July 18, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/20/2019

Florida farmers push for more protection as Trump looks to get NAFTA rewrite approved

Manatee County tomato farmer Gary Reeder says he has seen the county’s tomato industry “basically cut in half” during his lifetime. It’s the same story for fruit and vegetable growers across the state, many of whom bristle at what they view as unfair competition from Mexico. Florida farmers have been sharply critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and they aren’t happy with the rewrite that has been negotiated by President Donald Trump’s administration. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

See also:
» Florida farmers say U.S.-Mexico deal may be a rotten one
» Buchanan says his bill would protect growers from Mexico’s unfair trade practices

Court refuses to block Everglades oil drilling plan

A plan to drill for oil in the Everglades again won a major legal victory Tuesday, one day after a false alarm in which an appeals court issued an ordering affirming the proposal and then withdrew it as “issued in error.” The First District Court of Appeal announced its decision in favor of the plan would stand, despite a request by the state of Florida, Broward County and the city of Miramar to rehear the case. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

2,000 pythons caught in the Everglades under Florida's python elimination program

The battle against the invasive Burmese python in Florida’s Everglades, reached a major milestone Monday. Early Monday morning, the 2,000th python was captured by a Martin County man. Since the South Florida Water Management District Python Elimination program started in March two years ago, hunters have captured the equivalent of about two and a half miles worth of pythons. [Source: WPTV]

Gov. DeSantis gets some schooling on coding, computer science

Gov. Ron DeSantis got a little bit of schooling on coding and computer science. The Republican governor took part Tuesday in an event promoting computer skills in Florida schools. DeSantis said nearly every business, government entity or other enterprise in Florida has some technology component. [Source: AP]

OneWeb starts to mass-produce satellites in Florida

In the shiny white laboratory that is OneWeb Satellites' new Florida manufacturing plant, a historic first happened this week: The first few mass-produced satellites ever to be built in Florida started coming together. Starting in August, the space firm intends to hire another 50 workers for a total of more than 120. The goal is to crank out two small satellites a day. Many will be launched from Florida. [Source: UPI]


› Disaster preparedness tax ‘holiday' backed
A Senate committee backed a proposal Monday to offer a two-week sales tax “holiday” on disaster-preparedness items, a tax break also sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Commerce and Tourism Committee approved the measure (SB 1412), which would lead to a 14-day tax holiday at the start of June -- the beginning of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season.

› Super Bowl LIV seeks 10,000 volunteers in South Florida
The committee opened its volunteer program application on Tuesday to attract volunteers for Super Bowl LIV, which will be a record 11th Super Bowl in South Florida and culminate the NFL’s 100th season on Feb. 2, 2020 at Hard Rock Stadium.

› St. Johns is healthiest county in Florida... again
St. Johns County has been ranked the healthiest county in Florida for the eighth year in a row by CountyHeathRankings.com. The website released the updated numbers on Tuesday which states that the county is number one overall for healthy outcomes, number three overall for length of life, and number one overall for quality of life.

› Beckham’s Broward stadium plan pitches soccer without commercial development
David Beckham’s six-year quest for a Miami soccer stadium has gone on for so long that he and his partners now want to build one in Fort Lauderdale first. To secure a soccer training complex and 18,000-seat exhibition stadium in Broward, they need to convince Fort Lauderdale commissioners to reject a rival plan for a soccer stadium paired with retail and entertainment development.

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The Skyway Bridge Disaster documentary
The Skyway Bridge Disaster documentary

Tampa Theatre will host the premiere of the new documentary, The Skyway Bridge Disaster, about the deaths of 35 people in the freighter crash that collapsed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in May 1980.

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