Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
A supercharged Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida Panhandle
Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael tore away tree limbs and sent pieces of buildings flying as it struck the Florida Panhandle with potentially catastrophic winds and towering storm surge. The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach as a Category 4 Hurricane with 155 mph winds, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. More from the AP the Tampa Bay Times, and Reuters.
Florida elevator company buys Atlanta firm
Tampa-based Oracle Elevator has acquired Atlanta-based Vertical Systems Incorporated, enhancing Oracle’s position as the leading independent alternative to the multinational elevator manufacturers. The acquisition represents Oracle’s 7th acquisition since 2017. Read more at Florida Trend and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
In last two months, Democrats gain voter registration advantage in Florida
Statewide, as of Tuesday, counties had added about 213,000 new voters since the Aug. 28 primary, with Democrats making up 39 percent of those voters and Republicans making up 34 percent. However, once Miami-Dade’s numbers come in, it’s likely the Democratic margin will increase. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Scientists watching algae bloom found in Keys canal
Scientists say they’ve discovered a species of algae in a Key Largo canal that causes a type of red tide linked to fish kills and sea mammals in other parts of the world. But unlike the Karenia brevis red tide species that has infested beaches on Florida’s West Coast, researchers say the Fibrocapsa japonica found behind the Pirate’s Cove subdivision is not associated with human illness. More from the Miami Herald.
Embassy Suites near Tampa Convention Center launches $20 million renovation
To the make-overs going on around the Tampa Convention Center — $40 million at the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina and $30 million at the convention center itself — add $20 million in renovations at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Convention Center. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Orlando SunRail and Phoenix Valley Metro: A tale of 2 passenger trains
Orlando and Phoenix are twins separated by humidity. Both are creatures of Southern sprawl, popular in winter. Each has a humongous university next door and a satellite campus downtown. Both tout city-center professional sports. But only one has a robust and growing passenger-train system, connecting communities, airport, campuses, sports venues and stopping every dozen minutes from 4 a.m. to midnight. It’s not Orlando.
» More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Out of the Box
Learning from a spy
Four middle-aged men breeze out of the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa into an already hot morning, looking like business travelers about to take in the sights. One glances at a map. Another takes a swig of water. Mostly they try to act like everything’s normal, even if it isn’t. These fellas are being surveilled, part of a two-day security course for executives who travel to hot spots overseas.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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