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The Point, March 14, 2024: UF students react to DEI shutdown

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Students say they’ve lost valuable mentorship in the wake of DEI closures at UF. "On March 1, the University of Florida sent out a memo announcing it was closing the office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminating 13 DEI positions and 15 administrative appointments, and terminating its DEI contracts with outside vendors."

• WUFT News: USDA Agriculture Census shares the data of north central Florida farms. "Last month, the USDA released its data from the 2022 Agriculture Census. This nationwide survey attempted to gather demographic and statistical information about farms across the country, broken down by county."

• WUFT News: Gainesville Regional Utilities projects future generation with solar on the rise. "A variety of scenarios relying on solar power and batteries are now under consideration for future power generation by the Gainesville Regional Utilities board."

• Mainstreet Daily News: FDLE reportedly investigating “crimes against children” at Santa Fe High School. "A lawyer representing Thompson Sod, Inc. and its owners sent an open letter on Friday demanding Santa Fe High School (SFHS) remove the company’s logo from the school campus due to an ongoing state investigation."

• Ocala Gazette: County lists projects that a 20-year penny sales tax renewal would cover. "Marion County has a big wish list, one that officials hope voters will help them pay for by approving a 20-year renewal for the penny sales tax in the general election."

• WCJB: Longtime Alachua County educator, resident Magnolia B. Jackson is turning 106! "Jackson graduated from Lincoln High School and then attended Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach. She holds the distinction of being the university’s oldest living alumna."

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Around the state

• Associated Press: DeSantis orders Florida resources to stop Haitian migrants despite no sign of increased activity. "Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, anticipating what his office called the “possibility for invasion," ordered more than 250 law enforcement officers and soldiers to the Florida Keys on Wednesday to stop Haitian migrants fleeing violence — or nearly two people deployed for every Haitian migrant who has been repatriated by the U.S. Coast Guard in the last five months."

• South Florida Sun Sentinel: Sunny state turned cloudy: A Boca Raton lawsuit illustrates ‘erosion’ of Florida’s public records law. "But the company’s courtroom victory, which took nearly five years and cost more than $1 million in legal fees, illustrated a weak link in what had been regarded as a model state open-records law: A person requesting records has to trust the government to do a thorough and honest job searching for them, a gap that can allow agencies to get away with holding back records."

• News Service of Florida: State seeks to speed up wetlands permitting case. "Florida is asking a federal judge to speed up a final ruling in a high-stakes case about permitting authority for projects that affect wetlands, as the state sets the stage for a likely appeal."

• Associated Press: Shakeup continues at Disney's governing district a year after DeSantis' appointees took over. "Martin Garcia is departing as chairman of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, a week after the district’s administrator left."

• Miami Herald: Bezos’ fiancée, a VIP in his green fund, makes $60 million splash at Miami climate meet. "One of Miami’s newest and most potentially most influential celebrity residents made her first public comments in her new home Tuesday on the stage of a major climate conference in Miami Beach."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Carcass of dead sperm whale towed out to Gulf of Mexico. "The Sea Tow Venice marine towing service used a heavy towline and rig line, provided by the City of Venice, to take the whale's remains 10-15 miles offshore on Tuesday."

From NPR News

• Climate: Oil and gas companies emit more climate-warming methane than EPA reports

• Health: How bad is maternal mortality in the U.S.? A new study says it's been overestimated

• Politics: Why the House voted to ban TikTok and what could come next

• National: The number of U.S. adults who identify as LGBTQ+ doubled in 12 years, new poll shows

• Business: Dollar Tree to close nearly 1,000 stores as it posts a fourth quarter loss

• Culture: Olivia Rodrigo concertgoers got a show — and free emergency contraceptives

• National: Paul Alexander, forced into an iron lung by polio in 1952, dies at 78

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.