April 24, 2019

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/12/2019

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy conducts first commercial flight from Florida

The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts. The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload. More from Reuters, the AP, and the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida could soon bury more power lines. Customers might pick up the cost.

A pair of seemingly popular bills have been flying through the Florida Legislature, quietly passing through committees and likely headed to their respective chamber floors. On its face, the combined effort looks like good news for Floridians: It aims to strengthen the electric grid and minimize damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Innovation Partner: Florida hopes to capitalize on Israeli business success

According to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Israel has the fifth-most innovative economy in the world, in large part because of its abundance of successful high-tech startups. When those companies look to grow, they typically open offices in Europe, Boston, New York or Silicon Valley, but the Tampa Jewish Community Centers & Federation is asking: Why not Florida? [Source: Florida Trend]

Secretive lab at Patrick AFB watches for nuclear explosions worldwide, protecting the U.S.

March marked the five-year anniversary of The Air Force Technical Applications Center's $158 million campus at Patrick AFB — which was the largest construction project in the Air Force at the time. Officials gave FLORIDA TODAY a rare glimpse inside AFTAC's surreptitious surveillance laboratory. The tour was the most in-depth media peek since the facility's March 2014 ribbon-cutting ceremony, said Susan Romano, AFTAC's public affairs chief. [Source: Florida Today]

In Florida, the fight over alimony can be brutal

Alimony has come a long way from its origins more than 3,700 years ago when a Babylonian king ordered that men must support women who had given them children. For several years now, legal minds have suggested it’s time for a task force in Florida to study alimony and produce a bill that’s fair for all. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Sarasota County makes moves to create jobs, train workforce
Several actions by the Sarasota County Commission could create a more skilled workforce and dozens of jobs in the area. The commission on Wednesday approved considering giving Career Edge Funders Collaborative $300,000 over the next three years to train more than 300 local people for jobs in the manufacturing, transportation, health care and insurance industries.

› New flour mill at Port Tampa Bay to cost $62 million
Ardent Mills plans to spend about $62 million building its new flour mill and grain storage terminal at Port Tampa Bay to replace the old ConAgra mill near downtown Tampa. The project is expected to take 18 to 24 months and require a construction workforce of about 200.

› Florida House backs sales tax 'holidays,' commercial lease tax cut
A pair of sales-tax “holidays” for storm preparation and back-to-school shopping and a tax cut on commercial leases dominated a package that advanced Thursday out of a key House committee. But Democrats raised questions about part of the proposal dealing with charter schools and money raised by school districts through local referendums.

› Hepatitis A outbreak spreads to Broward County
Hepatitis A is spreading across the state, and the disease has now reached outbreak level in Broward County. On Thursday, the Broward County Health Department confirmed there have been seven cases of adults with Hepatitis A since the first of the year, making Broward a high-risk zone like the counties to the north.

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