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The Point, March 4, 2024: UF terminates 28 DEI-related roles

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Correction appended: A previous version of the headline of this edition of The Point incorrectly stated that 28 UF employees had been fired. This has been corrected to read that 28 roles were removed. We regret the error.

• Fresh Take Florida: University of Florida terminates 28 roles linked to diversity affairs. "The executive branch agencies that oversee the schools had been finalizing rules for shutting down the programs since the law went into effect last summer."

• Fresh Take Florida: Troubled Gainesville hospital removes surgical vice president, gets clean checkup from state regulators. "Three weeks after surgeries were halted, the Tallahassee-based Agency for Health Care Administration found no deficiencies at the hospital during their visit on Feb. 6, according to a newly disclosed one-line summary of inspection records."

• WUFT News: Marion County high school receives funding to boost classroom accessibility. "Vanguard High School in Marion County will be receiving some major upgrades. The school district is adding an elevator to one of its buildings at the end of the school year."

• WUFT News: Gainesville restaurants finding it hard to recover from COVID-19. "In 2020, more than 110,000 restaurants across the United States closed their doors, either temporarily or permanently, according to the National Restaurant Association. In comparison, 5,695 restaurants closed nationally in 2011."

• WUFT News: ‘Bringing the hospital to the patient’: UF Health’s Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit serves Alachua County in first year. "Stationed at UF Health Professional Park, the MSTU is a specialized ambulance carrying equipment to diagnose a stroke and begin immediate treatment on the way to the nearest comprehensive stroke center."

• WUFT News: Spring walking tour across campus sheds light on historical events that occurred on Black Thursday at UF. "On that day, one of the most infamous in school history, dozens of Black students gathered on the steps of Tigert Hall to protest and ask UF President Stephen C. O’Connell for equal treatment."

• WUFT News: Matheson History Museum exhibit celebrates 30 years since opening. "The 'Weaving a Community' exhibit features the connections between Gainesville culture, community and history starting with the work of the Matheson family. Its opening commemorates 30 years of the museum’s work."

• WUFT News: From rags to riches: How a Starke antique store owner’s life changed through faith. "Sipe said he found a love for religion that has been his motivation following a life hitchhiking and sleeping in tents. He now helps the homeless in north Florida and owns an antique store that fosters his love for 'old junk.'"

• The Point Podcast: This is not Joe Biden, you're being scammed. Monday's host, Caitlyn Schiffer, speaks with Managing Director of the Consortium of Trust in Media and Technology Janet Coats about how cyber scammers are using AI to deceive voters and why you should be cautious with the upcoming Florida primaries.


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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: DeSantis vetoes under-16 social media ban; lawmakers offer to give parents more control. "The new measure, introduced in an amendment by Sen. Erin Grall, R-Fort Pierce, would restrict social media for all kids under 14 while allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to use social platforms if they have parental consent."

• News Service of Florida: House passes Palatka rep’s bill to lower gun-buying age. "The bill would reverse a decision that raised the minimum age after the 2018 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people in 2018. Federal law bars people under 21 from buying handguns."

• Fresh Take Florida: Political beef with ‘fake’ animal protein: Florida Senate passes ban on lab-grown meat. "Violators would be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor — punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine — and an immediate stop-sale order."

• NPR: Trump's trial over classified documents in Florida could start as soon as this summer. "In Fort Pierce, Fla., U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon heard arguments Friday about when the trial will begin. Prosecutors want it to begin in July. Trump's lawyers want to postpone it until next year, after the presidential election."

• WLRN-Miami: 'Those folks are not welcome': How a DeSantis priority is changing Florida universities. "But, in recent months, the school quietly shut down its single largest international campus in China: the Marriott Tianjin China Program, which offers degrees in hotel management. FIU also closed a Spanish-language dual degree program with Qingdao University."

• WUSF-Tampa: 1.2 million gallons of sewage spills into the Manatee River. "On Wednesday, a blockage reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation noted that a system failure caused wastewater to flow into the river."

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Legislature reduces restrictions for formerly incarcerated seeking barber, cosmetology licenses. "Most people don’t have to wait a decade to take a barber’s licensing exam. Kenneth Marshall scheduled his exam in 2014 but didn’t make it after he was arrested and convicted for cocaine possession. After his release last year, the now 51-year-old Orlando resident is still waiting."

• WUSF-Tampa: Amid an outbreak in Florida, what to know about the measles. "The measles can be dangerous, even fatal. Public health experts urge vaccination as the best form of protection."

• WLRN-Miami: Florida residents are in court over a cemetery's future. "The abhorrent state of the historic Black cemetery is at the center of a legal battle over who is in charge of its operation, upkeep and land — some of which was sold to a developer who planned to build an industrial office park until it was voted down by the city's Planning and Zoning board last November."

From NPR News

• Elections: 4 things to know about Super Tuesday, including that winning it is crucial

• Weather: California blizzard slowly weakens, but a second storm is forecast for this week

• Elections: Nikki Haley wins D.C.'s Republican primary and gets her first 2024 victory

• National: In Georgia, a bill to cut all ties with the American Library Association is advancing

• Health: Got COVID? CDC says stay home while you're sick, but drops its 5-day isolation rule

• Law: Will the timing of the Supreme Court's Trump case mean no trial before the election?

• Climate: Gov. Abbott says Texas wildfires may have destroyed up to 500 structures

• Health: CVS and Walgreens to start dispensing abortion pill in states where it's legal

• Sports: Caitlin Clark passes Pete Maravich to set the all-time NCAA scoring record

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.