Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Gov. DeSantis wants state on ‘war footing’ in water fight
Gov. Ron DeSantis used his opening week in office to underscore a campaign pledge to tackle Florida’s deepening environmental problems, with the former Navy lawyer saying he wanted the state on a “war footing.” But signs are emerging that fellow Republicans in the state Legislature may be considering a more narrow approach — one some critics dismiss as a mere skirmish against the enemies of red tide and toxic algae that fouled both coasts. More from the St. Augustine Record and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Florida farmers reeling after record rain in 2018 destroys crops
2018 was one for the record books, and not in a good way. The Pensacola area saw just over 90 inches of rain total last year, which is 2 feet more than it normally does. The rain was relentless, farmers said. It didn't just come in a handful of big weather events like it usually does. Instead, the rain came just about once a week, every week, during the fall and winter, drenching crops, fields and equipment and giving nothing a chance to dry. More from the Pensacola News-Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and the Insurance Journal.
2019 expected to be a strong vacation year for Floridians
Floridians are expected to travel in droves this year according to AAA, the Auto Club Group. In a forecast released this week, AAA projects that 84 percent of Floridians expect to take a vacation or leisure trip of at least three days in 2019, up 1 percent from last year. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida investigates uptick in reports of cattle deaths
Florida officials are investigating an apparent increase in cattle deaths across the state, with investigators focusing on one particular brand of feed. Statewide, there are an estimated one million cows, bulls and heifers that produce approximately 800,000 calves annually with a total value over $1 billion. More from the AP and the Miami Herald.
SpaceX laying off 10% of employees due to ‘extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead'
Private space leader SpaceX plans to lay off about 10 percent of its more than 6,000 employees across the nation, the company said Friday. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company, which has a prominent presence on Central Florida’s Space Coast, said in a statement that the move would help it reach its ambitious goals. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Orange County homicides up nearly 30 percent in 2018
Homicides in Orange County jumped from 83 in 2017 to 107 last year, prompting Orange County detectives to change how they handle domestic cases and Orlando police to ask local academics to explore any possible trends.
› Sanibel, southwest Florida beaches are back in business, as red tide subsides
Good news, fans of Sanibel Island and southwest Florida: the red tide outbreak that plagued the coastline for much of late summer and fall appears to be gone, at least for now.
› The future of St. Petersburg Mini Doughnut Factory uncertain as legal battle continues
The mini doughnut drama is dragging on. After legal woes shut down both of Tampa Bay's Mini Doughnut Factory shops, the business' South Tampa location has reopened — but not its sister location across the bay.
› A homegrown firm is building soccer in Miami — and 5G just about everywhere else
Laying the groundwork, literally, for a high-speed future is MasTec, the Coral Gables company that bills itself as “the largest wireless constructor in the U.S.” Its reach and foresight recently landed it slot 428 on the Fortune 500 list of publicly traded companies — believed to be a first for a Cuban-American-founded firm.
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