Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Jobless claims lowest since December
First-time unemployment claims in Florida last week came in at the lowest number since the start of the year. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 4,854 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended March 25, down from a revised count of 5,078 during the week that ended March 18. Last week’s total was the lowest since 4,238 were filed during the holiday-shortened week that ended Dec. 31. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Business Beat - Week of March 31st
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Asian swamp eels spread in the Everglades. ‘Potentially the worst species we’ve had yet’
For a crayfish in the Florida Everglades, its worst nightmare is three feet long, dark brown and pure muscle, with a mouth like a vacuum that sucks up nearly everything it can find — tiny fish, small shellfish, turtle eggs and frogs. It’s called the Asian swamp eel. And while Floridians may be more used to seeing it grilled and doused in a sweet sticky sauce in sushi rolls, the slippery beasts have become an increasingly problematic invasive species in the delicate Everglades ecosystem. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Fiona, Ian retired from list of tropical cyclone names. What will replace them?
Weather officials announced Wednesday that they’re retiring the names Fiona and Ian from the rotating list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names because of the death and destruction caused by the most recent storms with those names. Farrah will replace Fiona on the lists, and Idris will replace Ian, the World Meteorological Organization said in a news release. Tropical cyclones are assigned names from the alphabetical list when they intensify into tropical storms with winds of 39 mph. [Source: AP]
Florida wraps up winter manatee feeding; Far fewer sea cows have died this winter
Should Florida keep tossing salad for starving manatees? It's tough to tell for sure to what degree two winters of feeding the threatened species at Florida Power & Light's plant in Port St. John helped to save formerly famished sea cows, biologists say. Seagrass growing back nearby and two consecutive warm winters likely helped, too. But through March 10, only 163 manatees have died statewide. That's about a third of the number found dead by that point last year and less than a fifth of 2021, when a record 1,101 manatees died. [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› CSX Corp. CEO Joe Hinrichs touts union relations
CSX Corp. announced another agreement with a local union to provide paid sick leave to railroad workers as new CEO Joe Hinrichs touts the Jacksonville-based company’s efforts to improve its labor relations. CSX said March 22 it reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for sick leave.
› Report: Tampa Bay among worst large U.S. metro areas for commuters
A new study conducted by a moving company confirms what many Tampa Bay residents know all too well: The region is one of the worst for commuting to and from work. According to Hire A Helper’s report, titled, “Cities to Avoid if You Hate Commuting,” Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater ranks No. 12 on the list, ahead of only New York-Newark-Jersey City; San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas; and the nation’s worst offender, San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley. No. 1 — meaning it’s the least bad — is Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, followed by Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California, and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia.
› Miami Beach seeks end to spring break as we know it
Next year’s spring break in Miami Beach may not look the same, as city officials said they will work the police and the business community to end spring break as we know it. After two people were fatally shot in South Beach on March 17 and 19, the city commission on Monday passed an ordinance declaring an intent for curfews from Thursday to Monday during the most intense weeks of next year’s spring break, to potentially roll back alcohol sales hours citywide, to shutter businesses early in the entertainment district south of 23rd Street, and to close the perimeters of South Beach to produce an enclosed program with access points and metal detectors.
› Space Coast launch schedule: Upcoming missions from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral
The Space Coast saw a record number of launches from the two facilities with 57 in 2022. Space Launch Delta 45 commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy said in January that there could be between 86 and 92 potential launches in 2023. The totals so far: 17 Space Coast launches in 2023, 13 from Cape Canaveral, 4 from KSC, 16 from SpaceX (15 Falcon 9s, 1 Falcon Heavy), 1 from Relativity Space, 1 human spaceflight (Crew-6).
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