Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Troubled SunPass vendor could have to pay $1.7 million, but Florida isn’t asking for it
The vendor responsible for recent problems with the SunPass tolling system could be on the hook to pay the state at least $1.7 million. But the Florida Department of Transportation hasn’t asked Conduent State and Local Solutions for the money nor is it pursuing litigation. The original contract included a clause that if Conduent didn’t provide the system within the agreed upon timeline, then Florida had the right to collect $5,000 for each calendar day past the deadline. It’s been a year since the contract’s original August 2017 deadline. Read more at the Tampa Bay Times.
Chewing gum heir sinks money into Florida medical marijuana
The Wrigley fortune was built on its domination of the chewing gum market, but an heir to the confectionery dynasty is investing millions in an industry that not so long ago had a far less wholesome reputation. William "Beau" Wrigley, Jr. has joined Surterra Wellness as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Surterra Wellness is a cannabis healthcare company and is doing business in Florida. More in an announcement from Surerra. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and the AP.
Florida Trend Exclusive
How healthy is Florida?
Snapshots from around the state include quality of life, HIV in Florida, how doctors in Florida rank as compared to other states, how Floridians die. The article also profiles major counties and highlights both good health news and bad health news in each. Full story here.
» This is the first in a series. Coming next week: A look at how Hotelier Harris Rosen’s venture into health care is reaping rewards; how Florida has been cutting spending on public health.
Duke Energy Florida customers will soon get smart meters — or pay a fee
Duke Energy Florida is transitioning its home energy meters to smart meters between this fall and 2022. But if customers want to opt out, it will cost them. Regulators on Tuesday gave the utility permission to charge a monthly fee of $15.60 for any customer who wants to stay with the current meter system. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
How the American Dream Miami mega-mall became an issue in the Florida governor’s race
What was once a personal dilemma for Gwen Graham — whether or not to publicly support the family company’s involvement in the American Dream Miami mega-mall project — has become a political one, as her opponents publicly blast her for refusing to take a position on it. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› NYC area’s tax-reform refugees fuel luxury-home boom in Florida
When the owner of a financial-services firm in Connecticut saw the U.S. tax overhaul pass in December, capping state and local deductions, he packed his bags. Now he lives in South Florida, soaking up the sun and some serious annual savings.
› Florida inmates spent $11.3 million on MP3s. Now prisons are taking the players.
For the last seven years, inmates have stocked the libraries of their personal MP3 players with $2 downloads. Come January, they’ll be forced to hand it all over because the Florida Department of Corrections signed a new deal with a competing company.
› Tampa's Massey law group adds Fort Lauderdale office
Tampa-based Massey Law Group has expanded to Fort Lauderdale with an office led by Jonathan “JB” Lewis as the managing partner. Lewis joins the 10-attorney firm from Hyman & Lewis in Fort Lauderdale.
› LECOM buys Sarasota radio station WSRQ
Local radio station WSRQ-FM 106.9 is being sold to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has a campus in Lakewood Ranch. The station will continue with its current programming, music of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, Lampl said, but will be owned by a nonprofit and will be supported by sponsorships rather than ads.
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