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]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› New $106M Orlando Holocaust museum takes next steps toward construction [Orlando Business Journal]
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 [Miami Herald]
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. [Business Observer]
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 [Florida Times-Union]
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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› Boeing building $39 million components facility at Cecil Airport [Jacksonville Daily Record]
Jacksonville approved a permit May 31 for Clayco Construction Co. Inc. to build the $39 million Boeing Component Operations facility at Cecil Airport in West Jacksonville. The 150,385-square-foot building is under development at 5869 Approach Road. The facility will be used for the repair and servicing of aircraft components and will consist of a large general work area, specialized work areas, and break, office, meeting and training spaces.
› Miami’s love affair with omakase continues as new sushi spot opens in Coconut Grove [Miami Herald]
The restaurant boom in Coconut Grove continues: A popular spot for sushi in Wynwood and Aventura has just opened in the Grove. Omakai Sushi, from brothers Diego and Pedro Quijada and their friends Nicolas Sayavedra and Chef Aaron Pate, just opened on Mary Street in the Grove’s Oak Avenue Plaza, next to Aida Mexican Seafood.
› Bill gives Brevard County's south beaches extra protection from increased development [Florida Today]
Each hurricane reminds South Brevard barrier islanders of the perils of beach life: How long it takes to evacuate. How narrow the beaches are. How even modest rain sends sewage spewing into the Indian River Lagoon. They're tired of being reminded, especially when local officials publicly ponder packing in more high-rises and rentals in their remote stretch of the county that harkens back to what much of Florida once looked like.
› Norse Atlantic leaving Fort Lauderdale for Miami International [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
For Norse Atlantic Airways, the greener runways are at Miami International Airport. The discount airline abruptly announced Wednesday that it is ending its groundbreaking TransAtlantic service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Europe and will start flying out of Miami on Sept. 18. The reason: The customer pool is deeper in Miami.