Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Financial relief coming for Florida citrus growers impacted by greening
Two significant developments promise financial relief for Florida citrus growers:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made new financial assistance available to eligible Florida citrus growers for the removal of trees afflicted with Huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening) and for replanting groves with new healthy stock.
- The U.S. House passed legislation by Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota, Florida, that would give tax breaks to citrus grove investors for replacing plants damaged by citrus greening. (See the text of the “Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act” here.)
Mark Wheeler, a grower in Manatee County, pays an average of $2,000 per acre to replace plants stricken by the disease. “The Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act will provide a significant incentive to put more trees in the ground by counterbalancing my upfront costs,” Wheeler said. More from the Bradenton Herald.
» Florida Department of Citrus ends fiscal year with a $2.2 million surplus
Moffitt Cancer Center awarded National Cancer Institute designation
Today, Gov. Rick Scott announced that the Moffitt Cancer Center has been awarded the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation – Comprehensive Cancer Center. Only four percent of cancer research institutions in the United States have received this prestigious designation. Moffitt is the only NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida. Full story here.
Miami company to launch prepaid card in Cuba
Miami-based International Port Corp. will offer a prepaid card for use by Americans visiting Cuba. Dubbed “ Club Malecon," the instant issue prepaid card will be accepted at ATMs, Cuban money exchange stores (CADECA), and all accepting point-of-sale merchants throughout the island nation. More from the South Florida Business Journal.
Florida summit explores scope of opioid drug problem
A summit is being convened in South Florida to explore the scope of abuse of heroin and other opioid drugs and examine ways to tackle the problem. The number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including both heroin and synthetic painkillers, have roughly quadrupled since 1999. More from the AP.
Five finalists announced for Pensacola downtown director
Five finalists, all from the Pensacola area, are in the running to replace the outgoing Ron Butlin as executive director of the city’s Downtown Improvement Board. An agency of the City of Pensacola, the DIB was established by the Florida Legislature in 1974 to remove blight and guide downtown redevelopment. More from Pulse Gulf Coast.
JAXUSA Partnership's Cathy Chambers pegged to lead state economic development board
Cathy Chambers, senior vice president of strategy and business development for JAXUSA Partnership, has been named chairwoman of the Florida Economic Development Council for 2016-2017. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Trading in ignorance
Nothing is more disappointing in the current presidential campaign than both candidates’ aversion to talking straight to the American people about the issues that will actually determine the nation’s future. Aside from the absence of any discussion of entitlement reform, nowhere is that failure more glaring than on the issue of trade, where both candidates traffic largely in misperceptions, fears and anxieties.
Around the State
When a North Carolina roofing company announced it was looking to relocate, Sarasota County and Enterprise Florida put together a $1.6-million incentives package to lure it. Then local roofers cried foul, saying the incentives amounted to an unfair edge. So county commissioners withdrew the package, and the North Carolina company struck Sarasota off its relocation list. Access full story here and see also:
» Denied by Sarasota, 'Project Mulligan' company moving to Tampa
» Sarasota County leaders defend economic incentives program
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