Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Demands for action intensify at huge rally at Florida’s Capitol
Florida became the epicenter of an historic debate over gun violence Wednesday as a growing #NeverAgain movement seized the national spotlight to demand action a week after the massacre in Parkland. The largest protest in two decades led thousands to the state capitol. The crowd chanted slogans like "vote them out" and "never again," railing against the Republican-controlled chamber. Alfonso Calderon, one of the shooting survivors, said, "We're going to keep pushing until something is done, because people are dying and this can't happen anymore." More from Tampa Bay Times, the AP, the Miami Herald, and Business Insider.
» Florida workers' pension fund invested in gun manufacturers
» Parkland students have a cause and $3.5 million. Here’s how they’re going to spend it.
» Rubio faces tough audience at CNN forum
» Florida students Bbegan with optimism. Then they spoke to lawmakers.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's newest Supreme Court justice changes the high court's dynamics
New Florida Supreme Court Justice Alan Lawson has taken a narrower view of which cases the court should hear than his predecessor. “Justice Lawson tends to take a much more strict view of what it means to be in conflict,” says one appellate attorney who regularly appears before the Supreme Court. “His more strict interpretation of the court’s jurisdiction is the biggest difference between him and Justice Perry.” Full profile here.
With deportation looming, Haitian workers highlight their role in Florida's tourism industry
Many Haitians gained protection after the 2010 earthquake destabilized the country. Florida is home to more than half of the Haitians with temporary protected status who face deportation. Many work in the state’s $111.7 billion hospitality industry. Listen to the story from Marketplace:
Gov. Scott to approve civil rights leader Bethune statue bill
The Florida House voted 111-1 on Tuesday to support placing the statue of civil rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, replacing Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. More from the Daily Business Review and the Florida Times-Union.
Overdoses, DUIs, stolen drugs: Florida’s third-biggest fire rescue department has a problem
Hillsborough County has a documented history of drug issues — and alcohol abuse — among first responders. A Tampa Bay Times investigation found 47 drug- and alcohol-related incidents involving county fire rescue employees since 2010. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Tampa Bay homes prices soar by double-digits in January
Home prices soared in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in January, the highest gains in several months. Prices for single family homes also rose in Hernando and Pasco as the shortage of available homes showed no immediate sign of easing.
› Help for Florida farmers advancing in Senate
Farmers and other parts of Florida’s agriculture industry could receive about $75 million in post-Hurricane Irma assistance from the state next year under a measure moving forward in the Senate. See the bill, SB 1608 "Agricultural Recovery," here.
› FPL website now can handle 'extreme' customer traffic after failing in Hurricane Irma, the utility tells regulators
Florida Power & Light Co. says its website, FPL.com, now can handle more customer traffic after having failed in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Irma, according to documents filed this week with the Florida Public Service Commission.
› Florida gun show cancels event after mayor asks ‘courteously’
The Florida Gun & Knife Show, an annual event for decades in Broward County, won’t happen just over a month after the mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
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