Southwest Florida Roundup
Florida Poly researcher uses digital tech to help plastic surgeons perform better nose jobs
Better Nose Jobs
A Florida Polytechnic University researcher is using digital technology to help plastic surgeons perform better nose jobs. Along with his team of students, Oguzhan Topsakal, an assistant professor of computer science, has created a 3-D modeling tool enabling rhinoplasty surgeons to forecast a surgery’s outcome and subsequently learn how to perform more accurate surgeries. “They will be able to compare the results that are planned and the real outcome and then make an objective assessment,” Topsakal says.
Downtown Tampa is getting a massive sculpture. Called DOTS, the artwork was created by Christian Moeller, a sculptor based in Los Angeles. At 45-feet tall and 113-feet wide, DOTS will span the first five floors of a 23-story residential tower being built at Ashley Drive and Tyler Street. The building, named the Henry, will provide off-campus housing for about 500 students attending the University of Tampa, a few blocks away across the Hillsborough River. The building includes restaurant and retail space on the ground floor, study areas, a fitness center and a rooftop pool. The art installation, funded privately by the developers, consists of 119 aluminum alloy discs, each weighing 40 pounds and measuring 70 inches in diameter.
- Lake Michigan Credit Union, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., purchased Tampa-based Pilot Bank, which has six locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties, in an estimated $100-million deal.
- The University of South Florida is searching for a new president following Steve Currall’s surprise resignation after just two years on the job. Currall, who guided USF through the pandemic while also cutting USF’s budget and consolidating the university’s three separately accredited campuses into one university, cited health and personal reasons. “The intensity of the past two years has put a strain on my health and my family,” Currall wrote in a message to USF’s faculty. Attorney Rhea Law was appointed interim president.
- Florida SouthWestern State College’s respiratory care program received $500,000 from Brian and Kim Rist and the Rist Family Foundation to improve the program’s equipment and technology and hire more staff. “After the last year and all of the things that happened with the pandemic, it made us all aware that respiratory therapy is key and critical,” Brian Rist says. “Then to find out there is a shortage of people who have these skills made it a simple decision for us to try to help.”
- TECO has received Florida Public Service Commission approval for a microgrid pilot program that includes batteries and solar photovoltaic equipment at up to 37 homes of TECO customers. The pilot system will be able to power the homes independently or connect to TECO’s grid. The program’s costs are capped at $2 million.
- More than 20,000 hatchery-raised spotted seatrout have been released into the Gulf of Mexico off Pine Island Park in Spring Hill. The restocking effort, intended to improve recreational fishing off the coast, was a joint project among Hernando County, Duke Energy, Coastal Conservation Association Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- Tampa General Hospital and the Tampa-based Florida-Israel Business Accelerator are working to identify Israeli companies that have ideas to streamline workflow and improve the examination-room experience at Tampa General’s outpatient physician offices.
- Rishi Patel, a former COO and executive vice president of CAN Community Health, has been named the non-profit’s interim CEO, replacing Rick Carlisle, who had been CEO since 2015. CAN Community Health focuses on patients diagnosed with HIV, hepatitis C and other diseases.
- Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance of Sarasota has been placed under the supervision of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation due to concerns about the insurer’s financial health. Gulfstream is no longer writing policies.
- St. Petersburg-based Jabil is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to supply disposable FDA-approved surgical masks to the military. The masks will be made by Massachusetts-based NP Medical, Jabil’s medical device subsidiary.
- Due to high buyer demand and a tight inventory of homes for sale, Naples-area homes sold for 99.1% of list prices in May, according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors. The inventory of available homes totaled 1,290 during the month, a 79% decrease from May 2020.
- The solar-powered community of Babcock Ranch, located in Lee and Charlotte counties, has sold more than 1,400 new homes, with over 350 sales so far in 2021. The town was founded in 2017, with the first residents moving in by 2018.
- More than a year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Estero-based car rental company Hertz has restructured its debt. The car rental chain also announced it has a new line of financing. Hertz started the bankruptcy process owing $25 billion.
- Lakewood Ranch-based Certified Collectibles Group has sold a majority share of the company to Blackstone, a private equity group. Terms of the deal were not announced.
- Swoop, a low-cost airline based in Canada, will begin service from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Toronto in November. Also, Allegiant will start offering twice-a-week non-stop flights between the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, Kan., starting in November.
- Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers hosted 946,366 travelers in May, a record for that month, a 562% increase over May 2020 and a 30% increase over May 2019. The airport also announced that Alaska Airlines will start offering non-stop flights in November between Fort Myers and Los Angeles.
Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.
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