Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida jobless claims drop
Florida last week had the lowest number of first-time unemployment claims since the start of the year, as the state prepares to update jobless numbers on Friday. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 4,767 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended March 18, down from 5,461 during the week that ended March 11. Last week’s total was the lowest since 4,238 claims were filed during the holiday-shortened week that ended Dec. 31. More from the News Service of Florida.
CSX Corp. executive stresses railroad’s safety
When CSX Corp. Chief Financial Officer Sean Pelkey was invited to speak to J.P. Morgan’s “Industrials Conference,” he was probably expected to discuss railroad freight trends. But with rival Norfolk Southern Corp. making headlines from a hazardous chemical spill in Ohio, Pelkey took the time at the March 15 conference to stress Jacksonville-based CSX’s efforts to maintain rail safety. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Pinellas officials: If job centers merge, don’t leave us behind
Public job placement centers in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties may soon be linked again, this time as a single entity, years after their connection dissolved in a torrent of scrutiny over fabricated numbers and misspent funds. Next week, Pinellas County officials will consider taking a formal stance against the consolidation of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, the latter of which serves Hillsborough County. They may also request, if they can’t avoid the merger, that the Pinellas agency be allowed to take the lead in combining the two. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
March Madness: Orlando draws record crowds, $5.9 million in publicity from NCAA tourney
Furman’s stunning upset of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament last Thursday sent shock waves through everyone’s March Madness bracket and put Orlando front and center in the eyes of the basketball world. Those tuning in or in attendance at the Amway Center were treated to one of the tournament’s highlights, repeatedly shared on highlight reels and social media. It was the perfect start to what would turn out to be a fantastic weekend for the Central Florida community. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Appeals court allows lawsuit to go ahead over FPL outages during Hurricane Irma
An appeals court said Wednesday that Florida Power & Light can face a class-action lawsuit stemming from power outages in Hurricane Irma, which barreled up the state in 2017. A three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a Miami-Dade County circuit judge’s decision that certified the lawsuit as a class action. Plaintiffs contend that the utility did not meet obligations to help prevent power outages, such as carrying out a storm “hardening” plan, replacing aging poles and adequately clearing vegetation near lines. More from the News Service of Florida.
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Boca Raton’s Rebel House to permanently close — and not even ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’ can stop it
Not even the high-profile glitz of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” will stop chef Eric Baker from permanently closing Rebel House, his brash American gastropub, next week in Boca Raton. The 11-year-old Rebel House will have its final dinner service on March 27 — and in an ironic twist of timing — the decision comes weeks after TV tastemaker Guy Fieri featured the restaurant on his popular travelogue show. Next door to Rebel House, Baker also shuttered his 2-year-old Jewish deli, Uncle Pinkie’s, without fanfare in early March.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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