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The Point, March 7, 2024: Alachua County School Board allows gender identity book

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Alachua County School Board votes to keep children’s book about gender identity on the shelves. "The Alachua County School Board on Tuesday unanimously voted to keep a book discussing gender identity on the shelves at Terwilliger Elementary. This final decision by the board comes after a parent challenged the book 'It Feels Good to be Yourself' by Theresa Thorn."

• WUFT News: Gainesville apartment complex blames rise in crime on homeless people. "The suggestion of homeless people driving a crime increase at certain Gainesville apartment complexes raised eyebrows among some Alight residents, as well as advocates for the region’s most needy."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Newberry High School reinstates football coach Ed Johnson. "The reinstatement caps off a crazy 24 hours for the Newberry High School athletic department."

• WUFT News: Florida reptile and pet store owners survive yet another close call as legislators run out of time. "Local conservationists and pet store owners are hopeful a bill banning the sale of all iguanas as well as the sale of recreational dogs and cats won't pass in the Florida Legislature."

• Ocala Gazette: Impact fees for schools approved. "The Marion County Commission voted yes on Tuesday to reinstate impact fees—one-time payments made by developers for each new home built to support the cost of building new schools. The county suspended impact fees in 2011 during the economic recession."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Florida Legislature set to approve $19M for UF land acquisition. "A major portion of the land falls under the Hickory Sink strategic ecosystem, and the county just finished conducting its special area study evaluating how development would need to occur on the land."

• WCJB: Tim Tebow urges Congress to fund child exploitation ‘rescue team’. "The bill would fund efforts to identify an estimated more than 50,000 children being abused, raped, and tortured according to the Tim Tebow Foundation."

• The Point Podcast: AI-Powered Gators. Thursday’s host, Ailee Shanes, speaks with Dan Ferris, a UF professor in the department of biomedical engineering, on what UF’s new AI-powered athletics project will do for its sports program and how this new AI tool will be used.

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Florida lawmakers' second attempt at a social media ban for minors heads to DeSantis. "Florida lawmakers have sent Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a bill to ban or restrict minors' access to social media less than a week after he vetoed a more restrictive proposal."

• News Service of Florida: Florida Legislature passes plan to keep homeless people from sleeping in public. "A controversial proposal designed to prevent homeless people from sleeping in public places while requiring local governments to address the issue is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis."

• Politico: Ex-Florida GOP chair Ziegler won’t face criminal charges. "Authorities were investigating the former chair, Christian Ziegler, for allegedly illegally videotaping a woman who accused him of rape, and prosecutor Ed Brodsky determined there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him, according to a memo from the state attorney."

• News Service of Florida: A bill creating 'rural emergency hospitals' is going to the governor. "The measure stems from a federal law that allowed the designation of rural emergency hospitals and made them eligible for Medicare payments."

• WMFE-Orlando: Florida chaplains bill one stop away from governor's desk. "A bill that would allow religious chaplains to act as counselors in K-12 schools is one step away from a vote in the Florida Senate, after passing in the Florida House."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida's gambling compact money could soon be used to support projects for the environment. "Each year millions of dollars from the state’s gambling deal with the Seminole Indian Tribe will go to projects that help protect and preserve wildlife, waterways and green spaces. That’s under a bill now on its way to the governor’s desk."

• Associated Press: The trip to Margaritaville can soon be made on the Jimmy Buffett Highway. "State Highway A1A will become the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway as soon as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill the Senate sent to him Tuesday with a unanimous vote."

From NPR News

• Business: Boeing is withholding key details about door plug on Alaska 737 Max 9 jet, NTSB says

• Culture: 'Rust' film armorer found guilty in death of cinematographer

• Elections: Jason Palmer beats Biden in American Samoa, and looks to Northern Mariana Islands

• Politics: Mitch McConnell endorses former President Trump as GOP presidential nominee

• Health: How ageism in health care is harming older people — more often than you may think

• World: Gabriel García Márquez's last novel is published against his wishes

• World: Taylor Swift's Singapore leg spurs bad blood in SE Asia. Neighbors can't shake it off

• Science: Scientists take a step closer to resurrecting the woolly mammoth

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.