Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida tech companies raise big money
Venture capital raised for startup companies hit new highs for the midway mark of 2019, and Florida was among the states with increased deal dollars. Florida saw a swell in venture capital dollars raised from April to June, with South Florida companies making up nearly half, according to the second-quarter MoneyTree Report on venture capital. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned Tuesday to the exact spot where he and two other astronauts flew to the moon 50 years ago. At NASA's invitation, Michael Collins spent the golden anniversary at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida. He marked the precise moment — 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 — that their Saturn V rocket departed on humanity's first moon landing. More from the AP.
USDA sanctions Florida company under PACA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on three businesses, including one in Florida, for violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The USDA has suspended the PACA licenses of the businesses and barred the principals from working in the industry without approval from the department. More from the USDA and The Packer.
Aflac buys Tampa insurer Argus Holdings
Aflac is buying Argus Holdings, a dental and vision insurance company headquarted in Tampa, for $75 million. "We are very excited to have Argus join the Aflac family as we move closer to fulfilling our vision of being the number one distributor of benefit solutions to the U.S. workforce," Aflac president Teresa White said in a statement. More from WUSF News.
Sarasota ride-hailing service Gotcha abruptly ends
Gotcha, the ride-hailing service that operated a fleet of electric vehicles in downtown Sarasota, announced Monday that it is leaving town — saying it was because the city has selected another vendor for its proposed bike share startup. “We have enjoyed being a part of the Sarasota community and regret any inconvenience to our loyal riders,” a Gotcha Group statement said. “We had hoped to operate a multi-modal system, incorporating e-bikes with our electric ride share, but the city selected a different bike share provider.” More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Out of the Box
If you’ve driven Dale Mabry Highway in the past 50 years, you’ve likely seen it: a flying saucer, sun glistening off its shiny silver paint, perched atop the 2001 Odyssey strip club. What you likely did not realize is the local landmark isn’t merely some extra-terrestrial, go-go dancer gimmick. It’s more than the VIP room where a customer can spend an entire tax return. The spaceship on the roof is a Futuro house, and one of a few remaining examples of the pre-fabricated homes that hit the American market the same year Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
End of an Era
Mount Dora Museum of Speed closed after years of showcasing classic cars, providing nostalgia
Biplane models no longer hang from the ceiling of the Mount Dora Museum of Speed and a black 1963 Corvette Stingray Sport Coupe is covered by a tarp as owner Kerry Bogard works to pack up memorabilia he’s collected over 40 years. Bogard, 75, opened the 7,000 square-foot museum in 2001 to offer visitors a “trip through the past ... when times were kinder” by showcasing up to 30 classic cars and floor to ceiling displays that included original neon signs, mannequins dressed in period clothing from the 1930s through 1960s and a vintage 1940s Texaco gas station he constructed as a replica to the former site in Mount Dora.
» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.
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