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The Point, May 17, 2024: Driver who crashed into bus, killing 8, pleads not guilty to DUI manslaughter

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The stories near you

• Associated Press: Driver said he smoked pot oil, took medication before Florida crash that killed 8 Mexican workers. "Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence-manslaughter and remained jailed without bond for Tuesday’s crash."

• Mainstreet Daily News: DeSantis appoints 5 new GRU Authority members following resignations. "Besides the returning Carter and Lawson, Bielarski is also highly familiar with GRU after serving as its general manager until the city commission fired him in 2022. He ran for mayor later that year, losing to Mayor Harvey Ward in a runoff."

• WCJB: Gainesville city workers clear downtown homeless encampment. "Gainesville Police Department officers and city workers used heavy equipment, including excavators, to remove tents near the Saint Francis House, a homeless shelter. The area was cleared in February because the sidewalk was being blocked."

• Florida Storms: Severe & flash flood threat for Friday. "Another week ends with the risk of severe weather and flash flooding for Florida´s Panhandle. Friday will be a busy day with the next storm system moving through and affecting this region at least until Saturday afternoon."

• WUFT News: City of Newberry expansion impacting schools, elections. "Its population has doubled in the last 20 years to almost 8,000 residents and there’s a movement to turn its public schools into charter schools. And in April, an election for three of the five city commissioner positions were canceled when only the incumbents ran for office."

• WCJB: IFAS re-launches website to help identify which tree works best in which environment. "You can answer a list of questions and search a database to find out what species of tree works best in our environment."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: A federal judge has tossed part of Florida's elections law. "A federal judge Wednesday issued a final decision blocking part of a 2023 Florida elections law that placed new restrictions on voter-registration groups, including preventing non-U.S. citizens from 'collecting or handling' registration applications."

• WLRN-Miami: 'Short fuse storms' are a major concern as Florida prepares for hurricane season. "Heading into what’s expected to be another busy Atlantic hurricane season, forecasters and emergency managers said Wednesday improvements in forecasting mean the public will have more time and information than ever before to prepare. What they continue to dread are the short fuse storms that rapidly intensify."

• WUSF-Tampa: 'I'm turning away patients every day:' Georgia OB-GYN talks about the effects of abortion bans. "Dr. Nisha Verma says in the nearly two years since Georgia's six-week abortion ban went into effect, she's seen patients suffer and some colleagues leave the state. She fears the same thing will happen in Florida."

• Associated Press: A new Florida law rejects the term 'climate change' in state statues. "Critics said the measure made law by the former Republican presidential hopeful ignores the reality of climate change threats in Florida, including projections of rising seas, extreme heat and flooding and increasingly severe storms."

• WLRN-Miami: Your boss may not want to hear this: there's a small advantage to working from home. "Gajendran and his co-authors looked at more than 160 studies to determine if remote workers work more than people going into an office. And if remote workers are better or worse off than their in-person peers."

• WUSF-Tampa: There will be no pride lights for the Sunshine Skyway bridge this year. "According to Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, all Florida bridges will be lit up with the red, white and blue of the American flag from Memorial Day through Labor Day in honor of the Freedom Summer Sales Tax Holiday."

• WLRN-Miami: Delray Beach artist's viral song is removed by Spotify, raising questions over AI music. "A Delray Beach artist's song that went viral amidst a rap battle between industry greats Kendrick Lamar and Drake is now at the center of an artificial intelligence debate — after it was banned by Spotify."

From NPR News

• Politics: Trump's New York criminal trial could head to jury deliberation as soon as next week

• Business: The Dow Jones hits 40,000 for the first time. What to know about this major milestone

• World: Why the U.N. revised the numbers of women and children killed in Gaza

• National: As antisemitism grows, it is easier to condemn than define

• Environment: The USDA’s gardening zones shifted. This map shows you what’s changed in vivid detail

• National: The NFL responds after a player urges female college graduates to become homemakers

• Energy: Biden ending new leases in America's top coal region

• National: With flyers more distracted than ever, United rolls out a rebooted safety video

• Education: 1,500 college applicants thought they were accepted. They soon learned it was an error

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.