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The Point, May 10, 2024: North Florida severe thunderstorm risk

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: The new natives: Climate change is causing native species to migrate. "In Florida and around the world, these organisms are native to a region but expanding to nearby areas because of climate shifts such as warmer temperatures or fewer hard freezes."

• Florida Storms: Risk for severe thunderstorms over North Florida, Panhandle on Thursday and Friday. "According to specialists at the Storm Prediction Center in Normal Oklahoma, these storms could produce all modes of severe weather: Straight-line winds in excess of 60 mph, large hail, and tornadoes."

• Mainstreet Daily News: High Springs passes final vote for Priest Theatre purchase. "A due diligence period will come before the buy, and the state grant funding for the purchase is already in the city’s bank account."

• Ocala Gazette: Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist: Jennifer Brown. "A teacher at Forest High School has been named a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year. Jennifer Brown is one of five educators in the running to receive the highest honor that the state can bestow on a teacher."

• Mainstreet Daily News: HCA breaks ground on new hospital. "The HCA Florida Gainesville Emergency Room ER near I-75 in southwest Gainesville has been open for a few months now, but HCA Florida Healthcare celebrated the facility with a ribbon-cutting on Thursday morning. At the same ceremony, HCA broke ground for a new, 90-bed hospital that will eventually join with the ER."

• WCJB: Mayor of Lake City reflects on career after declining to run for reelection. "His proudest accomplishment is keeping the tax rate down in the city. His biggest challenge has been meeting the infrastructure needs."

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Around the state

• WUSF-Tampa: Nearly 600,000 Florida kids lost Medicaid/CHIP during 2023 unwinding, report shows. "In the report, policy experts at the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University write that Florida is among states that prioritized 'hasty' removal of kids from the program."

• FIU Caplin News: Brain waste: College-educated adult immigrants struggle to work in their fields in the U.S. "Claudia Londoño recalls her first job in the United States in 2021. She was taught how to fold and manage a rack full of clothes. At that moment, memories of the years she spent earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees flooded her mind. Still, there she was, working in a retail store."

• Central Florida Public Media: Why the Florida Wildlife Corridor couldn't save Split Oak Forest. "That booming population motivated state lawmakers to pass the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act in 2021, sketching out a vision for an interconnected, 18-million-acre area of rural and natural lands to preserve from development. That’s the equivalent of about 1,200 football fields. But without any regulatory teeth or mandates, the law remains only that: a vision."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The family of a U.S. Airmen killed by a Florida deputy is speaking out for the first time. "The Senior Airman's family, along with attorneys Benjamin Crump and Brian Barr, held a press conference Thursday morning, seeking clarity regarding the circumstances surrounding Fortson's death."

• Politico: Florida HBCU backs away from dubious $237M donation. "Florida A&M University is putting an announced $237 million donation from a Texas hemp farming executive 'on hold,' as the media and school leaders raise questions about the value and source of the gift."

• WQCS-Treasure Coast: U.S. News and World Report: Florida Ranked #1 in Education for Second Year in a Row. "In its May 7th edition online, the magazine cites what it calls Florida's 'several stellar metrics' in higher education, as well as a 'fairly strong' performance in the prekindergarten- through-12th-grade category in which it ranks 10th."

• News Service of Florida: A Tampa-based insurer agrees to pay a $1M fine over Hurricane Ian claims. "Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co. has agreed to pay a $1 million fine after a state review found it violated claims-handling requirements following Hurricane Ian, according to an order signed Thursday by Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky."

From NPR News

• Health: In a decade of drug overdoses, more than 320,000 American children lost a parent

• Law: Judge in hush money trial denies Trump's second request for a mistrial

• Health: The CDC issues new rules for bringing dogs into the U.S., aimed at keeping out rabies

• Elections: Barron Trump will serve as a Florida delegate at the GOP convention

• Culture: Miss USA and Miss Teen USA resign days apart, casting a spotlight on the organization

• Health: Medical residents are starting to avoid states with abortion bans, data shows

• Business: Their batteries hurt the environment, but EVs still beat gas cars. Here's why

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.