Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
In 2024 preview, new Florida laws for primary could make it harder to cast ballots
Floridians will cast their primary ballots Tuesday under new voting restrictions a judge once said were designed “to target Black voters,” the first such federal election under the new law. Voting rights advocates say the new rules make it harder to request and turn in absentee ballots and register voters as well as making it easier to challenge votes once cast. But supporters say the new rules are needed to combat voter fraud. More from USA Todayand the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida gas prices decline for the 10th straight week
Florida gas prices fell 11 cents per gallon last week. The state average has now declined for 10 consecutive weeks, plunging a total of $1.36 per gallon since mid-June. Sunday’s state average price for gasoline was $3.54 per gallon. That’s the lowest daily average price since March 1, 2022. It now costs $53 to fill an average-sized 15-gallon fuel tank. That’s $20 less than what drivers paid in mid-June when pump prices set a new all-time record high price of $2.89 per gallon. [Source: WJXT]
30 years after Hurricane Andrew: How resilient is South Florida?
The 30th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew’s assault on South Florida is days away, and for the uninitiated and those who may have forgotten, here is what the Category 5 storm did to southern Miami-Dade County and elsewhere. After striking on Aug. 24, 1992, Andrew killed 65 people, destroyed 63,000 homes, left 175,000 homeless, and in the immediate aftermath, left a million people without power. Three cities and towns in particular — Homestead, Florida City and Naranja Lakes — were completely or nearly reduced to ruins. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
COVID BA.5 wave still receding across Florida more than a week into school year
For the second week in a row, all signs show the latest coronavirus surge shrinking across Florida, even as the school year starts and the least vaccinated age groups bunch together in classes. Sewage across Florida, which can predict COVID-19 trends faster than regular testing, showed falling concentrations of the virus this past week. Health officials reported fewer positive coronavirus test results, while hospitals are treating fewer infected patients. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
NASA targets 13 landing sites on moon’s south pole for human landing
NASA juggled light and dark to come up with 13 potential landing sites on the moon for the Artemis III mission that will return humans to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. The uncrewed Artemis I rocket is at the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center awaiting a potential launch as soon as Aug. 29. Artemis II is slated to fly with astronauts in 2024 but only orbit the moon. The Artemis III flight is slated for 2025, and two of its four astronauts, including the first woman, will take a version of SpaceX’s Starship to the lunar surface. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› The birth of a new Florida law school
Being an attorney involves, among other skills, appearing in court, swearing solemn oaths and understanding the nuances of language and the law. Students in the inaugural class of the Jacksonville University College of Law experienced that in the first few days of their three years of study. The tone for the Class of 2025 was set at the college’s formal convocation Aug. 5 at the Duval County Courthouse. The ceremony was attended by university and college of law administrators and faculty and the students’ families as well as members of the Jacksonville legal community.
› Women-led financial advisory firm receives charter, breaks new ground
Adelphi Trust received its charter from Florida Office of Financial Regulation on Aug. 12 at its office in St. Petersburg, officially making it the only trust company in Florida to be founded, managed and majority-owned by women. The firm will provide a range fiduciary services to clients, including investment management, wealth strategies, estate settlement, trust administration and legacy planning.
› Brevard County accounts for more than half of manatee deaths in 2022
While overall manatee deaths in Florida have declined since last year's catastrophic mass die-off, sea cow deaths in Brevard are on pace to top last year's record 358 deaths in the county. According to the latest figures from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at least 335 manatees had died in Brevard through Aug. 12, more than half — 54% — of this year's 661 manatee deaths.
› Port Canaveral sees rising revenues thanks to growing cruise industry
Port Canaveral is sailing toward record-setting revenue. More ships, and new bigger sailing options, are cruising from the port. “Simply put, all the cruise lines are pretty much operating at capacity again or close to it,” said Capt. John Murray, Canaveral Port Authority CEO. And there’s even more to look forward to. The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, will begin sailing from Port Canaveral later this year.
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