October 18, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/4/2019

Dorian riding Florida coast as strong Category 2 hurricane as Tropical Storm Gabrielle emerges

Dorian is still being felt in Florida Wednesday, but it should be its last day in the Sunshine State. Forecasters said it will pass the Florida-Georgia line early Thursday morning. Meanwhile Tropical Storm Gabrielle appeared in the Atlantic overnight, but seems to pose no current threat to the U.S. According to the National Hurricane Center Dorian was about 90 miles off the coast of Daytona at 6 a.m. Wednesday, moving northwest at 8 mph and maintaining winds of 105 mph. The storm grew considerably as it left the Bahamas Tuesday, sending tropical storm-force winds 160 miles from the storm’s center. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

See also:
» Tropics heating up as Hurricane Dorian skirts Florida coast
» Floridians Hope Dorian’s Economic Impact is Temporary
» Thousands without power across Florida after Hurricane Dorian skirts up the coast
» If the scale didn’t didn’t stop at 5, would Hurricane Dorian have been a Category 6 storm?

SpaceX's new ride-sharing launches to boost small-satellite industry

SpaceX's plans for more frequent, regularly scheduled ride-sharing launches will unleash new growth in the small-satellite industry, leading to easier and cheaper rollouts for new communication networks, experts said. SpaceX recently published a schedule of 30 rocket launches for small satellites in 2020 and 2021. Its customers can buy space on the missions for as low as $1 million, a previously unprecedented price to put a satellite into orbit. [Source: UPI]

Florida has received more than 2,000 reports of price gouging

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's office said it has received more than 2,000 reports of price gouging ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Examples include a West Palm Beach gas station charging more than $4 for gasoline that last week was just $2.79. One Florida store was reportedly selling a 24-count case of water for $9. That pack usually retails for about $4. State authorities have investigated about 145 of the reported businesses reported and forced owners to lower prices. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Miami Herald, and WPBF.

Arguments moved up in Florida-Georgia water fight

A federal judge has rescheduled arguments for Oct. 17 in a long-running legal battle between Florida and Georgia about water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system starts in Georgia and flows south into the Florida Panhandle. Florida filed the lawsuit in 2013, alleging that Georgia is using too much water from the system, causing problems such as a declining oyster industry in Franklin County’s Apalachicola Bay. [Source: Southeast AgNet]

Florida gas prices increase 4 cents as supply stabilizes

Gas is back in most gas stations across the state, according to AAA, the Auto Club Group, and prices have ticked up as the state waits for Hurricane Dorian. State gas prices increased 4 cents over the week to $2.44 a gallon Monday, while Tampa Bay prices jumped 6 cents since last week. “Fortunately, Dorian has moved so slowly that it allowed plenty of time for Floridians to get gasoline and (for) gas stations to be resupplied,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Keep Pensacola Beautiful fundraising to restore Coca-Cola building into community space
A nonprofit with the goal to keep Pensacola a clean, beautiful place has extended its mission to save the historic Coca-Cola building on North Palafox Street. Keep Pensacola Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, has plans to restore the building into an office and community gathering space. It’s currently raising money to fund the project.

› Residents can speak out on proposed North Port budget at Thursday hearing
North Port residents can weigh in the city’s proposed $172 million 2019-20 fiscal year budget, 6 p.m., Thursday at a series of public hearings hosted by the North Port City Commission. Technically, the commission will host three hearings: one on the proposed millage rate for the budget; as well as hearings for the fire rescue district, solid waste district and road and drainage district.

› Little Blue Donut Co. closes Winter Park store
Little Blue Donut Co. is closing its Winter Park shop but will continue to serve doughnuts out of its food truck. The business announced the closure of its location at 223 W. Fairbanks Ave. on social media. The Facebook post on Monday did not include the last day the shop was open. The food truck started in 2016 and the shop opened in 2018.

› Utility charges for Tampa residents could nearly double by 2026
Mayor Jane Castor and city public works officials have been laying political pipe for months on a $3.1 billion proposal to remake Tampa’s aging water and sewer infrastructure and create a new water source for the growing city. But as the Castor administration rolled out the plan in a series of public meetings in recent weeks, the reaction was mixed.

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