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The Point, May 24, 2024: Gainesville says public can vote on GRU Authority

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Gainesville commissioners approve ordinance allowing public to vote on GRU Authority’s fate in November. "Celebration erupted in city hall Thursday as the Gainesville City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance giving voters the choice to dissolve the Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority and return control of Gainesville’s utilities to elected commissioners."

• WUFT News: Water Worries | Solutions: Four sustainable steps to preserving Florida’s freshwater. "The Alachua Conservation Trust, or ACT, is a nonprofit organization that helps protect North Central Florida’s natural landscapes. It was created in 1988 and has since helped conserve over 56,000 acres of land."

• Mainstreet Daily News: New GRU Authority sworn in, discusses past, future. "Five new members of the Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) Authority board were sworn into their positions on Thursday. The new members’ first meeting came one week after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed them."

• Florida Storms: National Hurricane Center issues active forecast for 2024 season. "It calls for 17 to 25 named storms, of which 8 to 13 could become hurricanes and between 4 and 7 be major hurricanes, meaning category 3 and above."

• WCJB: Dunnellon bus crash memorial removed to create permanent one at restaurant victims frequented. "The new memorial wall is behind the La Hacienda restaurant in a shopping plaza off of Silver Springs Boulevard."

• Ocala Gazette: Rising culinary star shines brightly in “MasterChef Junior” season finale. "A special young chef who diced up the competition throughout this season of the TV show 'MasterChef Junior' made it to the May 20 season finale while showing off his culinary skills and making Marion County proud."

• Ocala Gazette: Home sales continue upward climb statewide and in Ocala area. "The Florida Realtors agents’ association recently released its April 2024 market report, which shows that statewide the median single-family home sale price rose to $429,900, a 4.9% year over year increase and the median townhouse and condo sales prices were $335,000, a 3.1% year over year increase."

Scheduling note: The Point will return to your inbox Tuesday, May 28 following the Memorial Day holiday.

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Florida is prepping for another hurricane season tax-free holiday. "Retailers hope Floridians will heed multiple forecasts that the upcoming hurricane season will be more active than normal."

• Associated Press: NCAA and college conferences OK $2.8 billion settlement over antitrust claims. "The monumental decision sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester."

• WLRN-Miami: City of Miami settles racial gerrymandering lawsuit with voting rights groups. "After a last-minute delay earlier this month that could’ve brought serious legal repercussions, the Miami City Commission approved a settlement agreement between the City of Miami and a collection of voting rights groups who sued the city for racially gerrymandering the city’s five districts in 2022."

• Associated Press: Sen. Rick Scott, a Trump ally, joins race to succeed Mitch McConnell as GOP leader. "The Florida senator is likely to win votes from some of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate. He also ran for Republican leader in 2022, challenging McConnell at Trump’s urging."

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Sexually transmitted infections are surging, especially in seniors. "According to CDC data, rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia more than doubled in people 55 and older in the ten years between 2012 and 2022, which are the latest available numbers."

• WLRN-Miami: Study sets to recognize the history of Miami-Dade's migrant farmworker community. "Second only to California, Florida stands out as one of the top producers of agricultural products in the nation. Nestled within that is South Miami-Dade, an area that has been critical to the industry — thanks in particular to its migrant farm worker community."

• NPR: A mega-gift for an HBCU college fell through. Here's what happened — and what's next. "But amazement at the large gift soon gave way to shock as questions arose about Gerami's donation. And as word of the surprise donation spread, FAMU leaders were confronted with news reports that linked Gerami to an earlier transformative gift to another school — a donation that never came to fruition."

From NPR News

• National: Norfolk Southern reaches a multi-million-dollar settlement over Ohio train derailment

• Politics: A political consultant faces charges and fines for Biden deepfake robocalls

• Health: How the Ascension cyberattack is disrupting care at hospitals

• World: Billions from Russia's frozen assets will go to help Ukraine's military, the EU says

• World: The U.N.'s top court says it will rule Friday on Israel's offensive in Gaza

• National: ‘It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster’: Justice Department sues concert ticket behemoth

• Health: The deadline is nearly here. Will the global pandemic treaty be finished in time?

• Education: A billionaire surprised graduates onstage with cash, but it's not all theirs to keep

• Health: Plastic junk? Researchers find tiny particles in men's testicles

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.