Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
New payday loan bill could save the industry. Or make it more profitable.
Floridians, mostly in poor neighborhoods, took out a staggering 7.7 million payday loans over 12 months in 2016 and 2017. And nearly a third of all customers took out at least 12 loans that year, a clear sign of the "debt trap" that lenders profit from, critics say. See analysis of HB 857 from the Florida House of Representatives here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.
Florida still at risk for offshore drilling
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's splashy announcement that Florida was "off the table" for new oil drilling plans may legally taint that possibility, a law professor argued Thursday. Alyson Flournoy, a University of Florida environmental law expert said Zinke's comment are not legally binding and step on the Interior Department's decision making process. Full story from WUSF, here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times.
Miami's Kaseya helps businesses keep their IT systems running
A privately held firm with more than 900 employees, 16 offices internationally and 2017 revenues of about $200 million, Kaseya sells its services/products to companies called MSPs — managed service providers, or IT service providers. More from the Miami Herald.
Top Florida lawmakers and Seminole Tribe officials reopen gambling compact discussions
Florida legislative leaders met Thursday with officials for the Seminole Tribe, which operates casinos across the state through Seminole Gaming, thus renewing discussions over the participation of the tribe in the state’s gambling industry. More from Casino News.
Mote Marine manatees divided once again on Super Bowl winner
All it took was one quick bop of their snouts and Mote Marine Laboratory’s famous manatees made their predictions for Sunday’s Super Bowl winner for the eleventh year in a row. Just one problem: they chose different teams. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Sunspot: Updates on solar projects
Based on data from the Environment America Research & Policy Center, Jacksonville will be generating more power from solar than any U.S. city by 2020, McInall says. JEA will spend up to $50 million to build the solar plants.
» More from Florida Trend.
Thompson Mug Co.
Randall Thompson got the idea for a million-dollar business while sitting in a dugout. Thompson, the pitching coach at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, was listening to hitting coach Matt Mercurio give a lesson to the baseball team. Mercurio was using a bat with the top half, or barrel, cut off, which makes it easier for hitters to watch their hands during a swing. Thompson picked up the barrel and wondered: Could you drill that out and drink from it?
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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