August 22, 2019

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/13/2019

5G cell towers could be coming to your front yard and Florida cities can't stop them

The next generation of wireless cellphone technology, known as 5G, will allow for much faster wireless internet speeds that could unlock new economic potential, but the technology also means hundreds of new small cellular network antennas going up across Pensacola — sometimes right in people's front yards. And because of a new Florida law, local governments have almost no say in where or how those new antennas can be placed. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Walt Disney World's political spending

Disney’s political spending has grown to more closely match its size. Since 2010, Disney has ramped up its political spending to make sure it doesn’t get outpunched by its rivals. During the 2010 election cycle, the company spent $2.1 million on state elections in Florida, including donations to candidates, state parties, political committees and constitutional amendment campaigns. That was as much as the company had donated in the three previous election cycles combined. [Source: Florida Trend]

Where Florida can prove its autonomous vehicle chops

Florida's public roads have hosted some of the more noteworthy and novel self-driving tests. Now companies looking to further probe the limits of their self-driving technology will have a dedicated proving ground in the state. In weeks, the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise will open SunTrax, a 475-acre operation between Orlando and Tampa that gives manufacturers and tech companies a closed course to run repeatable tests. [Source: Automotive News]

FPL seeks state approval to slash energy-efficiency goals

Florida homeowners could lose out on discounts for more energy-efficient air-conditioning units and other energy-reduction programs if the regulators allow Florida Power & Light Co. and other state utilities to slash energy-efficiency goals, critics say. With the state’s major utilities proposing goals at or near zero proposed this year, that could mean fewer energy-efficient programs at Florida utilities that help consumers save money. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Hurricane season life hacks: Floridians share their most unconventional storm survival tips

Now that El Niño has faded, scientists are predicting more hurricanes than normal this year. Preparation is key as the season ramps up, especially since 95 percent of Atlantic hurricanes appear between August and October. Where do you find batteries after all the big stores run out? Where can your dog pee when it’s pouring outside? Seasoned Floridians share their secrets for getting through storms. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Orange County sheriff wants pawn shops, gun stores to lock up guns at night. Some business owners are hesitant.
After a string of overnight burglaries at gun stores and pawn shops that resulted in the theft of 55 firearms last month, Orange County’s top cop is calling for legislation that would require those businesses to lock up the weapons in safes at night. Sheriff John Mina, who is on the legislative committee for the Florida Sheriff’s Association, plans to work with local politicians to research the feasibility and effectiveness additional laws could have to curb the thefts.

› Bookkeeping is a headache. Fort Lauderdale-based Xendoo seeks to provide relief
Small business owners have to plenty to worry about as they start and grow their businesses. Lil Roberts wants to ensure that they at least don’t have to worry about bookkeeping. Roberts, a South Florida native and serial entrepreneur, started the Fort Lauderdale-based online accounting service Xendoo in 2017 with co-founder Steven Gelley. Xendoo aims to simplify accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses with less than 20 employees, regardless of revenue.

› Visit Jacksonville looks to new hire to expand sports tourism
Visit Jacksonville wants to expand its sports tourism market. The local tourism agency has hired a longtime expert in the business of sports. Tom Norton joined Visit Jacksonville Monday as a new National Account Manager, focusing on sports tourism. Norton started his career at the U.S. Soccer Federation where he spent two years as coordinator.

› Orlando’s Creative Village could spark growth in video gaming companies
A push for high-wage digital media jobs at Creative Village in downtown Orlando has some video game industry leaders dreaming big and wondering aloud what it would be like to lure top studios to Central Florida. Leaders of the region’s largest game maker Electronic Arts said last week the company is in the “midst of real estate planning” after being asked about Creative Village.

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World's Spiciest Ice Cream Challenge at Snobachi in Ybor City
World's Spiciest Ice Cream Challenge at Snobachi in Ybor City

Watch reporter Daniel Figueroa IV as he attempts to complete a food challenge featuring ice cream that's almost three times as hot as pepper spray and about 3,000 times as spicy as Tabasco. 

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