Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Gambling amendment wins enough signatures for ballot
A proposed constitutional amendment aimed at limiting gambling’s expansion in Florida now has enough signatures to be placed on the 2018 ballot. Florida's Division of Elections shows the “Voter Control of Gambling” amendment now has 817,766 valid signatures — more than the 766,200 required. The group behind the initiative is Voters in Charge (see their press release touting Amendment 3, here). The Division of Elections cautions that totals are unofficial until certified. [Source: Florida Politics]
Winter Storm Inga brings Florida its third snow event this winter
Winter Storm Inga is now bringing snow and freezing rain to the Florida panhandle, the third round of snow and ice to the Sunshine State this winter season. The last time multiple snow and ice events were reported in the same winter in Florida was seven years ago. More from the Weather Channel and WKMG.
» Central Florida placed under freeze watch as cold temperatures approach
» Panhandle braces for deep freeze
» Arctic air could bring freezing temperatures to Southwest Florida
» Freeze warning issued for Tampa Bay area tonight
» Schools closing due to cold weather
Officials could be banned from fundraising during session
The Florida governor, lieutenant governor and Cabinet members wouldn't be able to accept political contributions while the Legislature is in session under a bill moving through the House. The Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee overwhelmingly approved the bill Wednesday. More from the AP.
TECO, Duke linemen to help restore power in Puerto Rico
As more than 1.5 million people in Puerto Rico remain powerless, Florida linemen are stepping up and flying out to the island to help restore electricity. On Wednesday morning, 25 linemen boarded a flight from Tampa International Airport to Puerto Rico. That’s after 100 linemen from Duke Energy traveled there on Sunday. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida's rental market had significant YOY growth during 2017
While rent growth slowed down in the nation's hottest markets, Florida went against the current in 2017. Florida's most expensive cities for renters, Fort Lauderdale and Miramar both exhibited significant YOY growth rates in December. The source of this rental information is a comprehensive study put out by RENTCafé and using data from Yardi Matrix. Full story here.
Rare Florida sparrow could vanish this year
The grasshopper sparrow, a tiny Florida prairie bird perched on the verge of extinction for the last decade, may have encountered a final, unconquerable foe: an invasive new disease quickly killing off its young.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Gil Waters’ devotion to the causes he believed in helped build the John Ringling Causeway in Sarasota, spurred a crucial decade of growth and laid the foundation for a billion-dollar company, FCCI Insurance Group. Waters played a variety of roles within the community: reporter, business leader, city commissioner, developer, activist, philanthropist.
» Read more from the Business Observer.
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