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The Point, April 22, 2024: Friends of the Library book sale returns

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: UF researchers develop helpful conservation tool using data analytics. "The Land Conservation Optimizer Tool helps identify optimal conservation lands in Florida that could help improve water quality if they are protected, according to the UF Center for Coastal Solutions."

• WUFT News: An extravaganza for book lovers and literacy: Friends of the Library book sale returns. "Friends of the Library, now in its 70th year, has raised millions of dollars for local libraries and literacy programs with its twice-annual book sale, one of the largest of its kind in the southeast."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Levy County closes boat ramps due to rising water. "According to a Levy County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) release sent Friday, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners and LCSO announced the boat ramp closures due to recent heavy rains in northern counties that drain into the Suwannee River."

• WCJB: Commissioners consider replacing Gainesville City Hall fountain with green space. "City leaders discussed a plan to change the fountains into a green space after the fountains broke during a commission meeting on Thursday. They’ve been talking about this since last year and have been waiting on the redesign plans."

• WUFT News: Alachua County child entrepreneurs aim to empower, inspire and make their own cash. "In 2022, approximately 77% of individuals aged 14 to 21 are already earning their own income and 42% express confidence in their potential to invent something that will revolutionize the world, according to Statista."

• WUFT News: An unexpected danger: the dark side of pickleball. "Pickleball enthusiasts are finding out that America’s fastest-growing sport has a side effect: a rising tide of injuries."

• WUFT News: Meet Team Roaring Riptide: the high school robotics club making waves in STEM. "Although the team’s outfits are eye-catching, it’s the commitment to developing assistive technology that’s leading its members to success in the field of robotics."

• WUFT News: Midnight Basketball provides Gainesville kids a safe summer activity. "A pile of kids blocked the entrance to the Martin Luther King Center as they hurriedly signed their registration forms. The sky grew dark as groups of them massed into the gymnasium with booming music by DaBaby, Drake and Pop Smoke."

• WUFT News: Trenton softball seeks return to championship standard. "Sitting just at the southern edge of Gilchrist County, a high school softball team has found a way to become a mark of the city's pride."

• The Point Podcast: Clarity through the FOG. Monday’s host, Ben Crosbie, speaks with Ram Balasubramanian, executive director of the Florida Organic Growers, about his group’s efforts to promote organic and sustainable agriculture in the Sunshine State.

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Group seeking to make clean water a constitutional right in Florida shifts its focus to 2026. "The committee fell short of collecting nearly 900,000 valid signatures of registered voters for placement on the 2024 ballot. But the committee now is aiming to get its proposal before voters in 2026."

• WLRN-Miami: New artificial reefs program set to begin with project off Key West. "A new artificial reefs program that scientists hope will help reduce stress on the Florida Keys' fragile marine ecosystem has started this month — with the first project off Key West already in the works."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a law to offer free swimming lessons to kids in Florida. "In Florida, where much of the state is surrounded by water, unintentional drowning remains one of the leading causes of accidental deaths among children."

• Associated Press: Emergency rooms refused to treat pregnant women, leaving one to miscarry in a lobby restroom. "The cases are detailed in federal documents obtained by The Associated Press and raise serious questions about the state of emergency pregnancy care in the U.S."

• Central Florida Public Media: ‘Housing is healthcare’: a medical industry partnership aims to assist with housing. "The program will help secure housing for individuals 21 or older who are on Medicaid, have a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. The overall is to facilitate a path to housing to improve health outcomes, serving up to 4,000 Medicaid recipients a year."

• Associated Press: Haitian-American activists bash Biden for resuming Haitian deportation flights. "The administration repatriated about 50 Haitians on Thursday, authorities said, marking the first deportation flight in several months to the Caribbean nation struggling with surging gang violence."

• NPR: An AI Salvador Dalí will answer any question when called on his famous 'lobster phone'. "Ask Dalí, a new installation based on a copy of Dalí's iconic Lobster Telephone sculpture, allows visitors to pick up the crustacean-shaped receiver, ask a question, and hear Dalí's response. The artist's voice, speaking in heavily-accented English, is made possible through generative artificial intelligence."

From NPR News

• National: Military court convicts U.S. sailor of attempted espionage

• Education: Biden administration adds Title IX protections for LGBTQ students, assault victims

• Politics: House passes foreign aid bills to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan

• Politics: What to know about week 1 of Trump's criminal trial, with jury selection complete

• Business: Tesla recalls Cybertruck over sticky problem. Blame it on — yes — soap

• National: Many in Gen Z ditch colleges for trade schools. Meet the 'toolbelt generation'

• National: Curious, fascinating and offensive markers from around the U.S.

• World: Amsterdam was flooded with tourists in 2023, so it won't allow any more hotels

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.