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September 23, 2018

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/17/2018

Florida algae crisis: Is it safe to visit?

Florida is living through an unprecedented environmental crisis that’s devastating tourism, recreation and wildlife along the state's southwest coast. Southwest Florida beaches have been largely empty in recent weeks, and businesses, hoteliers and vacation rental landlords are all reporting losses and lower-than-usual occupancy rates. More from the Fort Myers News-Press and the News Review.

See also:
» Nelson, Rubio call for passage of WRDA bill to address algae crisis
» Researchers may be on brink of solving deadly red tides
» How Hurricane Irma may be a factor in red tide and algae outbreak
» Earlier this week: Gov. Scott issues emergency order for red tide

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Judith A. Bense

Judith Bense

Former UWF President Judith A. Bense, sheds light on what she learned growing up on a dairy farm and more. Bense, who is also an anthropology and archaeology researcher, said “I had to put my archaeology aside. I couldn’t touch it. It was difficult. But I will tell you that being a university president is so distracting, the schedule is such a killer, that you don’t have time to think..." Read all her quotes in the interview, here.

Florida’s teacher shortage is "real, and it’s going to get worse"

As millions of Florida's school children returned to classes this week, many schools struggled to find enough teachers greet and teach them. A review of three years' worth of statewide teacher job vacancies posted to district websites in the days before school began revealed a disturbing trend. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

State, county, Boca offering growing tech company money to stay put

A Boca Raton-based business that provides emergency response systems promises it will invest $3.6 million into their facility, create 150 jobs, and estimates it will generate $295 million local economic impact. But there’s a catch: The company wants incentives, otherwise it might move to Alabama where it also has an office. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Want to win a Florida liquor license? Entry period starts Monday

Florida is one of 17 states with quotas on the number of liquor licenses they issue, and it is among even fewer that distribute them via a lottery. A county gets one license for every 7,500 increase in population. The number of new licenses has steadily climbed since 2015 when just 30 were issued. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› SunPass customers get details on how to seek reimbursement of overdrafts
The Florida Department of Transportation unveiled a way for SunPass users to seek reimbursements for overdrafts caused by the transponder system’s billing debacle. Meanwhile, the Central Florida Expressway Authority pledged to protect its E-PASS customers caught up in SunPass troubles.

› Innovative Food Holdings of Bonita reports revenue up but profit down in quarter
The Bonita Springs-based company reported revenue of $11.99 million, up from $10.51 million in the quarter last year. The increase was attributed primarily to the company's subsidiary, Innovative Gourmet, which sells a variety of specialty cheeses, fine foods and gift food baskets through its online store at igourmet.com.

› Gainesville Chamber CEO heads back to Texas
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce announced this week that Susan Davenport, its president and CEO, is leaving for a job in Houston. Davenport, who has been with the Chamber since 2013, has accepted a position as the new chief economic development officer at the Greater Houston Partnership.

› Port Manatee leases 10-acre facility for $360,000 a year
The Manatee County Port Authority has approved a long-term lease of a 10-acre facility where ships will deliver crushed stone to the port. The agreement, for as many as 20 years including options, will pay the port a total of $1.8 million for the first five years, in addition to wharfage payments for cargo that is shipped through the dock.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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Miami Beach considers annexing western Venetian Islands
Miami Beach considers annexing western Venetian Islands

Two of the Venetian Islands are part of Miami while the other four belong to Miami Beach. Some residents of Biscayne and San Marco islands say they want to join Miami Beach, but they face an uphill battle.

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