December 7, 2023

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/4/2022

In Hurricane Ian’s wake, dangers persist, worsen in parts

People kayaking down streets that were passable just a day or two earlier. Hundreds of thousands without power. National Guard helicopters flying rescue missions to residents still stranded on Florida’s barrier islands. Days after Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction from Florida to the Carolinas, the dangers persisted, and even worsened in some places. It was clear the road to recovery from this monster storm will be long and painful. And Ian was still not done. More from the AP and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Visit Florida pauses advertising as it crafts a post-Hurricane Ian campaign

Florida’s tourism marketing agency has paused advertising as it crafts a campaign to offset the negative images of washed-out communities and damaged bridges from Hurricane Ian. Visit Florida is finalizing a “recovery plan,” spokeswoman Leslie Pearsall said in an email. The pause came as tourist destinations in Central Florida have reopened after shutting down because of Ian, which made landfall Wednesday in Southwest Florida and then pounded Central Florida before exiting in the Atlantic Ocean. [Source: News Service of Florida]

What’s been happening with animals in Florida during Hurricane Ian?

The arrival of Hurricane Ian didn’t just displace thousands of people in Florida. The bruising winds and surging waters also dislodged animal residents. From sharks to storks and stranded cats, wild and captive creatures have shown up in unexpected places due to the intense storm. Here’s what happened to both wild and captive creatures across the peninsula.[Source: Washington Post]

What’s going on with gas prices in Florida? A change in tax means a change at pump

Gas prices decreased in Florida over the weekend as the state started a month-long suspension of its 25-cents-a-gallon tax. Sunday’s average price in Florida was $3.26 a gallon, the lowest since January, according to AAA. “This gas tax builds on the previous downward pressure on pump prices, stemming from global recession concerns and underwhelming fuel demand,” Mark Jenkins, the auto club’s spokesman, said in a statement. [Source: Miami Herald]

State tax collections top estimate

State general revenue came in $20.4 million higher than anticipated in August. A report posted Friday by the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research said the state collected nearly $3.44 billion in net general revenue during the month. The amount topped a projection that was made Aug. 16 by the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference. The conference, a panel of economists, meets periodically to revise tax projections. [Source: News Service of Florida]

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› Security firm lays off 289 guards at Florida dispensaries, 64 in Tampa Bay
A Jacksonville company that provides armed security at more than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida is laying off hundreds of guards and other workers, including 64 in Tampa Bay. First Coast Security said in a letter to the state that its contract with Trulieve Medical Services was not renewed, as the company decided to go in another direction for security services. As a result, First Coast will cut 289 jobs at 106 dispensaries — including 25 in Tampa Bay — by Jan. 24.

› South Florida's largest employers recover from pandemic job slump
This year, South Florida's unemployment rate hit a historic low of 2.6% as many of the area's largest employers exceeded their pre-pandemic worker counts. Since 2019, the total number of workers among the region’s Top 50 employers has risen just over 1%, or 1,837 jobs, as of June. The rebound for job growth in the area was even more significant compared to the peak pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

› $4.63 billion in projects in pipeline for downtown Jacksonville
There is $4.69 billion in Downtown projects under construction, in review or proposed for Downtown Jacksonville, according to the 2022 State of Downtown Report released Oct. 3 by Downtown Vision Inc. The Downtown Investment Authority and DVI produced the report. The report said 539,000 square feet of office space, 117,000 square feet of retail space, 806 residential units and 200 hotel rooms are under construction.

› Orlando asks residents to limit water use to spare taxed wastewater systems
Orlando officials are asking residents to continue limiting flushing toilets, taking showers, washing dishes, watering lawns and other activities that use water, as crews repair damaged wastewater stations that sent overflow rushing into lakes and neighborhoods. The continued advisory Monday comes as wastewater systems are operating above capacity following record rainfall from Hurricane Ian, the advisory says, and failure to do so could lead to further overflows of sewage.

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