Hurricane Delta expected to approach Gulf Coast as major Cat 3 storm; part of Florida in cone
A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Delta is expected to become a major hurricane on Wednesday before approaching the Gulf Coast, including Florida’s western Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday morning. “There is a significant risk of dangerous storm surge, wind and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle beginning Thursday night or Friday,” the NHC said in its 5 a.m. advisory. [More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
More than 500K vote-by-mail ballots returned so far in Florida
Supervisors of Elections across the state have already counted more than half a million vote-by-mail ballots less than a month out of the 2020 presidential election. According to the Florida Division of Elections website, a total of 571,574 vote-by-mail ballots have been returned as of 8:20 a.m. Monday. Of the returned mail-in votes, 305,982 came from registered Democrats, while 157,855 came from registered Republicans. More from WCTV and the News Service of Florida.
Justices to referee Florida-Georgia water fight’s latest round
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the latest phase of Florida and Georgia’s long-running feud over a shared water basin. The justices issued an order Monday saying they’ll set an argument date “in due course” to resolve the Southeastern states’ most recent dispute over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. More from the News Service of Florida and Bloomberg Law.
Some companies are going back to the office. Here’s how they’re redesigning for safety
As the pandemic continues, some of its long-term effects on homes, offices and entertainment are already visible in the construction industry. John Wood and AJ Mueller, who co-founded Origin Construction earlier this year, are working with clients to create a “new normal” for office interiors, retail spaces, medical offices, restaurants and ground-up commercial buildings. [Source: Miami Herald]
Organizers propose 'values-based' bank in Florida
Ken LaRoe is looking to form another bank built around protecting the environment. Climate First would serve retail and commercial clients, including an emphasis on nongovernmental organizations and businesses committed to sustainability efforts. The bank would offer loans for solar photovoltaic, energy retrofits and infrastructure to help combat climate change. [Source: American Banker]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Norwegian Cruise Line cancels cruises until December after CDC no-sail order extended [Miami Herald]
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has canceled cruises on its three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas — until December. The announcement comes just days after the White House overruled a plan by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ban U.S. cruises until February 2021. Instead, the agency extended its “no-sail order” through Oct. 31.
› Horntail snails join pythons and lionfish as a Florida pest [WKMG]
Florida is known for fighting invasive species. The state encourages people to kill lionfish, iguanas and pythons. But now there’s a new non-native critter to worry about -- the horntail snail. The gastropod that’s a pest in India for its voracious consumption of farm products was found in Miami in August. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a warning about the snail this week.
› Laid-off Disney World employees find side work and unity in Facebook group [Orlando Sentinel]
Feeling survivor’s guilt that she kept her job during the economic crisis, Disney World employee Maxine Wild wanted to make a difference. That’s why Wild started a Facebook group for out of work Disney employees to advertise their side hustles, from the Disney chef selling pastries made at home to the Imagineer who can do interior decorating.
› Drivers paying higher gas prices in Southwest Florida [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Gas prices jumped over the last week in Southwest Florida, marking the fourth straight month that kicked off with a bump at the pump. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice market was $2.19 early Monday, AAA reported, up 12 cents from last week. But local gas is 29 cents lower than a year ago, AAA said.
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› Shark-free COVID-19 vaccine petition makes waves, gains more online support [Orlando Sentinel]
An online movement to save sharks from becoming the next victims of the COVID-19 pandemic is growing in support. Earlier in September, a Los Angeles-based, shark-protection group, Shark Allies, made a post on Facebook and created a petition on Change.org regarding the dangers shark populations face as countries around the world race to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
› Jacksonville, Shad Khan to unveil latest Lot J development plans [Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville City Hall and Jaguars owner Shad Khan have reached an agreement to develop Lot J that will be unveiled during a news conference at noon Monday. The announcement comes more than a year after Mayor Lenny Curry said the city and Khan had reached terms to develop Lot J.
› Spotlight on the Latest Florida Ag Hall of Fame Inductees [Growing Produce]
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has announced the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees for 2021. The induction ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 16, 2021. The four individuals selected by the organization are being recognized for achievements and the global impact each has had on the industry and fair-trade practices, Fried noted.
› Here are the Orlando Regal movie theaters closing as part of U.S. shutdown [Orlando Sentinel]
Regal Cinemas is temporarily shutting down its movie theaters nationwide on Thursday because of a lack of new films being released during the coronavirus pandemic. The chain has Central Florida theaters in Pointe Orlando, Winter Park Village, Waterford Lakes, Oviedo Mall, Kissimmee, Apopka, Port Orange and Ormond Beach. In all, it has 536 locations in the U.S.