Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Gov. Scott proposes $500 million school safety program, no ban on specific weapons, no armed teachers
Gov. Rick Scott unveiled an action plan today in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that includes putting a law enforcement officer in every public school, increasing "Safe Schools funding," and hiring more mental health counselors. Scott did not call to arm teachers and didn't recommend a ban on specific weapons like the AR-15. The governor's full plan is here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times.
As space launch business heats up in Florida, Air Force commander tries to break records
Since U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith took command of the 45th Space Wing in August 2015, 50 satellites have gone to space under his watch. What is happening now at the Florida spaceports, he said, is the “second renaissance of space.” More from Space News.
Trade delegates from eight nations visit Port Manatee
Although Port Manatee already has connections with each of them, trade delegates from eight nations convened at the port Thursday for the first time to discuss how they and Florida-based businesses can cooperate more to benefit each other economically. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Orlando startup groups merge under StarterStudio name
The merger of three Orlando groups that support entrepreneurs under the name StarterStudio will help their effort to raise money and clear up confusion its leaders say exists around their missions. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Palm Beach County population poised to pass 1.5 million
Palm Beach County is one of Florida’s fastest-growing metro areas, according to commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. It pegs Palm Beach County’s annual population growth at 2.8 percent, trailing only Fort Myers and Orlando. More from the Palm Beach Post.
As spring approaches, festivals bloom at Florida’s theme pParks
Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. The parties draw crowds to parks during a typically slow time of year.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Innovation in Florida
For the last five years, Plant City strawberry grower Gary Wishnatzki has worked closely with Bob Pitzer, a robotics designer, to create a robot that harvests strawberries. Their company, Harvest CROO, already has a prototype that’s picking berries in Florida fields, and they project that the robot will be in widespread use by 2020.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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