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May 27, 2018

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/15/2018

As Florida's grapefruit supply dwindles, Japanese customers lose interest

In the glory days, not all that long ago, Florida grapefruit farmers built their lives around Japan. Japan has one-third the population of the United States but consumed as much or more Florida grapefruit. Among imports in a typical Tokyo produce aisle, it was second only to bananas. Now Florida’s grapefruit market is in shambles. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Latest citrus crop forecast from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

'I'm staying': Months after Maria, Puerto Ricans settle in Florida

It is a refrain that has been repeated in recent months by tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have closed shops, quit jobs and raced to Florida, transforming cities across the state. It's the largest migration ever from the Caribbean island, already surpassing the one after World War II. [Source: NBC News]

Florida could start a criminal-justice data revolution

The Florida Legislature approved a bill, introduced by Republican state representative Chris Sprowls, that requires every entity within the state’s criminal justice system to collect an unprecedented amount of data and publish it in one publicly accessible database. [Source: WIRED]

Opinion: Florida insurance abuse spiraling out of control

Unscrupulous contractors, aided by their attorneys, are exploiting an insurance provision called Assignment of Benefits (AOB) to enrich themselves at the expense of Florida consumers, and politicians in Tallahassee have done little to mitigate this growing epidemic. [Source: Pensacola News-Journal]

Related, from Florida Trend:
» Editor's column: Whose benefits?

Mark and Sy Israel

Like father … A profile of Universal Engineering Sciences

54 years ago, Sy Israel founded Universal Engineering Sciences. Today, with the help of his son Mark, Universal has become the largest, family-owned geotechnical engineering firm in the U.S. Full story here. [Sponsored report]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Former Coke Florida president sues company and CEO
Reginald Goins, a co-founder and former president of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, says he is owed at least $42.8 million after he was fired from his job on March 6.

Backstory, from Florida Trend archives:
» Coca-Cola Beverages Florida: ‘It's about the brand'

› Niche for specialty pumpkins being carved out in Florida
Pumpkins are more than just Jack-o’-lanterns. And yes, their purpose goes beyond being a symbol for the fall season, too. Is there a place for specialty pumpkins in Florida farming? UF/IFAS researchers are aiming to find out.

› Maitland software company M2 Systems files bankruptcy
M2 Systems, a Maitland firm that specializes in electronic financial transfer software, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company says the bankruptcy was filed mostly because it is appealing a $3.8 million judgment against it stemming from a civil lawsuit in Connecticut.

› Enterprise Florida mission to Costa Rica nets $23 million
The state’s official economic development organization, Enterprise Florida, reported about $23.2 million in total sales after it led an export mission to San Jose, Costa Rica.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, and the rest of his team NOAA, are predicting an 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will either be near-normal or above normal.

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