June 7, 2023

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/9/2023

Florida's citrus forecast inches up

Florida’s citrus industry received a little good news Wednesday as a new production forecast for the current growing season increased 1 percent for oranges and 5 percent for grapefruit. The industry remains on a path toward the smallest harvest since before World War II, but Matt Joyner, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, said “our hope is on the rise.” Joyner pointed to efforts to rebound from Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole and a continuing fight against deadly citrus-greening disease. [Source: News Service of Florida]

How Floridians can avoid brain-eating amoeba infections

Florida is known for dangerous wildlife like alligators and sharks. But one deadly creature flies under the radar: the Naegleria fowleri, commonly called the brain-eating amoeba. The microscopic organism, which is found in the Sunshine State and elsewhere across the U.S., recently infected and killed a person in southwest Florida, possibly because the individual used tap water to rinse their sinuses. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Daylight saving time: Sunshine Protection Act gets reintroduced. What it means for Florida, spring forward

The Sunshine Protection Act would permanently extend daylight saving time from eight months of the year to the full 12 months. The bill was first introduced in January 2021 by Buchanan and reintroduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and seven other bipartisan members of Congress in March 2022. The bill would make daylight saving time permanent across the U.S. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

Lawmakers consider making roads with mini-mountains of a radioactive substance

More people in Florida means more road construction. That’s certainly the case in northeast Florida where the population is booming. Meanwhile, Florida has a lot of something else, and that is a substance called phosphogypsum. It's also known as PG. It’s the byproduct of phosphate mining. When phosphate fertilizer is made, so is PG. PG is stored in stacks that look like mini-mountains in Florida. [Source: First Coast News]

Florida electric bills going up in April

State regulators Tuesday signed off on plans that will lead to millions of utility customers seeing increased electric bills in April because of hurricane costs and higher-than-expected natural gas prices last year. The Florida Public Service Commission approved a series of proposals that will increase the amounts of money that Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. will collect from consumers. Utilities are generally allowed to recover costs related to hurricane preparation and recovery and power-plant fuel. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Apartment sizes shrink nationally, but in Miami they grow
Although apartment sizes in the US are shrinking, Miami has come out as an exception, where apartments have gotten larger, adding an extra 105 square feet in the past 10 years, but current growth in the city might end the trend. According to a report by RentCafe, new apartment sizes in Miami have an average square footage of 912. Ten years ago, the average rental square footage of apartments was 807.

› Jax Federal Credit Union changing name to RadiFi
Jax Federal Credit Union, an 88-year-old Jacksonville financial institution, is changing its name to RadiFi Credit Union, the company announced March 8. John Servos, CEO of the credit union, said in a news release the RadiFi name “speaks to the innovative evolution and dynamic growth of our organization” and the Northeast Florida community.

› Was Pinellas prepared for Hurricane Ian? Three takeaways from a county report.
As Hurricane Ian approached Florida, Pinellas County went quiet. The county ordered some 440,000 residents to evacuate and braced itself for a brutal hit — a foot or more of rain, 10 feet of storm surge, high winds and scattered tornadoes were all in the forecast. Instead, residents here got a little wind, a little rain and power outages but little damage after the storm shifted to the east and left a trail of death and destruction in Southwest Florida. Pinellas emerged nearly unscathed.

› Demand high for Orlando tech talent — but limited layoffs expected
West Coast tech giants have cut tens of thousands of employees in recent months, but economic turmoil is expected to have a more muted effect on the Central Florida tech sector. The demand from local employers for tech talent remains ahead of available workers, said Tracy Dickerhoff, managing partner of Maitland-based staffing firm Kolter Solutions LLC.

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