Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Why the Apollo missions made Florida synonymous with space
Launch safety and orbital dynamics played key roles in turning a sleepy 72-mile stretch east of Orlando into the nation's Space Coast. The Apollo project sparked a boom for aerospace contractors in the region, transforming a quiet region of mostly orange groves into a technology and engineering hub. For the people who live year-round on the Space Coast, astronaut sightings are normal, and rocket launches are practically quotidian. [Source: National Geographic]
Florida has ‘all-time high’ support for recreational pot, but will it be on the ballot?
With medical marijuana dispensaries becoming commonplace in Florida, will recreational pot soon be on the shelves, too? The people behind the effort to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot say yes. That optimism is reflected in the 65 percent of Florida voters polled recently by Quinnipiac University who support the idea, a number the polling company noted is at “an all-time high.” National trends are running the same way. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida produces more watermelon than any other state
Summer means relaxing by the pool, barbeques and refreshing slices of watermelon and no one produces more of this favorite summertime fruit than Florida. The Sunshine State is the top producer of watermelon in the United States. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences says Florida farmers sold 800 million pounds of watermelon last year. [Source: WKMG]
Orlando woos driverless car industry
Driverless cars are technology being honed in Central Florida, and regional economic development leaders are showing them off at the Automated Vehicles Symposium. Automated vehicle experts are descending upon the Orlando World Center Marriott this week, checking out exhibits, listening to speakers, and making connections. [Source: Bay News 9]
New study predicts higher high temperatures for Florida thanks to climate change
Amid Florida's ongoing July heat wave that's pushing temperatures into triple digits, a new study released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that by mid-century the state will experience some of the highest frequencies of extreme heat in the nation The study predicts that, in an average year and averaged across the state, Florida will face "105 days with a heat index over 100 degrees F (up from just 25 days historically) and 63 days with a heat index over 105 degrees F." [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Cuba overhauls its fishing regulations. Florida Keys and East Coast to benefit
The Cuban government enacted sweeping reforms to its fishing regulations over the weekend, a move being praised by U.S. environmentalists for what they expect to be a positive domino effect on fisheries from the Florida Keys all the way up the East Coast. Advocates of the overhaul say it will help coordination on fisheries management with other countries, including the United States.
› Private companies keep coming, expanding 21st century space port
As NASA continues to reveal more details about its Artemis program with plans to return humans to the moon as soon as 2024, the agency is also quick to credit its many commercial partnerships with revamping the excitement about space exploration.
› Rent prices keep rising in South Florida. Check out where you’ll pay more.
In a growing sign that higher rents are tightening their grip in the suburbs, the average prices to lease an apartment in several outlying Broward County cities have climbed above the $1,700 mark, according to a national survey.
› Hillsborough wrestles with how to spend money from its new transportation tax
Hillsborough County commissioners will take two votes Wednesday to determine what projects they will pay for with revenue from the one-cent transportation sales tax approved in last November’s election.
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