Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Feds should protect Big Cypress National Preserve from future oil exploration, advocates urge
National park advocates are publicly urging federal environment officials to invoke a rarely used veto to protect Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve from future oil exploration. It’s an option the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has used only 14 times in five decades — including most recently the Jan. 31 decision to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from mining — but the National Parks Conservation Association says Big Cypress is the perfect candidate for the federal government to use its veto authority and shield wetlands from the threat of future oil drilling. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Why this cannabis industry CEO says it’s better to buy than build in Florida
The Florida market is a difficult landscape for cannabis companies to navigate. One of the newest names in the Sunshine State’s medical marijuana industry, Sunburn Cannabis, is in the process of flipping retail locations across Florida that once belonged to MedMen, including a storefront that recently opened in St. Petersburg. More from the Orlando Business Journal.
New Merlin CEO’s outlook: ‘Florida is a winner’
Scott M. O’Neil became CEO of Merlin Entertainments Group in November. The British company operates dozens of attractions sprinkled around the world. The Merlin lineup includes Legoland Florida and Peppa Pig theme parks in Winter Haven, plus Madame Tussauds and Sea Life aquarium locations on Orlando’s International Drive. Merlin is considered the second-largest attractions operator in the world, trailing only Walt Disney Co. In its portfolio are sites such as England’s Alton Towers and Warwick Castle; Italy’s Gardaland; Germany’s Heide Park; and multiple attractions in Australia. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
JAX Chamber names Jackie Rowland overall Small Business Leader of the Year
Jackie Rowland, president and CEO of the Russell Rowland Inc. engineering firm, was named overall Small Business Leader of the Year of 2023 by JAX Chamber at a Feb. 7 breakfast event. Rowland accepted the award on her second day back at work from maternity leave. She gave birth to a daughter in mid-December. Rowland was one of 11 nominees honored at the University of North Florida’s Adam W. Herbert University Center. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
St. Petersburg rubber business moving HQ to Clearwater
St. Petersburg’s Goodyear Rubber Product, Inc. is moving its base to Clearwater, the company announced Monday. The industrial rubber product distributor said it would relocate its corporate headquarters on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg to 11301 47th St. N in Clearwater at the end of the month, according to a media release. Goodyear Rubber Products, not to be confused with the national chain Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, has been based in St. Petersburg for 75 years. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
UF Online announces partnership with Major League Soccer Players Association
UF Online, the University of Florida’s top-ranked online bachelor’s degree program, and Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) announced an education partnership to support soccer players in the United States and Canada. MLSPA is the labor union and exclusive bargaining representative for all Major League Soccer players, ensuring the protection of their bargained-for rights. Through this strategic partnership, UF Online hopes to increase access to a UF degree for current and former players who wish to pursue their academic goals.
» More from UF News.
Out of the Box
Archaeological findings from about 8,000 years ago put to rest notion Miami has no history
As world cities go, Miami may seem a youngster. But buried evidence of thousands of years of prehistoric human settlement lies just under the concrete and asphalt at the spot where the modern city was founded, along the mouth of the Miami River. That evidence is once again coming to light, in ever-greater quantity and antiquity, as teams of archaeologists excavate a site on the river’s south bank where a 1960s office building was torn down to make way for the latest Miami vogue — luxury residential skyscrapers.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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