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October 21, 2018

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/10/2018

NOAA now predicts less-active Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA forecast

The chances of a major hurricane happening this year have dropped dramatically, federal forecasters said on Thursday. That upbeat revised prediction comes just as the Atlantic hurricane season typically heats up, with August, September and October historically producing the most and strongest storms. Full news release from NOAA here. Also read more at the Miami Herald, ABC News, and TCPalm.

Florida county tries unconventional approach to deal with massive teacher shortage

The superintendent for Polk County, Jacqueline Byrd, needs every qualified teacher she can get to manage her massive 104,000 student school district. But they'll be short at least 100 teachers when students return to class Monday. [Source: CBS News]

Blue wave? As Florida primary ballots are mailed in, Republicans more engaged

Florida Democrats have a competitive five-candidate primary for governor and a widespread loathing of President Donald Trump to motivate them this year — the perfect conditions for a midterm “blue wave.” But so far, there’s little evidence of heightened Democratic enthusiasm in the run-up to the state’s Aug. 28 primaries. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida agricultural company owes workers nearly $1 million in wages

The United States Department of Labor is suing a South Florida food packaging plant for wage theft. According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida at the end of June, Green Bean Packers Inc. in Florida City owes 351 current and former employees nearly $1 million in back overtime pay and damages. [Source: Miami Herald]

Philanthropy
Publix Super Markets Charities donates $5 million to help alleviate hunger

On Thursday, Publix Super Markets Charities began distributing $5 million to more than 240 nonprofit organizations, including Feeding America® member food banks, focused on alleviating hunger across Publix’s operating area. Publix CEO Todd Jones personally visited many of the charities and handed out checks. The donation will provide funding to assist in the nourishment of children, seniors and families in need. This news release lists many of the recipient charities, including eight in Florida. Publix is the largest private comany based in Florida.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Parker Solar Probe ready to launch milestone research from Space Coast
Eugene Parker cannot say definitively whether the Parker Solar Probe launch scheduled for early Saturday morning will be a success. But the 91-year-old physicist isn’t hedging his bets. “I will believe there is a successful launch when there is a successful launch,” said Parker, who the mission is named after. “But I’ll betcha 10 bucks it succeeds.”

› Broward, Palm Beach county commissions look into incentives for companies considering relocation
Economic incentives are on the agenda next week for the Broward and Palm Beach county commissions. Both groups are conducting meetings to discuss incentives for companies that are considering relocating elsewhere.

› Winter Park could limit downtown restaurants to address parking woes
Winter Park could limit new restaurants at its popular downtown district in an attempt to solve a parking-space crunch. City officials have been trying to address parking problems on Park Avenue for years as Winter Park businesses, residents and visitors complain about a lack of parking spots.

› Hillsborough bed tax collections set monthly record (again)
With two months left in its budget year, Visit Tampa Bay said Hillsborough hotels have collected $29.1 million, which is nearly as much as in all of 2016. So far, hotel bed taxes — a 5 percent surcharge on overnight stays — have set records in nine out of 10 months so far during this fiscal year.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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