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September 23, 2018

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/21/2018

Hurricane peak season: Tropics roared in ’17; winds calmer now . . . so far

Harvey was a harmless tropical storm and Irma was still a breeze in Africa as peak hurricane season dawned a year ago in a pulsing Atlantic basin set to detonate. Ten consecutive hurricanes, including six major storms, stained 2017 with devastating floods in Houston, evacuation horrors in Florida, and months of darkness in Puerto Rico. It’s different this year. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Gov. Rick Scott asks for federal business relief over toxic algae blooms

Gov. Rick Scott requested the U.S. Small Business Administration on Monday to issue an Economic Injury Disaster declaration to help businesses in Martin and Lee counties that are being affected by toxic algae blooms. The declaration would give low-interest loans to small businesses so they can recover from the harm caused by the algae blooms. See Gov. Scott's letter to the SBA here. Also read more at TCPalm.

Gunster brings on team of attorneys with long-standing Tampa ties

Gunster law firms is bolstering its Tampa presence with the addition of eight attorneys to its Tampa office. The team includes William J. Schifino, Jr., John A. Schifino, Scott Brown, Daniel P. Dietrich and Iden Sinai -- who will join the firm as shareholders. Justin P. Bennett and Madison E.M. Gardiner will come on board as associates, and William J. Schifino, Sr. will serve as of counsel. The team was formerly with Burr Forman. More in this news release.

A freshwater, saltwater tug-of-war is eating away at the Everglades

The Everglades, nicknamed the river of grass, has endured its share of threats. Decades of human tinkering to make South Florida an oasis for residents and a profitable place for farmers and businesses has redirected water away from the wetlands. Runoff from agricultural fields bordering the national park causes perennial toxic algal blooms in Florida’s coastal estuaries. [Source: Science News]

Florida ballots break 1 million barrier with about a week to go

After the first weekend of early voting, more than a million Floridians had cast ballots in the primary through Sunday, the state Division of Elections reports. Republicans maintain a brisker overall pace than Democrats. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Central Florida police, fire departments embrace drones despite privacy concerns
Florida law and Federal Aviation Administration requirements limit how agencies use drones. The operator has to be licensed by the FAA, cannot fly the device higher than 400 feet and must have a warrant unless the situation is urgent. Florida also outlaws using the devices for mass surveillance.

› TECO customers won’t pay for hurricane recovery costs
Tampa Electric Co. customers won’t be paying for hurricane recovery costs. State regulators on Monday unanimously approved the utility’s request to use savings under the new federal tax law to cover hurricane-related costs. Read more at the Tampa Bay Times.

› Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Institute graduates more than 150 apprentices
Florida's Associated Builders and Contractors Institute’s 2018 graduation ceremony commemorated the 153 dedicated construction apprentices from Key West to Brevard County who completed their classroom education this year. Read more at Construction Pros.

› Miami business leaders step up to take the teaching challenge
The Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that develops innovative programs for public schools in Miami-Dade County, is challenging business leaders to test their savvy and skill and teach an hour in a local public school. Also read more at Miami's Community Newspapers.

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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