June 16, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/20/2019

UCF president resigns amid investigations into millions in misspending

The president of the University of Central Florida, Dale Whittaker, offered his resignation on Tuesday amid investigations into the university's spending. Whittaker's resignation comes during multiple investigations into how the university budgeted nearly $85 million of state operating dollars for construction projects, including $38 million for the recently built Trevor Colbourn building. More from Florida Today and WKMG.

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» UCF President Dale Whittaker's resignation: Officials react

Lawsuit accuses Florida Dept. of Corrections of multimillion-dollar digital media scam

A federal class action lawsuit accuses the Florida Department of Corrections of stealing millions of dollars of inmate-purchased digital music and books from prisoners. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Florida by the Florida Justice Institute and the Social Justice Law Collective on behalf of lifer William Demler, names state Corrections Secretary Mark Inch as the defendant. More from the Florida Times-Union and the Miami Herald.

Gov. Ron DeSantis calls on Trump to headquarters Space Force on Florida's Space Coast

In the midst of a day dedicated to the space industry in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis called on President Donald Trump to put the headquarters of his new military branch, Space Force, on Florida’s Space Coast. In a tweet, DeSantis said Tuesday he was formally requesting the president place the Space Force Combatant Command at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. More from the Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, and WKMG.

Inside the battle to host the 2020 Democratic convention

Leaders in three major cities, including Miami, are in a last-minute scramble to win the 2020 Democratic National Convention, an event that could funnel millions of dollars into the local economy and put them at the center of the political world for one week next summer. [Source: AP]

Film incentives get push in state Senate

Florida’s latest attempt to draw more film production to the Sunshine State started rolling Tuesday in the Senate. The Commerce and Tourism Committee backed a measure by Chairman Sen. Joe Gruters that would provide grants of up to $2 million to production companies that have completed at least 70 percent of their work in Florida. More from the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Watchdog.


› The biggest ships the bay has ever seen are headed to Port Tampa Bay
The biggest container ships ever seen in Tampa Bay will begin making weekly calls at Port Tampa Bay from Asia starting in May, port officials announced Tuesday. "This is another 52 ships a year that will come under our bridge and provide economic impact to all of our key stakeholders," Port Tampa Bay president and chief executive officer Paul Anderson told port board members.

› Driverless buses will soon begin operating in Orlando
Officials Tuesday revealed a glimpse of what could one day be the future of transit in Orlando by unveiling a small driverless bus that soon will maneuver around Lake Nona. The battery-powered vehicle, run by Beep software, is one of two that are expected to begin operating in southeast Orlando this spring.

› Traffic has never been worse, frustrated Fort Lauderdale residents tell researchers
Fort Lauderdale residents have never been this aggravated with traffic, the city's latest survey showed. But city commissioners Tuesday said they’re not ready to make an aggressive move to take over the traffic signal system in Fort Lauderdale.

› Port Manatee opens trade offices in Europe, Latin America
In its push for global commerce, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee has opened promotional offices in Latin America and Europe. The offices in Medellin, Colombia, and Barcelona, Spain, mark “a momentous step in connecting world markets” with the region, said Iván Mutis, coordinator of the trade hub.

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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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