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June 20, 2018

Thursday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/22/2013

State tags public lands for potential sales

The state has released long-awaited maps showing more than 5,000 acres of Florida park and conservation land potentially available for purchase as surplus acreage. State officials expect to generate $50 million from sales of the parcels and plan to spend the proceeds on future acquisition of conservation lands. The list of 169 parcels proposed for sale was harshly criticized by many environmental activists. More at the Orlando Sentinel, WTEV and WJCT.

See also:
» Project Overview from Florida Department of Environmental Protection
» List of potential Florida park land parcels for sale

Army Corps of Engineers reduces flow from Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee. The Corps is making the move as a result of falling lake levels, drier conditions and an improving precipitation forecast, officials said. More at the AP and the Miami Herald.


Mutual respect is paramount at FCCI Insurance Group

Early in his career, FCCI CEO Craig Johnson worked for USF&G, a mammoth insurance company that he says didn’t concern itself much with employee morale.

The culture, he says, was more about quarterly profits and less about people. By the time he left USF&G, which was merged into another company in the late 1990s, Johnson had a template for how not to create a positive workplace.

» Full story

» Florida Realtors: Lake O Releases Are Hurting Tourism, Second Home Sales

Floating city for Biscayne Bay?

A Dutch developer is eyeing Biscayne Bay for a $200 million floating development. Netherlands-based Dutch Docklands wants the equivalent of 500 to 1,000 acres to build a floating island with housing, schools, offices, shopping centers, hotels and perhaps a golf course. More at Miami Today.

Hialeah packs 'em in

Even on a weeknight, the slot and poker players pack Hialeah Park Casino while others linger in a massive line for player's club cards. The casino, part of an attempt to revitalize the historic horse track, has been busier than expected since opening Aug. 14. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Turning grass into gas

For almost 200 years cellulosic ethanol has had the potential to be one of the world’s greenest fuels. Unlike corn ethanol, cellulosic doesn’t rely on food crops. The trick is to make the ethanol sustainably, in bulk, and at a price that competes with crude oil. More at Salon.

Out of the Box
Coffee grounds help entrepreneur launch company

starbodyBarbara “Babs” Mekolites is on a caffeine high, of sorts, these days. As the founder of Starbody Beauty Products, a line that uses spent coffee and espresso grounds as a base ingredient for facial scrubs and wraps, Mekolites recently learned she made it past the first round of Walmart’s annual “Get on the Shelf” competition. Now she wants Brevard County residents, and their friends and relatives, to vote online for Starbody, to boost her chances with the Walmart judges.

» More from Florida Today

Tags: Daily Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Wild Willy's adding two go-kart tracks, bumper boats and more
Wild Willy's adding two go-kart tracks, bumper boats and more

New attractions are coming soon to Wild Willy's Adventure Zone on Okaloosa Island. Crews have already put down two 1,000-foot go-kart tracks as part of an expansion that will include bumper boats, a chipping range, climbing wall, kiddie rides and more miniature golf.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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