Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Hoping to avoid repeat of Irma, lawmakers advance fuel-reserve plan
A proposal aimed at establishing a state fuel reserve to avoid a repeat of images from Hurricane Irma is advancing in Tallahassee, despite reservations from the petroleum industry. Sen. Gary Farmer, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat sponsoring the bill, said the intent is to ensure fuel is available for places like hospitals and nursing homes. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WJXT.
After CEO shakeup, Miami tech company seeks new image as facial recognition leader
For years, Brian Brackeen, once CEO of facial recognition company Kairos, was one of the most outspoken boosters of Miami’s tech scene. And as a black CEO of a technology company, he helped burnish Miami’s image as a diverse alternative to a still largely monochrome Silicon Valley. More from the Miami Herald.
American Dream Mall waits on Canadian developer
Plans for the American Dream Mall have stayed in neutral since the megamall planned for the northwestern end of the county won approval from Miami-Dade County reviewing agencies in July. County officials now wait for Canadian developer Triple Five to take the next step and submit a site plan. More from Miami Today.
Pythons run amok, but Florida hopes to stop anacondas before they eat the Everglades
Invasive pythons run rampant in the Everglades and imported iguana burrow into canal banks with abandon, but Florida is trying to keep additional exotics from gaining a foothold in the state with new rules considered this week. Critters including several species of anaconda, the raccoon dog and a freaky fruit bat called the flying fox could be added to the state’s prohibited species list by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. More from the Palm Beach Post.
Orlando Apollos will start practicing in Georgia because of Florida's workers compensation laws
The state of Florida’s exclusion of professional athletes from receiving workers compensation insurance coverage is forcing the Orlando Apollos to start practicing in Georgia at the beginning of March, Alliance of American Football officials told the Orlando Sentinel.
Around the State
'Tropical Chocolate' and news from Miami-Dade
In 2009, Ricardo Trillos started Cao Chocolates, Miami’s first chocolate company that manufactured chocolate directly from raw cacao beans (“bean-to-bar”). He imported cacao beans from Venezuela, turned them into cocoa and created chocolate bars for corporate customers. Eventually, Cao Chocolates expanded into a Pinecrest retail shop, and Trillos’ wife, Anelith Ortega, became his full-time business partner.
» More from Florida Trend.
Get the tissues: A Hallmark movie is being filmed in St. Petersburg
Hallmark movies are those guilty pleasures countless people won’t admit they watch. Yet they do, hidden in the comfortable confines of their homes. The next time Tampa Bay area residents are secretly enjoying one, they may spot familiar locations. Garden Party, slated to premiere on the Hallmark Channel in April, has been filming in St. Petersburg throughout February. It is set to wrap at the end of the month.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
In case you missed it: