September 22, 2023

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/2/2023

Tropical depression forms off Florida on first day of hurricane season

Forecasters upgraded a blob of rough weather in the Gulf of Mexico to a tropical depression late Thursday afternoon — the first day of hurricane season — but didn’t expect it to pose any threat to land before it fizzles out over the weekend. The depression, which forecasters earlier this week said posed only a minimal chance of powering up into a tropical system, got more organized as the week progressed. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

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Florida jobless claim totals see little change

Florida continues to see relatively little change in the pace of unemployment claims. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 5,523 first-time unemployment claims were filed last week in Florida, down from 5,879 during the week that ended May 20. Florida has averaged 5,665 weekly claims since mid-November, following a brief spike after Hurricane Ian caused massive damage in late September. [Source: News Service of Florida]

LGBTQ+ people flock to Florida for Gay Days festival

Tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people are flocking to central Florida this weekend to go on theme park rides, mingle with costumed performers, dance at all-night parties and lounge poolside at hotels during Gay Days, a decades-long tradition. Even though Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers have championed a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ laws — spurring the most prominent gay rights group in the U.S. and other civil rights organizations to issue warnings that the Sunshine State may no longer be safe — Gay Days organizers are still encouraging visitors from around the world to come to one of Florida’s largest gay and lesbian celebrations. [Source: AP]

More than one-third of Florida properties face looming flood risk, but some residents are unaware

A combination of factors including stronger storms fueled by climate change, a strained insurance industry and ineffective state regulations has placed millions of low-income Florida residents at risk of a major insurance coverage gap. The crisis in Florida's insurance industry has escalated with the shutdown of seven companies since February last year, leaving countless individuals vulnerable to the devastating impacts of flooding. The urgency to address this issue is underscored by the fact that more than one-third of Florida properties are at risk of severe flooding over the next 30 years. [Source: CBS News]

Orthopedic leaders advancing care in Florida

With more than 60 physicians, this highly skilled, multidisciplinary team was created to deliver exceptional outcomes for even the most challenging and complex cases. Orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians diagnose and treat conditions from concussions and spine injuries to foot and ankle fractures — and every joint in between. They also are experts in joint replacement, orthopedic trauma and bone health, and have a support system of specialists ready to assist in neurosurgery, musculoskeletal radiology, anesthesia and interventional pain. [Source: Sponsored report]


› New $106M Orlando Holocaust museum takes next steps toward construction
A newly proposed Holocaust museum in Orlando is taking steps toward construction. The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida wants multiple planning changes with the city of Orlando to clear the way to build a 45,000-square-foot museum at 75 S. Ivanhoe Blvd. The museum — called the Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity — would replace the former Chamber of Commerce building and Mayor Betsy Johnson Park on the 2.5-acre site.

› University of Miami joins elite group of North America’s top research institutions
The University of Miami joined an invitation-only group of North America’s most elite research universities on Thursday, accomplishing a decade-old internal goal and receiving one of the most prestigious honors in higher education in the world. The Association of American Universities invited UM this year to become a member, along with Arizona State University; the George Washington University; the University of California, Riverside; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of South Florida.

› Sarasota buffet crowned best in the U.S.  
Sarasota is now the home of the No. 1 buffet in the United States. The USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest in May ended with Der Dutchman Restaurant being crowned that title. Dutchman Hospitality, Der Dutchman's parent company, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Ohio, opened its first Der Dutchman Restaurant 54 years ago. The restaurant features foods that pay homage to the Midwest Amish and Mennonite traditions, a press release states, including chicken, noodles, dressing and mashed potatoes.

› 71% of Jacksonville-area's homeless are new to the experience
As of January 2023, there were about 1,247 homeless people in the Jacksonville area, according to the annual Point In Time count conducted by Changing Homelessness, the lead homelessness prevention agency for Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. In comparison, there were 1,654 homeless people in the area in January 2019, the last time a full count was done prior to COVID-19 interruptions.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Gator with missing jaw finds home in Florida park
Gator with missing jaw finds home in Florida park

A Florida reptile park has taken in an alligator that lost its nose and upper jaw to a fight or boat propeller. Gatorland Orlando said over the weekend that the injured alligator came from a lake in nearby Sanford, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Orlando. “She had basically no chance of surviving in the wild with such a severe injury,” the park said in a social media post.

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