December 12, 2019

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/16/2019

Florida oranges stable, other citrus sinking

Florida’s citrus industry ended its growing season on a slight uptick, regaining the Sunshine State’s dominance in orange production over California. But struggles remain. Growers, who last year posted 75-year lows because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma, still are at diminished production levels that hadn’t been seen in decades as they face deadly citrus greening disease and other factors. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lakeland Ledger, and WUSF.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Hall of Fame Florida swimming coach Randy Reese

Reese talks about his years of coaching and more: “What got me into swimming, I think, was my father had three brothers who drowned. His father was a road builder — he built Tomoka Road in Daytona — and they had dug an area close by where a bridge was going in, and the dirt was real soft going into water. The brothers were young, like 12 or 13, and they were in the water and got caught up and panicked and were trying to get out, and the ground kept falling in, and they all three drowned. That was something my father was not going to let happen to me and my brother.” [Source: Florida Trend]

In Florida, jai-alai gambling was a product of the 1930s

Jai alai was once king in South Florida, until it suffered a dramatic collapse after a strike in the 1990s. The decline seemed permanent — until now. So what is this fast-paced game, and why are casinos keen to make it an attraction once again for players, spectators and gamblers? [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida senators call Miami-Dade monorail plan ‘alarming’ over ties to China

Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott expressed “grave concerns” and alarm Monday over Miami-Dade County’s considering a Chinese company’s monorail system to connect Miami with Miami Beach, saying the project is vulnerable to espionage from a hostile power. [Source: Miami Herald]

FPL tax savings issue heads to Florida Supreme Court

A fierce debate about Florida Power & Light Co.’s plan to use federal tax savings to cover costs of restoring electricity after Hurricane Irma is headed to the state Supreme Court. The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, filed a notice last week that it is appealing to the Supreme Court after the Florida Public Service Commission signed off on FPL’s plan, according to documents posted Friday on the Supreme Court website. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› SpaceX capsule explosion means it probably won’t fly astronauts until 2020
A leaky valve in the propulsion system of a SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut capsule is probably what caused the spacecraft to explode during a test three months ago, a company official said Monday, and he acknowledged that the accident could delay the company’s first human flight until 2020. No astronauts were in the capsule during April’s accident, and the explosion did not injure anyone.

› Mindtree tech company closing Gainesville location
The University of Florida’s Innovation District is facing more shakeup after another large company relocates from the tech hub. Mindtree Limited, an India-based software company, announced it will begin the process of closing its Gainesville Delivery Center location this month, with plans to be finished by the year’s end.

› Brevard tourism chief unveils $7M plan to market Space Coast to attract more visitors
Brevard County new tourism director is proposing a $7.15 million promotion and advertising campaign for the coming budget year to market the Space Coast to potential visitors. Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Peter Cranis said he is using his experience working for Visit Orlando to help craft his plan for Brevard County for the budget year that begins Oct. 1.

› Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry rolls out bigger budget, same tax rate
Mayor Lenny Curry unveiled his 2019-20 budget on Monday that holds the tax rate steady while boosting spending on day-to-day services and enabling a raft of construction projects across the city. The general fund portion of Curry’s budget will total $1.37 billion, a 4.4 percent increase over the current year for the day-to-day operation of city government.

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