Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Business spikes ahead of Apollo 11 anniversary
Though launching astronauts to the moon was a nationwide effort that encompassed 400,000 workers coast to coast, the Space Coast is the symbolic center of it all — where astronauts and space aficionados will descend in late July to celebrate 50 years since the feat was accomplished. And small businesses are reaping the rewards. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
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Morgan told Florida Trend in 2018: "The Apollo 11 launch was the first launch that I stayed in the firing room all the way through liftoff. I had moments when I felt like a goldfish in a bowl, even though I was surrounded by people. It was 500 men and me."
Miami-Dade courthouse to cost $1.2 billion on arsenic-laced site
A new civil and probate courthouse will cost Miami-Dade County $1.2 billion in payments over the first 30 years, straining budgets and probably forcing service cuts in vital areas if taxes aren’t raised, Mayor Carlos Giménez warned commissioners last week. Furthermore, the $1.2 billion estimate doesn’t include environmental costs – and he said that a new assessment report shows soil and groundwater contamination from arsenic on the downtown Miami construction site, which the Florida East Coast Railway once used. More from Miami Today.
Gulf Coast could feel tropical storm or hurricane force-winds from system
The National Hurricane Center said tropical storm or hurricane force-winds are possible along the Gulf Coast in the next few days as the atmosphere musters up a disturbance that some models show approaching Category 1 strength. The so-called Invest 92L was given a 90 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours with the possibility of a tropical depression forming late today or Thursday. It is expected to move west before making landfall in Louisiana or Texas. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Water-rights dispute Florida v. Georgia seems to have stalled
More than a year ago, Justice Stephen Breyer released the final ruling of October Term 2017 when he announced the decision in Florida v. Georgia, “breezily” summarizing “the ruling in this water dispute that he acknowledges is not a blockbuster.” Although the Supreme Court may have found this to be a technical case, it is of paramount importance to Florida and Georgia. After holding that Special Master Ralph Lancaster had applied too strict a standard in ruling against Florida, the court sent the case back to the special master with a set of questions to answer. Some had hoped the case could proceed quickly; however, it now seems to have stalled. More from SCOTUSblog.
For a growing Sarasota, a 7% expansion
Buoyed this year by a robust 7.1% increase in property values, the city of Sarasota’s government appears poised to approach a staffing level not seen since the pre-recession year of 2007. The city’s proposed budget for next year calls for adding 27 full-time positions, which would bring the count to 766 in 2020, near the 777 staffers on the payroll 13 years ago, and up from a low in 2014 of 578. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
A Florida market for crafts from India
Boca Raton-based Mela Artisans uses a proprietary sourcing platform to obtain handmade goods from craftsmen in India and then sells them through, among others, TJ Maxx and Home Goods and online platforms such as Popsugar, plus the company’s own melaartisans.com.
» More from Florida Trend.
These sisters are serving up small-town charm and from-scratch flavors in an ice cream truck
Ali, 20, and Mindy, 23, grew up in Preston, Conn., in a family of dairy farmers. They started dreaming up plans for a creamery. Then their dad got a job in Florida. The family relocated to Manatee County — and so did their grand ice cream plans.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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