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September 23, 2018

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/7/2018

One year after Hurricane Irma, Florida's travel industry recovers

Hurricane Irma, which hit the mainland USA on Sept. 10 last year, cost Florida $1.5 billion in visitor spending and 1.8 million visitors. But hotel and tourism officials say the state is rebounding. Lodging inventory in the Florida Keys is just more than 90 percent operational from pre-hurricane levels. [Source: USA Today]

See also:
» Slideshow: Florida, one year after Hurricane Irma
» A year after Hurricane Irma, most Florida nursing homes still working on emergency power plans
» Still paying the price: Hurricane Irma
» ‘I’m not going anywhere.’ Irma took their homes, but these Florida Keys people have plans.

If you live in this Florida county, your earnings go further

We should all be lucky enough to live in St. Johns County. Not for its cool beach towns or world-class golf. Not even for easy access to venerable St. Augustine. No, we should go for the money. For the fourth consecutive year, St. Johns residents ranked No. 1 in the state for purchasing power, according to a recent report from SmartAsset. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Iconic actor Burt Reynolds dies in Florida hospital at 82

Burt Reynolds

"Smokey and the Bandit" star and South Florida resident Burt Reynolds is dead at the age of 82. Reynolds, who grew up in Palm Beach County and made it a point to bring A-list stars to Florida, died Thursday at Jupiter Medical Center. More from WPLG and the Tampa Bay Times.

From Florida Trend
» Florida Icon: Burt Reynolds

DeSantis and Gillum choose running mates who may broaden campaigns’ reach

Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum rounded out their election tickets Thursday, with each selecting running mates intended to broaden their reach to voters in what is shaping up as a November toss-up. Andrew Gillum announced Chris King as his pick for Lieutenant Governor. Ron DeSantis selected Jeanette Nuñez as his Lieutenant Governor. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida Trend 'Of Counsel' Feature
Judgment call

Tegu in a trap

A panel has ruled that Judge David Miller does not have to recuse himself from Cole Scott cases. The firm is appealing.

Critics question the motive behind Elisabeth Espinosa’s decision to run against circuit court judge David Miller. Espinosa is an attorney in the Miami law firm of Cole Scott & Kissane. The law firm and the veteran judge have crossed paths many times over the years. The encounters have not always been pleasant. In 2012, Winn-Dixie hired Cole Scott to defend it against a lawsuit filed by a customer who was hurt after allegedly slipping on water left behind after an employee had restocked a freezer. The case was assigned to Miller. Full story here.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› A new hotel coming near Kennedy Space Center will have a rocket launch viewing lounge
Listen up rocket-launch enthusiasts, this new Space Coast hotel is for you. A Hyatt Place hotel breaking ground next month near the causeway that leads to Kennedy Space Center will boast a standout feature: A launch viewing lounge.

› Florida scores biggest annual gain in heavy-duty clean diesel trucks
Florida posted the biggest surge among states in the use of heavy-duty trucks with clean diesel engines in 2017, notching an 81% jump compared with a year earlier, according to data from IHS Markit.

› FGCU Center for Agribusiness will support key economic sector
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lutgert College of Business is deepening its connection with agriculture through the creation of a Center for Agribusiness and a proposed agribusiness minor. As a resource for the agriculture industry in Southwest Florida, the center will track and distribute information regarding the economic impact and sustainability of agriculture. Also read more at Florida Weekly.

› Mears settles lawsuit with hundreds of chauffeurs who claim they were underpaid
Hundreds of luxury chauffeurs with Mears Transportation have entered into a $2 million settlement with the Orlando-based taxi company after they claimed in a lawsuit that Mears wrongly classified them as independent contractors — and not employees.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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Florida Trend Video Pick

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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