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The Point, April 23, 2024: Gainesville banned book reading draws crowd

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Gainesville community members publicly read banned books, resist government censorship. "In the plaza in front of Gainesville city hall, a crowd of about 100 people came to listen on Sunday afternoon to stories that their children or grandchildren may be barred from hearing in school."

• WUFT News: Marion County residents celebrate farmland heritage, vow to halt developments. "In 2007, county commissioners officially declared April as Marion County Farmland Preservation Month. For Sara Fennessy, the executive director of Horse Farms Forever, the awareness lasts all year."

• Ocala Gazette: MCPS paraprofessional wins Florida’s 2024 School-Related Employee of the Year. "Lanza, a U.S. Army veteran, has worked at Saddlewood Elementary School since 2016 and assists in the school’s media center to distribute Chromebooks, troubleshoot technology issues and check books in and out for students."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV, UF leaders start weekly negotiations for bus service. "UF and city of Gainesville leaders discussed a new transit contract on Monday, kickstarting weekly meetings to hash out a new plan before the June 30 deadline."

• WUFT News: Gainesville’s edible groves blossom as expansion plans sprout. "In 2021, the City of Gainesville planted a variety of trees to create an area for people to come and pick fruit–without strings attached."

• WCJB: Newberry baseball travel team asks city commissioners to reconsider eviction for their facility. "In 2012, Cedrick Bowers began coaching the baseball travel team in Newberry. The organization has more than 200 players from all ages. Years later, Bowers was notified by the city attorney, that the building was behind on property taxes."

• WUFT News: Gainesville meets goat yoga. "Goats on yoga mats are not two things you see every day. But to 24-year-old yoga instructor Sydney Frost, the seemingly odd combination makes perfect sense."

• USA Today ($): Florida-based Tijuana Flats files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closing 11 restaurants. "Tijuana Flats was founded nearly 30 years ago in 1995 by University of Central Florida student Brian Wheeler. The first restaurant was in Winter Park."

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Around the state

• Central Florida Public Media: DeSantis wants colleges to expel, deport protesters who target Jewish students. "His comments came at a press conference in Palm Beach on Monday, April 22, the same day the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum called on colleges to do more to address a rising threat of antisemitism on campuses across the country."

• PolitiFact FL: Rubio says Biden is being ‘very misleading’ about inflation. Arguably, he is, too. "Inflation compounds, and it has risen by about 19% during Biden’s presidency. However, Rubio is misleading by failing to note another key factor: rising wages. Prices don’t increase in a vacuum; they can be canceled out, or nearly so, by rising wages."

• News Service of Florida: Qualifying period for congressional races begins in Florida. "A qualifying period will start for this year’s candidates for a U.S. Senate seat, U.S. House seats and state attorney, public defender and judicial posts. The qualifying period will end at noon Friday."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The numbers of Florida's volunteer firefighters have dropped 11 percent since the Covid-19 pandemic. "That’s according to an Americorps study on trends in volunteerism and civic life. Before Covid, in 2017, it was 22.8 percent, the least of any state. In 2021, it was 15.9 percent – again, less than any other state."

• Jacksonville Today: That call from the IRS may be a scam. "The scams are known as 'impersonation scams,' when a crook poses as a person, brand or organization to commit a fraud. They may pretend they’re the IRS, the FBI, the local court, Amazon or someone else with an interest in your money."

• Central Florida Public Media: Lights, camera… action? The decline of Florida's film industry and the effect on job market. "For the last 20 years, such industry has faced setbacks such as high costs, changing weather patterns and political factors that have driven the industry elsewhere."

• News Service of Florida: Video games could become a high school sport in Florida. "The Florida High School Athletic Association could potentially sanction competitive video gaming, or esports, as an official sport, amid growing interest from member schools."

From NPR News

• Education: Columbia University shifts classes to remote-only after a wave of protests on campus

• National: With close calls mounting, the FAA will require more rest for air traffic controllers

• National: Despite a fortified border, migrants will keep coming, analysts agree. Here's why.

• Business: After 26,000 public comments, FTC to vote on rule banning noncompete agreements

• Science: Which scientists get mentioned in the news? Mostly ones with Anglo names, says study

• Sports: Caitlin Clark and Fever frenzy hit the WNBA, boosting ticket prices and jersey sales

• Health: Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer

• Politics: How the Founding Fathers' concept of 'Minority Rule' is alive and well today

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.