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The Point, April 12, 2024: Residents, students speak out about UF bus funding

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Residents, students stand with city of Gainesville as UF proposes major reduction in RTS funding. "UF says it wants data transparency surrounding RTS numbers and why students pay extra to ride, while the city says these cuts will force the elimination and reduction of vital routes for students and residents."

• WCJB: Florida launches Baker Act dashboard to improve mental healthcare. "The Florida Department of Children and Families launched a first-of-its-kind dashboard showing data on people admitted for mental health services under the Baker Act. The dashboard shows more than 87,000 people across Florida have gone through mental health evaluations since July 1."

• WCJB: Small business owners leave Ocala Mall following legal issues. "According to the documents, mall managers claim the landlord breached provisions of their lease by not replacing the building’s AC units."

• Ocala Gazette: What happens when you call 911 in Marion County? "Depending on where you make a 911 call in Marion County, you’ll ring into one of two call centers: one operated by the Ocala Police Department or the Marion County combined communications center based at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office."

• WCJB: Gainesville business collecting extra solar eclipse sunglasses. "Officials with Warby Parker, an eyeglass store in Butler Plaza, are partnering with Astronomers Without Borders to collect eclipse glasses through the end of the month."

• WUFT News: Ready for it? ‘Swiftie’ societies popping up across Florida college campuses. "Known as Swifties, the singer has one of the most loyal fanbases in the world. In return, some have started societies nationwide to form communities that study and honor the icon— Florida is no exception."

• The Point Podcast: Tax facts. Friday’s host, Jimena Romero, speaks with WalletHub Analyst Cassandra Happe on why Florida ranks so high and what it means for Florida tax payers.

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Around the state

• Associated Press: Almost 10% of Florida's youngest children were missed during the 2020 census. "The estimated error was the largest undercount of young children by any U.S. state. That's according to estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau."

• News Service of Florida: Florida's citrus forecast takes a hit. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that reduced estimates of orange and grapefruit production. Overall, the new numbers indicated the industry will slightly outpace the 2022-2023 season, which was devastated by Hurricane Ian and had the lowest output in 93 years."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Jefferson County residents are left without a home after a storm brought heavy flooding. "Schools, homes, and businesses across Florida’s Big Bend spent Thursday morning assessing the damage following Wednesday’s storm. In Jefferson County, the flooding left some people temporarily out of a home."

• Miami Herald: This city has South Florida’s first fully electric bus fleet. You can ride for free. "Transportation ranks among the biggest challenges growing city governments face when trying to reduce their carbon footprints. A starting point for many has been replacing municipal fleets — gas-guzzling cars and, in particular, smoke-belching buses — with cleaner, green alternatives."

• WUSF-Tampa: For young adults — especially those with special needs — cooking skills bring independence. "The transition from high school to college can come with a steep learning curve. For many students, it’s their first time juggling classes, laundry, roommates, a social life and all the rest without the help of Mom and Dad."

From NPR News

• National: O.J. Simpson, football legend acquitted of notorious killings, dies at 76

• Health: More states are finding bird flu in cattle. This is what scientists are watching for

• World: With little fanfare, Gaza war enters a new stage, from high to low intensity

• Health: Here are 3 solutions to get blood to folks in 'blood deserts.' One is often illegal

• National: The VA has its fix for a home loan debacle, but many vets who got hurt won't get help

• Law: Many FBI agents are struggling to make ends meet. Housing costs are to blame

• Economy: The IRS wants to do your taxes for free. Will it last?

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.