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The Point, April 18, 2024: Newberry charter school conversion fails

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Newberry Charter School Conversion Initiative fails, but Newberry Elementary’s fate is not yet determined. "After seven hours of counting ballots, the initiative that would turn Newberry Elementary School, Oak View Middle School, and Newberry High School into community-based, public charter schools failed to pass on Wednesday."

• WUFT News: Gainesville residents outraged after GRU authority board vote confirms changes to solar policy. "The Gainesville Regional Utility Authority Board voted to confirm a change in solar policy in a meeting Wednesday evening. The decision comes after debates surrounding the practice of net metering, the current method of billing for solar power in Gainesville."

• Mainstreet Daily News: School board approves Metcalfe, Rawlings year-round calendar. "The two schools have been selected for a state pilot program to test a year-round school calendar model to reduce learning loss over the summer."

• WUFT News: Parents, students, alumni and community members outraged by proposed ‘selective admissions’ process to P.K. Yonge. "Traditionally, admission into P.K. Yonge is through a lottery system to ensure that the student body reflects the diverse demographics of Florida's school-age population."

• The Alligator: North Central Florida Continuum of Care finds leadership after extended search. "North Central Florida homeless service providers avoided a near miss of losing over a million dollars in federal funding after finding a replacement lead agency, announced the Taskforce Fore Ending Homelessness Wednesday."

• WUFT News: Gainesville man charged with attempted murder, sentenced to ten years after pleading no contest. "A man facing charges for attempting a drive-by shooting in Gainesville entered a plea of no contest on Wednesday, April 17, in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence."

• WUFT News: After months of vacancies, McIntosh Town Council can return to business. "In the heart of McIntosh, a quiet town nestled between Gainesville and Ocala, a new chapter in local governance has begun. It has been nearly five months since the council seats had been fully occupied."

• The Point Podcast: A sunshine squeeze. Thursday's host, Ailee Shanes, speaks with Jude Grosser, a professor of citrus breeding and genetics at the University of Florida, on why the most recent Florida citrus forecast took a hit and what long-term solutions growers can look to.

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis signs a communism history bill. "Flanked by veterans who served in the Bay of Pigs invasion, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a measure that will lead to the history of communism being taught in grades as low as kindergarten."

• Central Florida Public Media: Florida voters will decide on abortion rights this fall. Here's what some are saying. "If approved, the amendment would add the following language to the state's constitution: 'No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's healthcare provider.'"

• News Service of Florida: Florida's emergency manager talks hurricane season and migrant flights. "As director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management since April 2021, Kevin Guthrie has run point on disasters from Category 4 hurricanes to a deadly condominium-building collapse in Surfside."

• NPR: Coral reefs can't keep up with climate change. So scientists are speeding up evolution. "Corals are the builders of reefs, their skeletons creating the vast infrastructure that tens of thousands of other species depend on. But corals are powered by the tiny algae that live in their tissue, which provide food for them."

• Central Florida Public Media: Homelessness survivor builds mission to aid hotel families: 'I wish I did not have to do it'. "Grzeskowiak knows their struggles firsthand. At one point she, too, was homeless and still shuffles to make ends meet. Still, she decided nearly four years ago to start the nonprofit Embrace of Celebration."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Republican-led states, including Florida, try to stop Biden Administration student debt cancellation. "Shortly after these plans were announced, seven Republican-led states, including Florida, filed suit to block them. The other states involved are Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma."

• WLRN-Miami: Endangered sawfish deaths climb to 40 as rescued fish appears to be recuperating. "Florida wildlife officials said Tuesday the number of other affected species now includes more than 50, in mostly near shore waters."

From NPR News

• Politics: Senate kills articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

• National: States botched more executions of Black prisoners. Experts think they know why

• Health: Persistent shortage of growth hormone frustrates parents and clinicians

• Culture: Watch: Salman Rushdie on the moment he was attacked on stage, and why he felt lonely

• Climate: Damage at Glen Canyon Dam has Colorado River users concerned

• Books: Death doula says life is more meaningful if you 'get real' about the end

• Animals: Watch: A circus elephant runs loose in a Montana town before being recaptured

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.