Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Idalia agricultural losses estimated up to $370 million
A preliminary report released Thursday by the University of Florida estimated up to $370.9 million in agricultural losses from Hurricane Idalia, which barreled through rural areas of North Florida in late August. And losses could increase as damage to infrastructure and such things as timber are factored in. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida leads the U.S. by far in school book bans
Book bans in public schools increased across the country last school year, with Florida leading the nation and responsible for more than 40% of them, according to a new report released Thursday PEN America, a free speech and expression group, counted 1,406 book bans in Florida schools, the most anywhere in the country. Texas recorded the second-highest number with 625. There were 3,362 instances of book bans nationwide in the 2022-23 school year, the group said, involving 1,557 books. More from the Orlando Sentinel, the Gainesville Sun, and WUSF.
South Florida snaps streak of record home prices. Is this the beginning of a new trend?
South Florida’s monthly streak of record-breaking home prices ended in August, but price tags still remain significantly higher than a year ago. Miami-Dade County recorded a median sales price last month of $620,000 for single-family homes and $416,000 for condominiums, according to the monthly housing report the Miami Association of Realtors released Thursday. It’s the first dip in monthly sales prices in nearly a year. More from the Miami Herald.
A Tampa cybersecurity startup surged to become a global company
Brian Murphy knows the steep climb that startups face. He started ReliaQuest in 2007, nine months before the Great Recession, and didn’t see a dime of outside investment for nearly a decade. In those early days, the Tampa-based company did general IT consulting work, mostly for government agencies. Over time, the company narrowed its focus to safeguarding digital client data and thwarting security threats. It was a good decision. More from Florida Trend and the Tampa Bay Times.
Name-confusion fight between Orlando, Sanford airports goes to federal court
For nearly three decades, the authority that runs Orlando International Airport has grumbled that the smaller airport in Sanford, more than 30 miles to the north, has hijacked its name and befuddled travelers. They point to the dozens of calls and complaints the larger airfield receives each year from flyers misled by the name Orlando Sanford International Airport, which the Sanford Airport Authority adopted in the mid-1990s after securing chartered flights to the United Kingdom and constructing what it called an international terminal. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
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What is Tampa’s Salt Shack on the Bay, on New York Times’ new restaurant list?
In a new feature, the New York Times scoured the country for “the 50 places in the United States that we’re most excited about right now,” and Tampa’s Salt Shack on the Bay made the cut. It’s the only local eatery featured. The restaurant near the Gandy Bridge, at 5415 W Tyson Ave. in Rattlesnake Point, opened in 2019, offering a rustic waterfront spot accessible by boat or car.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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