October 16, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/11/2019

Natural gas-fueled electricity is replacing coal, oil in Florida

Florida is relying more on natural gas-fired electric generation for its power supply while depending less on coal and petroleum liquids. The shift over the past decade means that Florida now has more natural gas-fired power installations than any other state, according to the Department of Energy. Nearly 25 percent of all U.S. natural gas installations were installed in Florida over the past decade with Florida adding nearly 16 gigawatts of utility-scale natural gas-fired electric generation. More from the Chronicle and LMTonline.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Space Florida's rocket science financing

Some of the deals that spurred redevelopment of the Space Coast have involved creative use of tax incentives. Around 9 a.m. the morning of Feb. 4, 2015, more than half a dozen attorneys and executives representing defense contractor Northrop Grumman and economic development agency Space Florida squeezed into a small conference room on the fifth floor of the Brevard County property appraiser’s office in Titusville. [Source: Florida Trend]

How to avoid a Category 5 financial crisis when a storm hits

With three more months left of hurricane season, now is not the time let your guard down: NOAA forecasters increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45 percent (up from 30 percent from the outlook issued in May). While many of us know to stock up on the typical hurricane supplies, ensuring our finances are well-organized and protected is not always top of mind during this hectic time. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida’s pot business is a mess

Florida’s system to provide pain relief for patients has become a high-stakes battle between big-bucks companies looking to profit by selling off the medical marijuana business licenses they get from the state. The Florida Legislature’s decision to limit the number of licenses for the medical marijuana business and to require so-called “vertical integration” – meaning that licensed firms handle all aspects of the business, from growing plants to running dispensaries – has sparked numerous lawsuits. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Florida orange juice processing is getting squeezed out of business

One of only a handful of orange juice processing plants left in Florida will no longer process fruit in yet another sign of the havoc that diseases and Hurricane Irma have had on the fortunes of growers of the state’s signature crop. Florida now has seven citrus processing plants left in the state, down from around 30 processors two decades ago. Across Florida, there were more than 400,000 acres of citrus-bearing acreage in the 2017-2018 crop year, down by nearly half from more than 777,000 acres in 1998-1999. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Dorian renews anxiety in Florida Panhandle, with Hurricane Michael’s wounds still fresh
Eleven months since Category 5 Michael’s landfall, anguish is still fresh in the Panhandle. Counselors have seen depression and post-traumatic stress disorder seep into their communities as rebuilding slogs. Survivors of Hurricane Michael looked at the pictures from places like Marsh Harbour and Freeport and saw familiar brokenness.

› Sarasota homeowners recover on mortgage payments
Two years after Hurricane Irma pounded Southwest Florida, thousands of homeowners are no longer struggling to pay their mortgages. The number of local homeowners who are behind on their mortgage loans continues to track lower after spiking in the months following the storm, according to a report released Tuesday by data provider CoreLogic.

› Florida sends water to storm-blasted Bahamas
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state is sending the Bahamas enough bottled water to fill 10 tractor-trailer rigs the islands recover from Hurricane Dorian. DeSantis held a press conference Tuesday to make the announcement. He said Florida Power & Light is also contributing nine truckloads of water to the effort, and that overall, the state is helping coordinate $11 million worth of cash, supplies and services pledged to help the Bahamas.

› New rule changes for the 2019-2020 Florida hunting season
The 2019-2020 hunting season is already underway in south Florida’s Zone A and will soon be opening in the other three hunting zones. This season, there are new statewide rule changes that hunters need to know, especially when it comes to hunting deer.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Trial vaccine wipes out breast cancer in Florida patient
Trial vaccine wipes out breast cancer in Florida patient

Florida resident Lee Mercker became the first patient to participate in a clinical trial for a new breast cancer vaccine at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, after being diagnosed in March with early-stages of the disease. The vaccine has reportedly removed cancer cells.

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