Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Hurricane Ian was the costliest disaster and the second-largest insured loss on record after Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Ian, a category 4 Atlantic hurricane that struck Florida and South Carolina earlier this year, was the costliest catastrophe and the second-largest insured loss on record after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to a new report from reinsurer Swiss Re. Ian caused between $50 billion and 65 billion in insured damages after it made landfall in western Florida in late September with extreme winds and torrential rain. The storm surges and downpour hit a densely populated coastline during an otherwise tame hurricane season. [Source: CNBC]
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Florida HIV cases increasing — and many people don’t know they have it
While many parts of the country have HIV under control, Florida leads the nation in new infections. Nearly 5,000 people a year in Florida are diagnosed with HIV, a number that hasn’t budged much in the last 10 years despite the nation overall experiencing an 8% decline. In total, about 120,000 people in Florida live with HIV and as many as 17,700 more are undiagnosed and likely spreading the virus to others without it. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Wildlife officials take aim at pythons, look to increase venomous reptile penalties
State wildlife officials want more money to eradicate invasive Burmese pythons and increased penalties for people who illegally import and release venomous reptiles. The proposals were part of $150.2 million in legislative funding requests backed Wednesday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservative Commission. Also, agency staff members were directed to consider giving a boost to people called out to handle nuisance alligators. More from the News Service of Florida and Florida Politics.
International scammers falsely listing Florida real estate for sale
Real estate and law enforcement experts say land scams are becoming very common in hot real estate markets like Florida. Many of these land scammers are being traced back to Nigeria, Russia, or Eastern European countries, and data shows popular targets are often the elderly. They're leaving many Floridians embroiled in paperwork and civil litigation trying to prove that their land was sold out from under them, or worse: trying to recoup money they spent on land that was never truly for sale. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› EPA may restrict rat poisons like those found in Safety Harbor owls
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing tighter restrictions on certain toxic chemicals that people use to kill rats and mice and is asking the public for feedback. The poisons routinely sicken other animals including owls, eagles, foxes and mountain lions. Earlier this year, they likely caused or contributed to the deaths of at least four beloved great horned owls in Safety Harbor.
› Project Opioid distributes overdose reversal drug to downtown Orlando businesses
A local nonprofit is giving out overdose reversal drugs to downtown Orlando businesses so employees can help in the case of an overdose emergency. "Imagine having a simple thing that you can do that can actually save someone's life,” Dennis Clifton with EMBER said. Organizers with the nonprofit Project Opioid took to the streets on a campaign to get naloxone in the hands of local business owners.
› Florida Springs Council challenges permit allowing piping of water from Ginnie Springs
An appeals court allowed a hearing to move forward over a controversial permit for a bottling plant in Gilchrist County. The Florida Springs Council is challenging the permit that allows Seven Springs Water Company to pipe water from Ginnie Springs. The appeals court that met on November 30th, found that the council is entitled to an administrative hearing.
› These tech companies are hiring in Miami
Business is booming for technology companies in South Florida — and many of them are hiring. Layoffs may be making headlines nationally, but the Miami-area is actually adding tech jobs. Postings for roles in that sector were up 104% year-over-year as of June, according to one analysis from Dice. That made it one of the top markets for new job advertisements, with Accenture and Dell among the companies making the most hires.
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