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The Point, March 13, 2024: Alachua County restructures medical examiner's office

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Today's Florida stories

• Mainstreet Daily News: Alachua County continues restructure of medical examiner office. "Alachua County voted Tuesday to negotiate an interim contract with a new medical examiner and to move the medical examiner’s office away from UF and to supervision by the county."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Sister cities? Archer passes resolution opposing Newberry's charter conversion plan. "The resolution says the commission 'opposes the conversion of Newberry Elementary School, Oak View Middle School and Newberry High School into non-traditional public charter schools and any attempt to redraw school zones that would exclude neighboring communities.'"

• Ocala Gazette: Hearing for controversial RaceTrac project set for March 19. "The hearing has been on hold since December, a delay that has rankled both opponents of the project and Commissioner Carl Zalak, who called the developer’s move to postpone the proceedings 'bogus.'"

• Mainstreet Daily News: Newberry to consider regulation of big box stores. "The coming store is rumored to be the largest Publix in the county, and Mayor Jordan Marlowe has said the store’s presence will bring more businesses to town."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The NAACP says Black student-athletes should be aware of Florida's 'anti-black movement'. "This comes a year after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law prohibiting the use of state funds for any diversity, equity, or inclusion (DEI) programs. That measure was part of DeSantis’ Stop Woke Act and is now the reason the NAACP has stepped in to 'protect people of color.'"

• WMFE-Orlando: FHSAA considers allowing high school athletes to profit off their Name, Image, and Likeness. "If the FHSAA approves the changes, Glass says most high school student athletes won’t be making more money than their coaches, despite a recent column in the Orlando Sentinel that stated otherwise."

• WUSF-Tampa: Endangered bonneted bats get critical habitat designations across Florida for the first time. "Although federal wildlife officials protected areas where bonneted bats currently live, conservation advocates say protections need to go further to include locations the bats will eventually migrate to due to sea-level rise."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Stranded sperm whale that died off Venice beach will be a learning moment for marine biologists. "Jessica Powell, with NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office in St. Petersburg, confirmed that the whale had been stranded on a sandbar off Venice Beach and died in the early morning hours of Monday."

• Politifact FL: Rubio falsely claims Biden's not detaining migrants. "Immigration experts said Rubio mischaracterized Biden’s actions, ignoring the number of migrants detained and deported during Biden’s presidency and the actions of previous presidents."

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From NPR News

• National: Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who raised alarm over plane quality, is found dead

• World: Pentagon to give Ukraine $300 million in weapons

• Politics: RNC sees major cuts to staff as new, Trump-backed leadership takes over

• Politics: Interview transcript shows more nuance on Biden's memory than special counsel report

• Climate: Old power lines plus climate change mean a growing risk of utilities starting fires

• World: Controversial influencer Andrew Tate will be extradited to U.K., after Romania trial

• Books: Authors push back on the growing number of AI 'scam' books on Amazon

• Law: C-e-a-s-e and desist: 'The New York Times' goes after Wordle spinoffs

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.