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The Point, April 2, 2024: Florida Supreme Court rules on abortion, marijuana

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Redesign of University Avenue and Northwest 13th Street corridors entering next phase. "In the past five years, there have been more than 175 crashes involving a pedestrian or bicyclist along both University Avenue and Northwest 13th Street. Approximately 86% of these crashes resulted in an injury or fatality."

• WUFT News: Going Gator: UF, Santa Fe College approve additional transfer program. "Santa Fe Students are now eligible for guaranteed admission to pursue bachelor’s degrees through the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, if they fulfill the academic requirements."

• WCJB: St. Francis House stops serving daily meals to the homeless due to financial troubles. "Effective April 15, St. Francis House will stop serving daily meals to the hungry and homeless. Officials say the decision was made in response to escalating operational costs, including a 30 percent increase in daily operational expenses."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Freed Gaza hostage to speak at Chabad UF. "Judith Raanan, a freed Gaza hostage who was abducted by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 and released two weeks later, will speak at the Chabad UF Jewish Student and Community Center on April 15."

• Ocala Gazette: Random school searching continues. "The search was routine and scheduled but occurred at random as part of the surprise searches conducted by the sheriff’s office in coordination with Safe Schools to keep weapons and illegal drugs out of Marion County middle and high schools."

• The Alligator: ‘Rainesville’: Overused pun or a real weather pattern? Experts say ‘a little bit of both’. "UF students often believe — perhaps due to the inescapability of the “Rainesville” pun — that its frequent showers make Gainesville wetter than other Florida cities. But though Gainesville does rain often, it doesn’t stand out in Florida, which is a rainy state in general, said UF geography professor Esther Mullens."

• The Point Podcast: The future of abortion in FL. Tuesday's host, Serra Sowers, speaks with Lauren Brenzel, the campaign director for the Floridians Protecting Freedom initiative talking about the state Supreme Court's decision to include amendment 4 on abortion protections on the 2024 ballot.

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Around the state

• Fresh Take Florida: 'Game changers': Florida Supreme Court abortion, pot rulings could boost Democrats. "Back-to-back decisions by Florida's Supreme Court on Monday allowing voters to decide on separate issues at the ballot box whether to prohibit the state government from setting limits on abortion rights and legalizing recreational marijuana will supercharge November’s upcoming election."

• News Service of Florida: Florida Supreme Court rules in favor of giving voters a decision about recreational marijuana. "Trulieve, the state’s largest medical-marijuana company, has spent more than $40 million on the effort to get the proposed constitutional amendment before voters."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: A federal trial is underway for Florida’s controversial voter registration law. "The law, Senate Bill 7050, was passed in 2023, and it bans non-U.S. citizens from working or volunteering for third-party voter registration organizations (3PVROs)."

• WUSF-Tampa: Florida gambling helpline is seeing a surge of calls after the launch of a sports betting app. "As online gambling gets easier to access and harder to control, Florida's Counsel on Compulsive Gambling is hoping for some help from Florida lawmakers."

• News Service of Florida: A judge rejects Florida's request to block changes to flood insurance. "A federal judge has rejected a request by Florida and other states for a preliminary injunction to block changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that have led to higher premiums for many property owners — though he ruled that a broader legal battle can continue."

• NPR: A federal judge says migrants can sue the company that flew them to Martha's Vineyard. "A federal judge in Boston has ruled that migrants flown from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in 2022 can proceed with a lawsuit against the Florida company that took them there. The judge also dismissed claims against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials named in the suit."

• WMFE-Orlando: New academy aims to reach students in Florida juvenile detention system. "Florida Virtual School will hire 190 teachers, paraprofessionals and school counselors to staff a new academy for at-risk youth in Florida’s juvenile detention system. The new hires will staff the Florida Scholars Academy, a program for at-risk youth served by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice."

• WUSF-Tampa: Scientists explain the impact of warmer ocean temperatures on hurricane season and coral reefs. "A senior research associate at the University of Miami said sea surface temperatures have been breaking records every day since March 2023."

• WLRN-Miami: South Florida's appeal to porn stars didn't wane during pandemic. It boomed. "While movie-making for the silver screen long departed the Sunshine State for tax breaks in Georgia and Louisiana, the industry behind adult content consumed in the small — and very small — screen is booming."

From NPR News

• Business: United asks pilots to take unpaid leave in May because of delivery delays at Boeing

• Law: Trump posts bond in civil fraud case; has gag order expanded in hush-money trial

• Technology: Google to delete search data of millions who used 'incognito' mode

• Animals: A government proposal to kill a half-million owls sparks controversy

• National: New York inmates sue to watch the solar eclipse after prisons ordered locked down

• Education: Why Oregon schools' pandemic recovery lags behind much of the nation

• World: World Central Kitchen pauses Gaza operations after workers killed in airstrike

• Science: Climate change is delaying world clocks' need for a 'negative leap second'

• Culture: Three presidents and not a necktie in sight. Are ties out of fashion?

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.