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The Point, April 16, 2024: Man who crashed excavator into Walmart gets 10 years

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Man charged with crashing excavator into Walmart pleads no contest, sentenced to 10 years. "The man facing charges for driving an excavator into a Walmart — and leaving about $2 million worth of damage in his wake — entered a plea of no contest on Monday. A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison and 10 years probation."

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida appeals court: Phone conversations with law enforcement can be recorded without their consent. "A Florida appeals court has effectively opened a loophole in the state's long-standing law against recording telephone conversations without the permission of both sides of the call, ruling that law enforcement officers performing their official duties can be secretly recorded because they have no expectation of privacy."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Instrument shortage hampers HCA’s North Florida Hospital. "As recently as Thursday surgeries were canceled even as some patients were being prepped for their operations. Sources in positions to know told Mainstreet that a shortage of surgical instruments was the chief—but not only—problem."

• WUFT News: Diaper poverty: Gainesville families cut corners on food, transport to fund baby essentials. "Families in so-called 'diaper poverty' have become privy to a widespread issue throughout the nation. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, nearly one in two families in the United States struggle to afford clean diapers for their babies."

• WUFT News: Archer and Alachua County commissions discuss road expansion at joint meeting. "Archer and Alachua County commissioners held a joint meeting Monday at the Archer Community Center, and their discussion centered around plans to widen parts of Archer Road."

• WUFT News: Marion County to open three new public schools to alleviate overcrowding. "The growth of the school district is a result of the fast growth of Marion County. It is currently one of the fastest growing counties in Florida."

• WUFT News: Despite a national decline in attendance and membership, Gainesville religious organizations report stability, even growth. "Since the late 1990s, church membership among U.S. adults has fallen steadily every five years. Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. were members of a religious organization around 2000, according to Gallup. In 2020, that number was 47% — the first time rates were below 50% in the 80 years Gallup has recorded them."

• WUFT News: Cotton Club Museum event showcases Black cowboys and cowgirls in Florida, then and now. "Amid the echo of hoofbeats and the sway of lassos, history galloped to life this weekend as the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center honored the unsung heroes who shaped the frontier of the American West."

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Around the state

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Gov. Ron DeSantis is getting behind a bill that restricts book challenges in Florida. "Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared in Pensacola on Monday to say that he’ll sign a bill (HB 1285) that limits the number of book challenges people without kids in a school district can file."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Gov. DeSantis mixes up retail theft data in bill rollout. "Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law last week that creates harsher penalties for retail theft, an issue that has garnered national attention in recent years. But data shows the governor and politicians across the political spectrum may be overselling the frequency of retail theft."

• WUSF-Tampa: Discussing the power of language in the 2024 presidential election. "A doctoral student at the University of Florida said morals will guide how some Americans head to the polls this year, or whether they will vote at all."

• News Service of Florida: The pandemic put a hurt on Florida's sports programs. "With many games held without fans or with limited crowds because of pandemic restrictions, larger incentives tied to publicly funded stadiums and arenas in Florida posted negative returns."

• News4Jax: More older Americans delaying retirement, returning to workforce. "The fastest-growing age group in the workforce isn’t teens or new college graduates, it’s people over 75. New numbers from the Pew Research Center show more older Americans are delaying retirement or getting back into the workforce."

• WUSF-Tampa: First rescued sawfish makes its way to Sarasota for intensive care. "At least 38 smalltooth sawfish have been found dead in South Florida waters since January, but the actual total of deaths is believed to be higher."

• WLRN-Miami: 'Food, Inc 2' looks at a Florida farmworkers' rights group - and its Palm Beach fast food foe. "The sequel to an Oscar-nominated documentary that scrutinized corporate farming in America is bringing international attention to a Florida-based farmworkers' rights organization — and their battle against an infamous Palm Beach-based fast food boss."

From NPR News

• Law: FBI agents are searching the ship that crashed into Baltimore's Key Bridge

• Health: Drugmakers' low U.S. taxes belie their high sales

• National: Could the U.S. force treatment on mentally ill people (again)?

• Business: Why Nike's new Olympic track uniform for women is stirring controversy

• Politics: This Pennsylvania county picks presidents. Here's what it can tell us about 2024

• Science: Researchers have been trying to breed fungus-resistant chestnut trees for 100 years

• Technology: A new generation is uncovering the tiny doodles left by engineers on old microchips

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.