Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Will Florida be ready for the 2020 Census?
Florida, as we know, is decidedly not California. The two coastal giants, Nos. 3 and 1 among states in population, are competing for congressional seats and federal funding in the 2020 Census, and they’re going about it differently. California has budgeted more than $100 million and has more than two dozen people working to reach traditionally hard-to-count communities. Florida? It doesn’t appear the Sunshine State has any committees organized around the census. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]
Cuba bets on tourism as new U.S. travel and economic restrictions take hold
The battle for Cuba's economic future is being waged on its beaches. And at its all-inclusive resorts, dive sites and cobblestoned colonial plazas. As most of Cuba's economy stagnates or declines, the country has launched a full-scale effort to turn virtually the only bright spot — tourism — into an engine that can pull the rest of the communist island out of its worst economic crisis in two decades. [Source: Miami Herald]
Gov. DeSantis signs bill for 3 major Florida toll highways
Florida will begin planning three new major toll highways through mostly rural areas under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday over the objections of environmentalists who have otherwise praised him since taking office. The roads would take traffic off heavily congested Interstates 75 and 4, allowing drivers in southwest Florida cities like Naples and Fort Myers to bypass Tampa when they travel to Orlando and northeast Florida. [Source: AP]
Potential tropical storm brewing with hurricane season still two weeks away
A potential tropical storm may form off the Bahamas over the next few days, less than two weeks before the official start of hurricane season. If the system reaches tropical storm strength, which means a sustained wind speed of 39 to 73 mph, it would be named Tropical Storm Andrea. More from the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
Hundreds of immigrants no longer coming to Florida
The Trump administration has halted plans to send thousands of people who entered the country illegally across the Mexican border to Broward and Palm Beach counties, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw announced Saturday. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and WINK News.
Florida transportation industries take off with natural gas
Nearly 30% of total U.S. energy consumption is in the transportation sector — mainly fuels used for automobiles, rail, aircraft, ships and barges. Most of these fleets can use natural gas to reduce costs, lower emissions and strengthen resiliency. And in Florida, many do. [Sponsored report]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Disney World firefighters ‘stretched to the max’ amid growing attractions, union leader says
The coming attractions to Walt Disney World Resort include gondolas taking to the skies, a Star Wars-themed land and several new rides and hotels. But that expansion is raising concerns among who respond to emergency calls on Disney property, said Tim Stromsnes, president of the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association.
› Ultimate Software picks Sunrise to expand offices
Ultimate Software is a Weston-based software developer designed to make companies’ human resources management “simpler.” Companies use Ultimate Software’s products to manage their human resources functions, including payroll, benefits, time and labor management.
› Tampa Bay airports look to Latin America for new flights
Tampa International Airport officials see Latin America as a market with a lot of potential and some unique challenges, and they aren't alone. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is undergoing renovations with an eye on possible flights to Mexico or other international destinations.
› Lakeland’s airport could become Amazon freight hub
Lakeland Linder International Airport may become an air freight hub for online giant Amazon in a deal that could create 1,000 jobs. The proposal, which will by voted on by the Lakeland City Commission on Monday, calls for Amazon to lease at least 47 acres from the airport for a 283,000-square-foot complex of buildings.
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