August 22, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/14/2019

Florida farmers gearing up to fight climate change

In Florida, where 26 million acres are in agriculture production, farmers have long faced threats from trade agreements, pests and development. Now they've added a new risk to the $140 billion industry: climate change. UF launched a working group in April to begin meeting with farmers and try to assess how much rising temperatures, increased rain and other impacts could damage Florida's ag industry. They also want to come up with ways to improve farming practices and make the industry more resilient. [Source: WLRN]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Former Orlando Magic executive Pat Williams

The Orlando Magic executive shares lessons learned, including: “In team-building, when your best player is also your best leader, you have the perfect combination. If your best player is a screw-up, if he just cares about himself, then you’ve got a mess.” [Source: Florida Trend]

It’s not just Florida. Hepatitis A is sweeping the country.

Since 2016, the virus has spawned outbreaks in at least 29 states, starting with Michigan and California. It has sickened more than 23,600 people, sent the majority to the hospital and killed more than 230. All but California’s and Utah’s outbreaks are ongoing, and experts expect to eventually see the virus seep into every state. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida second in the country for robocall complaints

If you’ve been bombarded with those annoying robocalls in South Florida, this story is for you. Florida ranked second in the number of states with the most robocall complaints last year. That’s according to Socialcatfish.com, which used data from the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission for its new study, “The Rising Robocall Epidemic in America.” [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Four big-name rocket companies vie for future of military missions

United Launch Alliance joined SpaceX, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman as the four companies officially in the mix for the Air Force’s lucrative competition for the next generation of rockets. Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman all received millions in grants from the Air Force in 2018 to pursue their rocket development while SpaceX has moved forward on its own. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› EA lease allows it to leave Maitland in 2021. Could it move to downtown Orlando?
Electronic Arts could break its lease in Maitland as early as Oct. 31, 2021, thanks to a clause added five years ago, potentially setting up a move to Creative Village downtown. To do so, the video game developer would need to provide notice between nine and 12 months in advance and pay a termination fee of $1.85 million, according to its lease.

› Allegiant adds flights at Sarasota-Bradenton and Punta Gorda airports
Allegiant is adding eight new cities this fall to its roster of flights at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The new nonstop service to McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, launches Nov. 21 and will be year round, the discount airline announced Tuesday. All will operate twice weekly. Allegiant also is adding five seasonal routes to Punta Gorda Airport.

› Songbirds trapped, traded on black market in South Florida
Songbirds are known for their beautiful bright-colored feathered coats and for their melodious and upbeat songs, which South Floridians can hear on most summertime mornings. But there is another important detail to know about these small creatures: they're often trapped, smuggled and traded throughout the region.

› Marquis Bank merges with Professional Bank, creating 4th-largest in South Florida
The fourth-largest community bank in South Florida will be created with the merger of two Coral Gables firms, according to a release Monday. Marquis Bank has agreed to merge with Professional Bank, creating an institution with $1.6 billion in assets. The group will also become the 12th-largest community bank in Florida. The merger is official pending regulatory approval.

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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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