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The Point, Feb. 28, 2024: State wants insurers to cover skin cancer screenings

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The stories near you

• Fresh Take Florida: Sunshine State looks to require some insurers to cover costs of skin cancer screenings. "Florida would be the second U.S. state – and the first in the South – to offer such subsidized screenings."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Hawthorne experiences another stint of water loss, boiled water notice. "City Manager John Martin said the city believes Tuesday’s water line was impacted by Monday’s incident. However, instead of fracturing immediately, it happened later. He said the two breaks were in close proximity."

• Fresh Take Florida: Lawmakers look to focus Purple Alerts for missing adults with mental disabilities. "The bills, sponsored by Democrats, would limit the number of statewide alerts in favor of local, countywide notifications where someone may have vanished."

• WUFT News: Gov. DeSantis announces $6 million in Idalia relief. "The money will be used to support low- to moderate-income homeowners who no longer have insurance after the storm."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Newberry recovers from holding pond sinkhole. "The sinkhole compromised the pond’s lining and let an estimated 500,000 gallons of treated wastewater into the ground but it has not affected the treatment facility’s operation."

• WUFT News: 2024 increase in online shopping threatens small businesses. "According to a 2024 Statista report, 20% of shopping takes place online. By 2027, e-commerce is predicted to amount to a quarter of all retail transactions."

• WCJB: FDLE agents search Starke City Hall, take documents. "Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents executed a search warrant on Starke City Hall causing the building to be temporarily closed on Tuesday. Few details have been released on the nature of the investigation."

• Ocala Gazette: I-75 improvements meetings. "The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing regarding the Project Development and Environment Study for Interstate 75 improvements from State Road 200 to SR 326 in person on March 4 and online March 6."

• The Point Podcast: Beyond bullets: navigating the gun violence epidemic. Wednesday's host, Caitlyn Schiffer, spoke with Amanda Goldsmith, Integrative Healthcare Consultant and Everytown Survivor Fellow, about the gun violence epidemic and how her past experiences have compelled her to create change.

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Around the state

• WLRN-Miami: 'Grossly irresponsible': Florida congresswoman blasts surgeon general over measles outbreak. "Dr. Joseph Ladapo, known for his outspoken skepticism toward the COVID-19 vaccine, sent a letter last week to parents at Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston where seven students have contracted measles — but refused to declare a public health emergency."

• Associated Press: Florida lawmaker pulls bill on wrongful death of unborn children after Alabama IVF ruling. "A Florida bill to allow people to file wrongful death lawsuits over the death of a fetus is being shelved because of the political fallout from an Alabama Supreme Court decision that frozen embryos are legally protected children."

• WMFE-Orlando: Chaplains as school counselors? Final Senate committee says yes. "After almost an hour of public comment, the Rules Committee voted to allow chaplains to provide support, services and programs to students as approved by school boards."

• News Service of Florida: A judge says he won't step away from a Florida elections case. "A federal judge Tuesday refused to step down from a case challenging a 2023 Florida elections law, rejecting arguments by the state that suggested he had a 'closed mind.'"

• Health News Florida: Report finds that 86% of rural Florida hospitals no longer deliver babies. "Many hospitals are shuttering their obstetrics units because insurance and Medicaid aren't reimbursing enough to cover the cost of births, the report notes."

• WUSF-Tampa: Concerns remain over Florida bill that would harshen penalties for squatters. "A pair of bills, HB 621 and SB 888, moving toward a vote by the full House and Senate would make it easier to remove squatters from residential property. Some worry that authorities could unfairly apply the rules to renters."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: A lawsuit alleging discrimination against Florida A&M University is appealed. "Lawyers for six students on Friday appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of a potential class-action lawsuit that alleged the state has discriminated against historically Black Florida A&M University."

• Community News Collaborative: Technology allows disabled voters to cast ballots independently. "The Express Vote machines that can be used by Florida voters have a large touchscreen and a keypad with Braille labels, and other aids for those with other impairments."

• WMFE-Orlando: Astronaut Winston Scott’s journey to space. "Veteran NASA astronaut Winston Scott logged a total of 24 days in space and his three spacewalks helped pave the way for the building and maintenance of the International Space Station."

From NPR News

• Politics: Congressional leaders hope to avoid a shutdown. But Ukraine aid is still unclear

• National: Idaho prepares to execute one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S.

• World: Why self-immolation has been used by political protesters for decades

• Space: The aging Voyager 1 spacecraft has a serious glitch, and NASA is pondering risky fixes

• Media: More crime and conservatism: How new owners are changing 'The Baltimore Sun'

• Technology: After 10 years of development, Apple abruptly cancels its electric car project

• Business: Why Macy's is closing 150 department stores

• World: U.K. companies that tried a 4-day workweek report lasting benefits more than a year on

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.