September 21, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/22/2019

Evolution of Florida citrus growers: What it takes to stay in the embattled industry

Just 30 percent of the growers from 10 years ago are still fighting to stay in the industry. Some Florida citrus growers are finally starting to see an increase of orange production. Those who managed to stick around as the greening disease ravaged their groves have been experimenting with different variations of trees, expensive chemicals and fertilizers. [Source: WJCT]

See also:
» The state of Florida's citrus industry
» Florida citrus industry's battle with plant disease continues
» EPA proposes increasing use of antibiotic to fight citrus bacteria

Florida utilities can use federal tax savings for storm costs

Two Florida utilities can use savings from the federal tax overhaul to cover restoration costs after recent hurricanes, without raising customers’ electric bills, a state commission said. The Florida Public Service Commission on May 21 approved settlement agreements for Duke Energy Florida LLC and Tampa Electric Co. to lower storm restoration costs and standardize their processes for future storm restoration efforts. More from Bloomberg and Bay News 9.

Questions raised over Florida Cabinet meeting in Israel

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to Israel with a large contingent of business leaders — not surprisingly, especially as the GOP woos Jewish voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. But DeSantis’s plan to hold a meeting with his elected Cabinet while he’s there has raised concerns about whether officials are violating the state’s open-meeting laws. More from the AP and the Times of Israel.

A look at seven proposed ballot measures to watch in Florida

Florida lawmakers this month approved a controversial bill that is expected to make it harder to put citizens’ initiatives on the ballot. But amid the likely changes, petition signatures have continued pouring into the state Division of Elections in recent weeks, with two initiatives ready for Supreme Court review and others nearing that initial threshold. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The low down on South Florida's food hall craze

Food halls have been showing up all over South Florida the past couple years. The concept is simple: a communal space with various food vendors from local restaurants in the region. But the financial sustainability of food halls remains a big question. [Source: WLRN]


› Air filter maker Molekule moves its manufacturing facility to greater Tampa Bay area
Air filtration company Molekule has further strengthened its ties to the Tampa Bay area. The company, which sprang from technology created by a University of South Florida professor, has consolidated its manufacturing at a facility in Lakeland.

› Virgin Trains announces construction start for rail between Orlando and South Florida
Virgin Trains USA announced today that its team of builders has started construction on long-awaited tracks between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport. The start of additional rail construction from the airport to West Palm Beach “is imminent” the company said in its announcement. Virgin Trains expects project completion and the start of service to be in 2022.

› MIA gets new 3-D explosives detection scanner that will speed up your security wait
Miami International Airport unveiled its new 3-D explosives detection scanner Tuesday. It’s designed to make flying safer — and to speed up security lines. In one security checkpoint in MIA’s Concourse D, the new scanner has replaced the standard X-ray machine. By the end of the year, MIA should get 10 more, said MIA’s federal security director, Dan Ronan.

› The search continues for Sarasota Orchestra’s new home
The Sarasota Orchestra is still looking for a permanent home. A commission meeting Monday night resulted in a decision to consider other locations for the new Sarasota Orchestra music center, taking Payne Park off of the table. Now, the question is where that will be. The Sarasota Orchestra respects the commission’s decision, according to an orchestra official, although they’ve now been sent back to the drawing board.

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What are microplastics? An expert breaks it down.
What are microplastics? An expert breaks it down.

In the early 2000s, scientists taking samples in open water looking for tiny organisms instead stumbled on something man-made – microplastics. What are microplastics? Lara Milligan, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County natural resources agent, breaks it down.

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