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The Point, July 9, 2024: Beryl makes landfall, could raise gas prices

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The stories near you

• Mainstreet Daily News: Lake City police arrest correctional officer for attempted murder. "When officers arrived, the neighbor stated the victim had an argument with their spouse, who was identified as Rance Park. Park had a firearm and made threats to shoot the victim."

• WCJB: Alachua County Commissioners meet to approve $645k upgrades to West End Golf Course. "After years of abandonment, it’s being brought back to life with a reconstruction project. This comes after Alachua County Commissioners bought the property for $3.8 million."

• Mainstreet Daily News: Hippodrome cuts performances after DeSantis cuts funding. "The Hipp took a hit at the box office after suspending performances twice in June, and again last week, due to some cast members testing positive for COVID. Then came the bad news from Tallahassee."

• The Alligator: UF ends investigation into whether six faculty ‘interfered’ with Hamilton Center following pressure from union, major donor. "In the wake of the investigation’s closure, questions remain about who the original complainant was and whether it played a role in Richardson’s resignation from his deanship, which was announced May 7 in a UF news release."

• Gainesville Sun ($): Hawthorne business owner faces backlash over rainbow-colored Statue of Liberty on SR20. "Hawthorne residents took to a private Facebook group for town residents to express their distaste on Friday for the statue put up by Ed Witty, owner of coffee house and business center Witty's Imaginarium. Hundreds of commenters took issue with what they interpreted to be as pro-LGBTQ messaging, and others criticized the use of an iconic American landmark to spread the message."

• Ocala Gazette: Can emergency personnel locate me through my cellphone? "Marion County residents are no different; An overwhelming majority of people here have transitioned to relying only on cellphones. But with so much rural area to cover with cell towers, meandering city lines, county enclaves, and two 911 call centers, getting a precise location for a caller can be a challenge."

• The Alligator: Iranian government sanctions former UFPD chief following pro-Palestinian protestor arrests. "Stump-Kurnick and other officials named in the sanctions are now banned from entering Iranian territories. They will be blocked from owning Iranian-based assets and making transactions with Iranian banking systems."

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Around the state

• WUSF-Tampa: Gas prices spiked across Florida, and Beryl could raise them even more. "The average price rose to a nearly two-month high on the Fourth of July, and Hurricane Beryl could impact the fuel supply, meaning even higher costs."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: A cyberattack at the Florida Department of Health is causing problems for funeral homes. "The Florida Department of Health confirmed a group of ransom thieves hacked the state’s 'Vital Statistics System,' which is used to process birth and death certificates."

• WUSF-Tampa: In Tampa stop, Jill Biden campaigns for veterans and says president is 'all in'. "The first lady's first campaign stop of the year in the Tampa Bay area comes more than a week after her husband's faltering performance in a debate against former President Donald Trump."

• WLRN-Miami: Florida reefs got a reprieve from steamy water this summer, but will it last? "As summer heat warms waters around the Florida Keys, scientists again on alert for more coral bleaching across the beleaguered reef will begin studying a feeding program in nurseries if conditions worsen."

• WFSU-Tallahassee: The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts extensive coastal flooding is in Florida's future. "The Union's latest report on that subject is entitled 'Looming Deadlines for Coastal Resilience.' Erika Spanger is a report author and the director of strategic climate analytics at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She said the report's forecasts are sobering."

• News Service of Florida: A Piney Point settlement is reached between the state and environmental groups. "They filed the federal lawsuit after around 215 million gallons of wastewater was discharged into Tampa Bay in 2021. It said the discharges caused harmful algae blooms and fish kills."

• WUSF-Tampa: Selby Gardens is the first botanical garden complex to generate more solar power than it needs. "The world's first 'net positive' energy botanical garden complex and restaurant came online recently in Sarasota. With over 2,000 new solar panel arrays, the downtown Sarasota campus of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens plans to produce more power than it consumes."

From NPR News

• Weather: Beryl weakens to a tropical depression as it moves eastward out of Texas

• National: Alec Baldwin goes on trial this week, nearly 3 years after fatal 'Rust' shooting

• World: French left coalition comes out on top in elections, in shock upset over the far right

• World: Russia strikes a children's hospital in Kyiv and other sites across Ukraine

• Elections: Biden tells Democrats he's not leaving the race, and it's time to stop talking about it

• Health: Doctors try a controversial technique to reduce the transplant organ shortage

• Economy: How to fight shrinkflation? Pay attention to unit prices at grocery stores

• Space: Volunteers who lived in a NASA-created Mars replica for over a year have emerged

Kristin Moorehead curated today's edition of The Point.