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The Point, March 5, 2024: Appeals court rejects "Stop WOKE" restrictions

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The stories near you

• Mainstreet Daily News: State: ‘No deficiencies’ at HCA’s North Florida Hospital. "HCA Florida North Florida Hospital in Gainesville could use some good news. It may have it in an encouraging report from state investigators, even as the hospital operates at reduced capacity due to a crisis involving improperly sterilized surgical instruments."

• WCJB: GRACE Marketplace dorm closed after fire. "According to officials with GRACE, the fire started in the women’s dorm at 6:20 a.m. on Monday. Everyone was able to evacuate the building safely."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Manatee Springs cave system transfers to state of Florida. "Manatee Springs is a popular destination for cave divers, tourists and local swimmers. Manatees also use the springs as a refuge during the winter months when temperatures in the Suwannee River become too cold and they go to the spring for warmth."

• WUFT News: New fire station to improve emergency response time in southwest Gainesville. "Positioned strategically at 10180 Southwest 24th Avenue, this cutting-edge facility stands as a testament to foresight, community planning and an unwavering commitment to the safety of residents."

• Ocala Gazette: Honoring Leo. "K-9 units from around the state were in Ocala on Monday to honor the sacrifice of the MCSO canine officer who died in the line of duty."

• WUFT News: Alachua County Sports and Events Center hosts NJCAA track championships, a key event for the new $30 million multi-use facility. "The meet was among the first of many major track events that county officials hope to host at the center during its lifetime."

• WUFT News: How a high school senior is capitalizing on the ‘Horse Capital of the World’. "Holcomb started her business in Plant City three years ago with her first thoroughbred, Athena. She bought her off the track and retrained her to compete in the jumping events. After a year and a half of training and competing, she decided she would start a business."

• WUFT News: Up-and-coming Gainesville band Siren Party prepares to make its High Dive debut. "Siren Party, the band responsible for arranging these shows, has put itself on the map as an emerging and energetic revival of punk and post-hardcore within Gainesville’s music community."

• The Point Podcast: DEI disappears. Tuesday's host, Serra Sowers, spoke with Paulette Granberry Russell, the President of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education about UF's elimination of the office of DEI and the effects it will have on the institution and other Florida institutions that are forced to follow suit by new state law.

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: A federal appeals court rejected restrictions in a 2022 law Gov. DeSantis dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act.” "A federal appeals court Monday rejected restrictions that Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican lawmakers placed on addressing race-related issues in workplace training — part of a controversial 2022 law that DeSantis dubbed the 'Stop WOKE Act.'"

• WLRN-Miami: After 'misguided' Alabama ruling, Florida lawmaker pushes for federal protection for IVF. "The court ruled last month that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. The decision was issued in a pair of wrongful death cases brought by three couples who had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a fertility clinic."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Local heat, fair wage ordinance preempt bill passes Florida House. "Under current state law, local municipalities cannot pass minimum wage ordinances. But they can create requirements for businesses looking to take on public contracts. That includes stipulating the businesses must pay a living wage or give a certain number of water breaks if there is a heat wave."

• WUSF-Tampa: A key portion of the Florida Wildlife Corridor will remain undeveloped. "What has been called one of the most vital 'missing links' in the Florida Wildlife Corridor is going to be preserved forever."

• News Service of Florida: Florida House passes restrictions on sleeping in public places. "The Florida House on Friday approved a controversial proposal that would prevent homeless people from sleeping in public, despite concerns about increased costs for local governments."

• Associated Press: DeSantis names Disney World's admin to run elections in Orange County. "The governor appointed Glen Gilzean on Monday as elections supervisor in Orange County, one of Florida’s most reliable sources of Democratic votes."

• WUSF-Tampa: As the climate warms, disease-carrying mosquitoes can adapt to different temps, a UF study says. "Global transportation and trade, compounded by people continuing to alter the local environment, has led to the spread of mosquitoes around the world. But how will these insects deal with a warming world?"

• WLRN-Miami: Spirit and JetBlue call off merger. "The two largest airlines at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are calling off their merger. Today, Spirit Airlines announced it will not be purchased by JetBlue. It brings an end to the effort 18 months after it was first announced."

From NPR News

• Law: A unanimous Supreme Court restores Trump to the Colorado ballot

• World: U.S. begins airdropping food in Gaza, but it's a less-than-ideal means of aid delivery

• World: Germany investigates the possible Russian eavesdropping of a military conference call

• Politics: Racial disparities in voter turnout have grown since Supreme Court ruling, study says

• Business: FAA audit faults Boeing for 'multiple instances' of quality control shortcomings

• National: Places across the U.S. are testing no-strings cash as part of the social safety net

• Business: After nearly a decade, Oprah Winfrey is set to depart the board of WeightWatchers

• Health: PHOTOS: What it's like to be 72 — the faces (and wisdom) behind the age

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.