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Friday's Daily Pulse

Unemployment claims dip in Florida for third consecutive week

First-time unemployment claims in Florida dipped for a third consecutive week. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 5,656 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Aug. 6, down from a revised count of 6,140 claims during the week that ended July 30. The drop in Florida came as jobless claims nationally increased by 14,000 to 262,000. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of August 12th

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NASA selects two UCF scientists to lead robotic exploration mission to the moon

NASA has selected two planetary scientists at the University of Central Florida — Kerri Donaldson Hanna and Adrienne Dove — to lead a 2026 robotic mission to explore a mysterious section of the moon known as the Gruithuisen Domes. While the rounded lunar mountains have never been visited up close, fly-over data from previous missions suggests they formed from volcanic eruptions of silicic lava. If that’s the case, the rock could provide important resources for future moon explorations. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Citizens surpasses 1 million insurance policies

Florida’s residual market insurer, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, has now surpassed more than 1 million policies, the first time it has been at this level of portfolio exposure, in terms of policy count, since 2013. Florida Citizens had added on average 32,000 new policies to its portfolios every month through 2021. The rate of assumption has been increasing in recent weeks, with Citizens now looking set to eclipse the forecast it had provided earlier this year. More from Reinsurance News and Artemis.

Florida state law enforcement officers receive pay raise but no bonus check this year

Florida state law enforcement officers won't be seeing $1,000 bonus checks this year, but they are receiving a pay raise — the first in years. These bonus checks would have been the second round of federally funded first-responder bonuses received by state police. In 2021, both local and state first responders received bonuses of the same amount. However, this year state law enforcement is excluded. [Source: WTSP]


› Up in the air? Records reveal city's attempts to land Amazon Air at Tallahassee airport
Project Alpha and its $450 million in economic impact stirred rumors that Amazon Air could be circling Tallahassee International Airport. Another company, North American Aerospace Industries, was later revealed as the mysterious business – one that could could generate more than 900 new jobs for the capital city as the North Carolina-based recycler of aircraft parts expands its operations in the U.S. market. But, for more than year, Tallahassee has been working to pin down a deal with Amazon Air.

› Broward district is asking voters to double tax rate to boost teacher pay, school safety
Broward voters are faced with whether they want to increase their property taxes for the next four years to finance raises for teachers, hire more school security staff and bolster mental health programs in Broward public schools or pass on that proposition, given higher prices at the pump and in the supermarket aisle.

› Walmart’s drone delivery could land in at least two Central Florida cities
Another Central Florida city is on the radar to land Walmart’s new drone delivery service of Hamburger Helper and other groceries. A two-story tower for drone delivery is proposed for the parking lot of a Walmart at 904 Cypress Parkway in Kissimmee, an Osceola County pre-application meeting request shows. A three-story tower for drone delivery at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 433 S. Avalon Park Blvd. in east Orange County is also proposed.

› Lights, Camera, The Bay? Recent films bring millions into Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay's beaches, suburbs, downtown areas, and businesses are all coming to the silver screen. Since September 11, filmmakers have chosen this area as the setting for their films on Lifetime and Hallmark. Each of the films are produced under a partnership with Visit St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg/ Clearwater Film Commission.

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› Adecco's move to Florida Blue campus will follow $6.2 million office makeover
A $6.2 million makeover is in the works for a former Florida Blue office complex on Jacksonville’s Southside. Adecco employment services is going to overhaul three floors of the building at 4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway, according to construction permits approved by the city this month.

› California company to buy Hotel Melby for $59 million in downtown Melbourne
A California corporation is buying the 11-story Hotel Melby in downtown Melbourne for $59 million and bringing in a new, larger firm to manage operations, food and beverage. Hotel Melby opened amid fanfare in April 2021 as a key economic-development anchor to bring visitors — and out-of-town dollars — to downtown Melbourne.

› This iconic Little Havana theater is starting a program with a Cuban-American pop artist
The white walls inside Little Havana’s historic Tower Theater have almost always been bare (and ignored) for years. Moviegoers would rather look at a screen than a wall, after all. But a local artist’s new pop exhibition — complete with a bucking cowboy, a roaring pink tiger and pair of hula dancers ripped from comic book pages — have made the blank walls a much more colorful, attention-grabbing space.

› Concerned with brand image, Hillsborough bus agency proposes slashing ad revenue
Concerned with brand image, Hillsborough County’s transit agency has proposed shrinking a reliable revenue stream: fully wrapped bus ads. In its proposed operating budget for the next financial year, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority seeks to cut its advertising revenue to $500,000 from $1,233,398 the year prior. The agency wants to prioritize ad space for its own branding efforts, officials said.