December 16, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/7/2019

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida job outlook: 2019

The picture is – robust. In the past five years, Florida has added nearly a million jobs. The current economic expansion, which began in June 2009, is now entering its second decade, and Florida has never seen a job market like today’s. Employment in virtually every sector in every metropolitan area in Florida is up markedly since 2014, and wages are growing as well. Notably, the fastest-growing areas have been in better-paying sectors like construction, health care and professional services. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida asks federal judge to toss felon voting case

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee are asking a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to a new law about restoring the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences, arguing that the case belongs in state — not federal — court. The request from attorneys for the state came as voting- and civil-rights groups asked the judge to block provisions of the law from going into effect while the case works its way through the courts. [Source: Daily Business Review]

Column: Gannett and GateHouse merger changes the media landscape in Florida

The media universe shifted dramatically this week when the two largest newspaper chains in the United States announced they would merge. If approved, the impact will be huge in Florida. The merged company would own 20 daily newspapers around the state. They include the Palm Beach Post, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Gainesville Sun, the Naples Daily News, Tallahassee Democrat and Florida Today. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The battle against resort fees is on. Who will win the war, hotels or guests?

After a woman noticed unsettling fees at resorts in Florida cities like Miami Beach, Orlando and Key West, she made it her mission to eliminate the pesky fees. And she’s not alone. Hotels like Marriott International and Hilton have been called out in lawsuits by unsatisfied vacationers. The lawsuits come on the heels of an investigation into the way hotels advertise prices by the attorneys general of every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida home to nation’s first underwater dive memorial to veterans

Now all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces are at home underwater at a dive site off the coast of Clearwater. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are represented with 12 concrete statues surrounding a memorial with five bronze emblems under 40 feet of water about 10 miles west of Pinellas County. Called Circle of Heroes, the site that has been in the works for more than 10 years had a dedication ceremony Monday. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

AOB law brings balance to property insurance market

While the 10 years following the active 2005 and 2006 Atlantic hurricane seasons saw minimal hurricane activity in Florida, the average insurance premiums rose more than 30% statewide. The rise was attributed in part to AOB-related lawsuits, which spiked from 1,300 to more than 153,000 between 2000-2018. [Sponsored report]


› Geo Group, company that runs prisons, opens new $57 million Boca headquarters
Prison and immigrant detention center operator Geo Group has opened a newly built headquarters in Boca Raton, at a cost of $57 million, according to company securities filings. Geo is one of the largest prison and detention center contractors in the world with $2.33 billion in 2018 revenue, up from $2.26 billion in 2017.

› Canada's most beloved cakes launch in Publix
One of Canada’s most beloved bakeries, La Rocca Creative Cakes, is now available at all 1,265 Publix locations spanning the southeastern United States. This is the first time the desserts will be available for direct consumer purchase in Florida.

› Tampa’s Busch Gardens brings back Bier Fest for another round
It’s time for round two. Busch Gardens will bring back Bier Fest for a second year, with four weekends of specialty beers and foods running Aug. 17 through Sept. 8 including Labor Day. The Tampa theme park has lined up more than 40 local and international breweries, and there are 40 new brews and seasonal flavors like pumpkin and fruity ciders to try, plus some new fare.

› Project for $53 million theatre hits fundraising milestone
The Next Stage Capital Campaign, behind a $53 million project to build a new home and facility for Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, recently met a major goal: reaching $10 million in gifts and pledges, which kicks in a matching $10 million donation.

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