Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
‘Paradise lost’: Florida rescue crews, aid groups rush to jump-start recovery from Hurricane Ian
State and federal first responders including local government and nonprofit groups rushed to Florida’s Gulf Coast on Thursday to help with the recovery of a region that one city official said had been reduced by Hurricane Ian to “Paradise Lost.” As if on cue, volunteers, urban rescue teams and pre-positioned utility workers swarmed Southwest Florida cities inundated by floodwaters and battered by high winds from the catastrophic storm. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
» Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic toll includes at least 17 dead
» Ian insured losses could total $40 billion
» DeSantis eyes Ian damage
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Florida jobless claims dip
Initial unemployment claims in Florida dipped last week, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The report estimated that 5,277 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Sept. 24, down from a revised count of 5,833 during the week that ended Sept. 17. The numbers came amid continued concerns about a looming recession. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida’s minimum wage workers get a raise this week. Here’s how much
Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour on Friday, the second boost in a series of annual raises that will eventually bring it to $15 an hour. The pay raise is a result of an amendment to the Florida Constitution that 61% of voters approved in a 2020 ballot measure. Florida’s previous $8.56 an hour minimum wage was brought up to $10 in 2021 and will increase by $1 every year on Sept. 30 until it reaches $15 in 2026. [Source: Miami Herald]
World Central Kitchen starts delivering meals to communities impacted by Hurricane Ian
The organization, spearheaded by celebrated chef José Andres, has become one of the world’s most recognized first-response efforts, delivering hot meals to the frontlines in response to humanitarian, climate or community crisis situations. With the help of volunteers and partner organizations — including local chefs, food truck operators and catering companies — the group can deliver thousands of meals in a day to those in need. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Legal battle over Miami bank allegedly controlled by Venezuela intensifies
The legal battle over the control of a Miami bank alleged to have been secretly run by the Venezuelan government is heating up, following the efforts of its original owner to take back the reins of the bank’s Curaçao-based parent company. The original owner, Venezuelan-American businessman Juan Santaella, had previously sued members of Eastern National Bank’s board of directors, including Gabina Rodríguez, who chaired the board between 2015 and 2021.
› Clearwater CEO apologizes after asking staff to work through Hurricane Ian
Days before a dangerous Category 4 storm barreled toward Florida’s Gulf Coast, the chief executive of a Clearwater-based marketing agency sent texts downplaying the storm’s impact and encouraging staff to bring their pets and kids in the office so they wouldn’t miss work. Only after outrage spread on social media on Tuesday did Joy Gendusa, the head of PostcardMania, announce it would close its headquarters for Wednesday and Thursday to turn it into a hurricane shelter for employees instead.
› Hurricane Ian claims the Dali Museum’s Wish Tree in St. Petersburg
After nearly 11 years and over 20,000 wishes, the Dalí Museum’s beloved Wish Tree is no more. The museum has power and both the staff and the artwork are safe, said marketing director Beth Bell. The Florida ficus, however, was ripped from the Dalí's Avant-garden before the worst of Hurricane Ian’s winds and rains reached St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
› Crypto exchange FTX is moving its US headquarters to Miami
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is trading Chicago for South Florida. CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced the company will move its U.S. headquarters to Miami in a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon. The change comes only months after FTX.US officially opened a 9,000 square-foot office in the Windy City to house its U.S. base. In the same tweet, Bankman-Friend said FTX.US President Brett Harrison was stepping down from the business.
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