Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up
Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and other countries are beginning to push up prices and depress demand in spots around the Tampa Bay area and Florida, business executives say. "We’ve definitely seen that the tariffs have increased the prices on steel," said Chris Bush, an owner at Titan Metal Service in Tampa. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida gives its medical marijuana office $13.3 million more despite criticism
A joint committee of state lawmakers reluctantly approved another $13.3 million in funding for the state office regulating medical marijuana Thursday, despite being frustrated by delays in implementing the bill that broadly legalized the drug for medical use last summer. [Source: Times/Herald]
Florida parks foundation inherits $19 million from Wisconsin farmer
Florida State Parks Foundation is inheriting $19 million from a land-rich Wisconsin farmer who died three years and initially wanted in his will to leave his wealth with the son of a Ukrainian woman he had romanced years ago. The Wisconsin land owner spent many winters in Florida and loved visiting the state parks. Paula Russo, President of the Foundation, said, "We are obviously delighted and deeply grateful because we are now able to do so much more for our parks, staff and volunteers, and the millions of people who visit them." See the news release from the Florida State Parks Foundation, here. Also read more at the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida-based veterans nonprofit exploited millions in donations across US
A nonprofit led by former Orlando mayoral candidate Neil "Paul" Paulson Sr. misled people who donated more than $20 million to his charity thinking the funds would go toward helping provide services to veterans, Attorney General Pam Bondi said. See a press release about this case, plus how Bondi's office is combating fraudulent veteran's charities. Also read more at WKMG and the Star Tribune.
Those logo-laden blue interstate signs? They’re big money for Florida
The iconic blue signs at interstate highway exits, festooned with logos for hotels, gas stations, restaurants and tourist attractions, are much more than harbingers of rest, recreation and refueling. They also generate significant revenue for state governments. The Florida Logo Sign Program annual revenue is approximately $3.5 million. [Source: Northwest Florida Daily News]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
›Florida accepts election security money. Now, counties await their checks
Five-and-a-half weeks before a statewide primary election, the Legislature accepted $19.2 million in federal money Thursday to strengthen voting systems against threats of intrusion by Russians and others.
Florida Trend Regional Report
› Calculations: Orange County's string of GOP mayors may be coming to an end
The last three Orange County mayors were Republicans. That may be about to change. Former Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, a Democrat, is getting a hand from central Florida’s typically Republican-leaning business community in his bid for county mayor. Plus, business briefs and people in the news for Central Florida.
› Lucky's spreads more good fortune in Florida
Natural foods grocer Lucky's Market has big expansion plans for the Sunshine State. The company has signed leases for new stores in Venice, West Boca, Pensacola and Ormond Beach, Fla. New stores in these cities are scheduled to open in the next 18 to 24 months.
› St. Petersburg beef company recalls more than 6,000 pounds of meat
A St. Petersburg wholesale meat retailer is recalling more than 6,000 pounds of fresh and frozen beef because of possible E. coli contamination, the USDA said Thursday.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
In case you missed it: