Fe High School’s final boys soccer game of the 2023-24 season, first-year head coach Morgan Dall’Acqua watched his new team practice from the stands."

•WCJB: 'The only solution is dialogue': Human Library event held at Blount Hall. "Cushman was one of the ten human books during the ‘Human Library’ event. He shared his story of how he went from being an outcast in the Florida Psychiatric Society due to his sexual orientation to becoming their president."

• Mainstreet Daily News: UF Study reveals risks of atmospheric river storms."Analyzing 30 years of weather and economic loss data, the team discovered that when atmospheric rivers occur sequentially, the economic damage more than triples the expected losses compared to standalone events."

• Mainstreet Daily News: HCA North Florida Hospital shutdown: 'It's been a disaster.' "HCA North Florida Hospital has resumed performing surgeries at a fraction of its normal rate, and only for emergencies or patients so severely ill they can’t wait."

• WUFT: Florida Gators sign Newberry High School wide receiver. "The Gators football program signed a majority of its 2024 class back in December on Early Signing Day. On Wednesday, they added a local Gainesville receiver to the mix."

• WUFT: CASA providing support for domestic violence survivors in Marion County."In Pinellas County, Florida, Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) has been a beacon of hope for victims of domestic violence since 1977. Last month, their mission extended its reach as CASA embarked on an expansion into Marion County, addressing a pressing need highlighted by Sheriff Billy Woods."

• WUFT: Tensions high at pro-Israeli UF Hillel event, protesters and police present."On Tuesday, as attendees made their way toward the Rion Ballroom to hear Korchak, nine police officers were on duty for the event. A sign outside the ballroom stated that protestors should not enter the venue. In the courtyard, a pro-Palestinian group of about 20 people chanted, waved flags, and held signs such as 'Free Palestine' and 'End All U.S. Aid to Israel.'"


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Around the state

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The Florida legislature advances a healthcare package to improve access to emergency health care."Since last year, emergency care facilities in rural communities have been taking advantage of a federal program that gives rural hospitals extra money for the services they provide to low-income patients who have Medicaid insurance coverage."

•WUSF-Tampa:EPA reports 'widespread noncompliance' with the nation's first regulations on toxic coal ash."In an enforcement alert issued late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency said the conclusion is based on “numerous facility assessments and inspections to determine compliance with regulatory requirements such as groundwater monitoring, corrective action implementation, and disposal unit closure.”

• News4Jax: Local seniors weigh in on memory loss as special counsel's report raises questions about Biden."Department of Justice Special counsel Robert K. Hur’s report on President's Biden's memory questions his competency and age. It paints a picture of an 81-year-old president with “significantly limited” memory and “limited precision and recall.”

• Florida Politics: Poll: Majority of Floridians know someone suffering from affordable housing crisis."As property values continue to climb higher, a stunning 58% of Floridians polled say they know of an extended family member or friend who has faced housing insecurity or who have struggled to find affordable housing, results showed in the poll released this month."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The Florida legislature advances a healthcare package to improve access to emergency health care."Since last year, emergency care facilities in rural communities have been taking advantage of a federal program that gives rural hospitals extra money for the services they provide to low-income patients who have Medicaid insurance coverage."

• New York Times ($): Plane Crashes on Florida Highway, Killing 2, Authorities say."A small plane carrying five people crashed on Interstate 75 near Naples, Fla., on Friday afternoon, exploding in flames and killing two people, according to officials. They said that three of those onboard were able to get out of the plane."

• NPR:Four European astronauts return to Earth after Axiom Space's Ax-3 commercial mission."A crew of four is back on Earth after splashing down off Daytona Beach, Fla. Friday morning in the same SpaceX capsule that launched the crew's mission three weeks ago from the Kennedy Space Center."

•Tampa Bay Times ($):Florida's outdoor workers want heat safety. Why it's an uphill battle."Florida lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have sponsored bills over the past six of seven years that would protect Floridians who work outside in the heat."


From NPR News

• National: Trump says he wouldn't defend NATO allies from Russia if they're 'delinquent.'

• Politics: Biden tells Netanyahu to 'not proceed' in Rafah without plan to protect civilians.

• World: Social isolation takes a toll on a rising number of South Korea's young adults.

• National: The Kansas City Chiefs wins back-to-back Super Bowls.

• Science: A tiny robot on the space station will simulate remote-controlled surgery up there.

• World: Kelvin Kiptum, men's marathon world record holder, dies in a car crash.

• National:Usher's Super Bowl Halftime show was chaotic but cemented his R&B legacy.

• Business: Cocoa prices spiked to an all-time high right before Valentine's Day

Jimena Romero curated today's edition of The Point.