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The Point, March 26, 2024: Locals react to downtown parking changes

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Drivers, business owners and workers unhappy about rising downtown parking rates. "The parking modifications discussed and approved at a city commission meeting Thursday will convert 33% of parking spaces from free to paid, at a maximum rate of 50 cents per hour, starting in August."

• WUFT News: What you need to know about the High Springs special election. "Voters in High Springs are heading to the polls Tuesday for a special election to fill a City Commissioner seat vacated at the end of last year."

• WCJB: ‘I am outraged’: Activists speak out at city meeting about K-9 attacking homeless woman. "The K-9 attack wasn’t included on the agenda for the city commission meeting but activists spoke during public comment anyways."

• Ocala Gazette: Suspect arrested for false shooting threat against Dunnellon Middle. "William Tuckett, 20, was arrested Wednesday at his residence in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada after making dozens of calls reporting false threats to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service."

• The Alligator: Experts work to manage invasive species across Florida. "The state is home to roughly 500 non-native species, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Florida’s subtropical climate, multiple ports of entry and rampant animal trade makes the state a global hotspot for invasives, the FWC reports."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV, Alachua County discuss gun violence, heirs’ property. "The two governing boards passed a motion to reevaluate funding for the city’s Heir’s Property Assistance Program."

• WUFT News: Four bands and four years later, students finally get their overdue prom night. "While most American high school teens look forward to prom, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 took that away for a large portion of students."

• Mainstreet Daily News: UF Forestry students compete in annual skills contests. "It’s been a tradition since 1958. More than a dozen forestry clubs from Southeastern universities compete for bragging rights in forestry industry skills."

• The Point Podcast: Bets on the nets. Tuesday's host, Serra Sowers, speaks with Dan Cornely, the Director of the sports management program at Florida Atlantic University about the uptick in sports betting in Florida during March Madness.

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis signs bill easing teen work restrictions. "Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a measure that will ease decades-old regulations on the hours that 16- and 17-year-old Floridians can work."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Florida's new social media ban for minors is among the toughest in the nation. "The law is considered to be one of the strictest in the nation and social media companies, since first learning of the effort months ago, have already said they’ll sue."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: A push is underway for voters to make Florida the next state to expand Medicaid. "Last month, J.J. Holmes celebrated his 20th birthday and says the best gift he could get is 'for Florida to expand Medicaid.'"

• Associated Press: Analysis: Florida insurers made money last year for the first time in 7 years. "Florida insurance companies made money last year for the first time in seven years. That is thanks to investment income and a mild hurricane season. That's according to an an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis released last week."

• WMFE-Orlando: Private companies could also offset water pollution with new credits. "Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is working on draft language for a new water quality credit trading program, after members of the public asked questions about the program and raised some concerns at a rulemaking workshop last week."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Under a new state law, youth coaches in Florida must undergo CPR and AED training. "The law also requires an AED, or automated external defibrillator, to be present at all sporting events, including practices and workouts."

• News Service of Florida: Realtors and Florida's lodging industry clash on a new vacation rentals bill. "A persistently contentious debate about regulating vacation rentals has escalated into a clash between two powerful industry groups after the Florida Legislature passed a measure that would significantly restrict how local governments can oversee the properties."

• WUSF-Tampa: The Florida Center for Nursing creates a program to combat burnout. "The Emotional Vaccine program is being offered for free by the Florida Center for Nursing for all current and future nurses in the state."

From NPR News

• National: The Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore collapses after a ship crashed into it

• Business: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down, part of a shakeup after 737 Max problems

• World: Israel cancels high-level talks in Washington after cease-fire vote clears the U.N.

• Health: What's at stake in the Supreme Court mifepristone case

• Business: Truth Social will start trading on Tuesday. Trump stands to earn a fortune

• Technology: Judge dismisses Elon Musk's suit against hate speech researchers

• National: Photos: See D.C.'s cherry blossoms in peak bloom, bid farewell to 'Stumpy'

• World: Hurry up and wait: Servers speed-walk through Paris, reviving a century-old race

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.