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The Point, June 21, 2024: Newberry Education First board member arrested for soliciting minor

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Florida Highway Patrol releases video footage from protest arrests at Plaza of the Americas. "The footage was obtained by a public record request to the agency and had not been previously released. Two different clips from the agency's video cameras show law enforcement responding to groups of protesters at the Plaza of the Americas on April 29."

• WCJB: Report: Newberry Education First board member solicits sex from teen boy on Snapchat. "One of the people leading the charge to attempt to convert Newberry public schools into charter schools was arrested for inappropriate contact with a child. According to the arrest report, he solicited sex from an underage boy on Snapchat."

• WUFT News: $13.1 million state grant to help complete Archer Braid Trail expansion. "On June 4, Alachua County announced a significant boost for the trail project: a $13.1 million grant from the state of Florida. The funding includes a $10.67 million grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Sun Trail Grant program and an additional $2.5 million from legislative appropriation."

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV commission finalizes housing code change, approves loan. "The single room occupancy change passed unanimously on Thursday, confirming an earlier vote in June. The changes will ease restrictions on this type of residence, like dorms and hostels, and staff hope it will lead to more housing options."

• Florida Storms: Monitoring tropical disturbance inching closer to Florida. "It has a medium chance of becoming a tropical system, possibly a tropical depression at best, as it will battle a pocket of dry air and limited time before its chances quickly become depleted and move over land."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Bielarski fires 2 top GRU officials, reassigns third. "In a memo to Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) employees, new interim CEO Ed Bielarski announced a reorganization at the top, including the removal of the chief sustainability officer and the chief telecommunications officer."

• WUFT News: 'Kitten Season' in north central Florida overwhelms shelters, increases adoptions. "Bays said the abundance of kittens being born often puts a strain on animal shelters. Kittens born in the wild have around a 75% mortality rate in their first six months of life, she said. Among other things, spaying and neutering can help prevent future litters from meeting that fate."

• WUFT News: Gator golfer falls short at U.S. Open, embraces national debut. "A University of Florida sophomore, and Tallahassee native, was living out many golfers’ dreams as he prepared to tee it up in his first major championship last week at Pinehurst in the U.S. Open."

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Around the state

• News Service of Florida: Florida Supreme Court says peaceful demonstrations allowed under Florida's protest law. "Rejecting arguments that the law is ambiguous, the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday that peaceful protesters are not threatened by a measure that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature passed in 2021 to crack down on violent demonstrations."

• Associated Press: Florida medical marijuana patients get an unexpected email praising DeSantis. "Medical marijuana patients and advocates are upset that the Florida Department of Health emailed its patient registry to praise Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing the state budget. Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore said using the patient list to promote policy is a revolting misuse of power."

• NPR: Rapper Travis Scott is arrested in Miami for trespassing and intoxication. "Scott, 33, whose legal name is Jacques Bermon Webster, was charged with trespassing after a warning and disorderly intoxication."

• WUSF-Tampa: DeSantis signs a bill allowing spouses to live in veterans' care facilities. "The law, which will go into effect July 1, will put spouses fifth in the priority order of admission. Veterans with peacetime service are fourth."

• News Service of Florida: A Leon judge weighs arguments in another chapter of the FSU-ACC fight. "Much of Tuesday’s day-long arguments focused on whether the lawsuit could be decided in Florida, as FSU challenges what it describes as more than $500 million in penalties as it seeks to exit the North Carolina-based conference."

• WUSF-Tampa: Budget vetoes deal a 'devastating blow' to Florida's arts and culture groups. "Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed most state funding for arts programs in Florida's new budget. The move eliminates $32 million dollars in grant money earmarked for more than 600 cultural organizations across the state."

From NPR News

• Health: The EPA's new limits on PFAS in drinking water face legal challenges

• Law: The Supreme Court leaves a Trump-era offshore tax in place on investors

• National: American Airlines CEO aims to 'rebuild trust' after Black men removed from flight

• World: In a win for Thailand's LGBTQ community, lawmakers vote to legalize same-sex marriage

• Health: As they enter their 60s, Gen Xers projected to see higher cancer rates than Boomers

• Weather: Summer officially arrives with the earliest solstice in more than 2 centuries

• National: Couples say they can't get married because of this government program's outdated rules

• National: D.C. woman returns thrifted vase — a priceless Mayan artifact — to its homeland

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.