October 23, 2019

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/18/2019

'Just wait until the next hurricane': Florida's new insurance law is conjuring a storm

Every time Santa Rosa Beach restoration contractor Ken Larsen submits a request for payment, he braces himself. It’s always a fight, Larsen says, that rumbles for weeks, months, years, catapulting between 40% and 80% of his annual earnings into limbo. And now, a new law passed in Florida on May 23 might make things even tougher for Larsen by threatening what legal power he had to demand payment. On one hand, vendors like Larsen, and plaintiffs lawyers worry it will tip the scale against homeowners. But on the other hand are supporters who say the state was due for an overhaul as ballooning litigation raised insurance rates. More from the Daily Business Review and Insurance Journal.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's growing glass art community gains international recognition

A growing community of glass artists, art glass galleries and art glass collectors along Florida’s Gulf Coast, from Tampa to Naples, has joined St. Petersburg's Chihuly museum. Andy Schlauch, executive director of the Chihuly museum, estimates that more than 100 glass artists are working in the “glass coast” region. One of them, Duncan McClellan, has a gallery in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse District that displays his work, as well as the work of nearly 100 other glass artists around the country. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida effort to block election hacking gets extra $2 million

Florida's county elections departments will retain $2.3 million in unspent grant money aimed at stopping cyber-attacks on the state's voting system, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday. DeSantis announced the unspent money is left over from a $19 million federal grant given last year to combat potential attacks on the Florida's voting system and was supposed to be returned to the state. It will be combined with $2.8 million in state funding currently budgeted. See the announcement and read more from the AP and the Orlando Sentinel.

Rubio and Scott stand with Trump on China trade war. Florida businesses aren’t happy.

A Jacksonville-based importer of toy putty that produces flatulence-mimicking sounds when squeezed, a Fort Lauderdale pet shop with six employees and a Bradenton-area production company that runs events like Disney on Ice and Monster Jam all found themselves in Sen. Marco Rubio’s crosshairs last week. The issue? President Donald Trump’s threat to expand tariffs on Chinese imports, totaling more than $300 billion. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida drops in latest rankings of children’s well-being

The well-being of Florida’s children has slipped in the latest national ranking, with a rise in the number of low birth-weight babies, more child and teen deaths and more teens abusing alcohol or drugs. And while the number of Florida children covered by health insurance had increased from 2010 to 2016, that trend started to reverse in 2017, when 68,000 more children were uninsured compared to a year earlier. See the report and read more from the Orlando Sentinel.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› South Florida hotel named best in Florida
When it came down to naming the best hotel or resort in Florida, we're not sure how the people at Conde Nast Traveler, a popular travel website, were able to choose. But they did -- and they selected Faena Hotel Miami Beach in South Florida.

› Icelandair pulling out of Tampa International Airport
Icelandair, one of Tampa International Airport’s highly touted success stories, has ceased offering nonstop flights to or from Tampa. "Icelandair is pulling out of Tampa International," airport spokeswoman Janet Scherberger confirmed in an email Monday to the Tampa Bay Times. The airport learned of the change last month.

› Filmmaker and Sarasota arts champion Len Gumley dies at 99
Len Gumley wore a lot of hats in his life, from a U.S. Army Air Force glider pilot to a stage manager for Milton Berle and news legends Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite at CBS. His main career was making medical films for the Pfizer Corp., where he worked for 30 years before retiring to Sarasota, where he was actively involved in a number of organizations until his death on Friday, just a few days after he celebrated his 99th birthday at a dinner party with friends.

› Program shows promise of removing pythons from Everglades
The uninvited denizens of South Florida’s wildlands, woodlands, marshlands and swamplands have left an indelible — and possibly irreversible — mark on the ecosystem. First identified in Everglades National Park in 2000, the Southeast Asian apex predator quickly put a stranglehold on Florida’s wildlife.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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The Sunshine Skyway is a lot more colorful
The Sunshine Skyway is a lot more colorful

The Florida Department of Transportation installed the nearly 1,800 colored LED light fixtures on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The Skyway lighting project has been in progress for several years.

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