Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
As Hurricane Dorian threatens the Space Coast, NASA works to secure its launch pads
On the Space Coast, where some models put Hurricane Dorian touching land Monday, teams at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station are working to secure multi-million-dollar equipment ahead of the storm. A major storm slamming the space center facilities head-on would be a first. More from the Orlando Sentinel and Space.com.
» Hurricane Dorian prompts Rosen hotels to offer Florida residents discounts
» Dorian threat has wireless carriers ready drones to restore service
» Retailers say they’re stocked and ready for Hurricane Dorian
Florida’s new toll roads are supposed to help these counties. But they don’t want it.
Florida’s three proposed toll roads were sold by politicians and interest groups as a boon for the state’s poor rural areas, which have been left further behind by the last decade of growth. There’s just one problem: Some of those poor rural areas are highly skeptical of the plan — while some are openly hostile to it. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Growth on the menu for Florida’s restaurant sector
The strong appetite of both local residents and tourists for fine dining should help South Florida’s restaurant industry grow in spite of the turmoil currently facing the retail sector. A report released by commercial brokerage CBRE predicts a strong restaurant sector with spending increasing above non-food retail industries. The analysis also indicates that South Florida will remain a prime market for international restaurant expansions into the US. More from GlobeSt.com.
Medical marijuana case that dramatically changes the industry will go to Florida Supreme Court
A split appeals court on Tuesday refused to grant the state’s request to revisit a decision that could revolutionize the way medical marijuana operators do business in Florida. Instead, the 1st District Court of Appeal asked the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether the state’s “vertical integration” system of requiring licensed operators to grow, process and distribute cannabis and derivative products runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in Florida. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Sarasota economic development policies under scrutiny
The CEO of Sarasota County’s Economic Development Corporation came to county commissioners Wednesday armed with a new strategic plan, endorsements from board members and more than 100 Power Point slides, hoping to make a case for continuing the EDC’s longstanding policy of “economic diversification.” “The EDC celebrates every kind of company,” said Mark Huey, who since 2011 has led the public-private partnership tasked with enticing businesses to come, stay and expand in Sarasota County. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired Anna Pohl as general manager of the Bradenton Area Convention Center and Powel Crosley Estate. Pohl previously worked at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering and Linens by the Sea, a division of U.S. Tent Rental. She also taught at State College of Florida through the Lovegevity Certification event and wedding planning program.
» More from the Business Observer.
Out of the Box
Publix made a Hurricane Dorian cake. Some shoppers aren’t happy.
As Hurricane Dorian barrels toward the east coast of Florida, some Publix bakeries are tracing the path of the storm ... with icing. Pictures of a hurricane-themed cookie cake surfaced on social media this week. The chocolate chip cookie concoction features a sugary green outline of Florida, tufts of blue icing waves, the cone of uncertainty and the bright red eye of the storm.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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