June 16, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/13/2019

Virgin Trains USA delays planned $538 million IPO

A money-losing Florida railroad running behind schedule on its own projections has put off what would have been the year’s biggest initial public offering so far. Virgin Trains USA Inc., which shuttles passengers between Miami and West Palm Beach and struck a licensing deal last year with billionaire Richard Branson, sought to raise as much as $538 million in an IPO that was set to price Tuesday. More from Bloomberg and the Miami Herald.

Florida Trend Exclusive
My farewell as Florida Trend publisher

This is my last column as publisher of Florida Trend, so you won’t get to read about my exercise regimen any longer. But I’ll remain as president of the company, and I’ll stay as involved as possible. I’ve enjoyed every moment of my 10 years as publisher. Besides operating the magazine, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many interesting executives and serve on many statewide boards. Read Andy Corty's full column here.

Florida's tallest skyscraper boasts best views south of New York City

The Panorama Tower, which opened in June at 1100 Brickell Bay Drive, stands out as a behemoth amid the Miami building boom, presenting astonishing views of South Florida. But perhaps more surprising, the Panorama Tower won’t stay the tallest for long because the company behind it plans on outdoing itself with two taller residential buildings — and other developers aren’t far behind. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

North Florida's timber industry has lost $1.3 billion following Hurricane Michael

Recovery efforts continue for the Timber Industry after Hurricane Michael. But landowners are likely to foot the cleanup bill, which could put them at risk of going broke. Depending on the severity of damage, landowners could face cleanup estimates ranging from $600 to $1500 per acre. The Florida Forestry Association’s Executive Vice President, Alan Shelby, says they have a goal of salvaging 15 percent of the 2.8 million acres of downed trees. But there’s little recourse for timber farmers. [Source: WJCT]

Parkland woman becomes first openly autistic person to practice law in Florida

At 3, Haley Moss was diagnosed with autism and doctors thought she may never be able to work a minimum wage job or live on her own. Last month, she became the first openly autistic person to be admitted to the Florida Bar. Not only did the Parkland native graduate from the University of Miami School of Law and pass the Florida Bar, but she has also published multiple books, lives independently and works at a top law firm in Miami. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Florida nearly caught up on backlog of rape kit testing
Florida has almost caught up on its backlog of untested rape kits, leading to hundreds of additional arrests and prosecutions for sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows that 7,137 backlogged kits were completed by the end of 2018.

› $378 million price tag to prevent flooding leaves Delray Beach reeling
Delray Beach will have to pay more than $378 million to save its neighborhoods from knee-deep floods, the City Commission learned on Tuesday. Commissioners were stunned by this price tag, determined by an engineering team that said roads and seawalls will have to be raised and pipes improved to protect streets from rising waters associated with climate change.

› Lockheed Martin-backed $1.5 million cybersecurity lab to open at UCF
The University of Central Florida plans to unveil a $1.5 million, Lockheed Martin-backed cybersecurity lab this week. It comes as UCF, often ranked as one of the strongest cybersecurity programs in the nation, looks to help address a skills gap that the National Institute of Standards and Technology has called a “dangerous shortage.”

› Port Tampa Bay wants to create more land by dredging East Bay estuary
Measured by acreage, Port Tampa Bay already is the largest seaport in Florida, with a total of 5,000 acres, about 1,000 of them zoned for industry with deep-water access. Still, as it plans for the future, the port is looking to create 67 new acres of land for its growing cargo and container operations by dredging and filling part of East Bay near the Tampa Shrimp Docks.

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An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Trend Video Pick

Mounted Patrol Horse
Mounted Patrol Horse

On Wednesday, Mounted Patrol deputies in Sarasota bid farewell to LEO, a 15-year-old Hanoverian bay gelding who was donated to the agency in 2016. LEO is retiring due to the onset of Shivers, a neuromuscular disorder which makes him unable to continue working in law enforcement. He will live with other retired police horses at Mill Creek Farm, an equine sanctuary in Alachua, Florida.

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