October 17, 2019

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/16/2019

Florida companies gearing up for NASA missions to the moon and Mars

When NASA launches its next mission taking astronauts to the moon and then to Mars for deep space exploration, Florida will have had a hand in making that happen. At least 409 companies from Florida, including Alternatives for Industry in Sarasota, are among the roughly 3,800 suppliers nationwide that will equip NASA’s latest Orion mission, Artemis 1. The space agency plans to return to the moon by 2024 and embark on long-term lunar exploration by 2028. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

Tropics buzzing with storm activity but Florida in the clear for now

September is the peak of hurricane season and this year is no exception. The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on multiple disturbances, but at least for the time being, none of these systems pose a threat to Florida. More from the Fort Myers News-Press and WKMG.

Opinion: Bottled water is sucking Florida dry

Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, but they are being devastated by increasing pollution and drastic declines in water flow. Some springs have dried up from overextraction; others have shown signs of saltwater intrusion and harmful algae blooms. At least 60 springs discharge from the Floridan aquifer into the Santa Fe River, which runs 75 miles through north-central Florida. This aquifer is the primary source of drinking water in the state. The state and local governments have continued to issue water bottling extraction permits that prevent the aquifer from recharging. [Source: New York Times]

Meet the rich personal injury lawyer who is pouring millions into an effort to get a $15 minimum wage on Florida’s ballot

States across the country have voted to hike their minimum wages to $15 per hour. A prominent lawyer is piling millions of dollars into a push to make Florida the next one. Frustrated by the state government’s inaction to raise the pay floor, John Morgan has pushed to get a $15 minimum wage measure on Florida’s ballot in 2020. He has already gathered the 766,200 signatures needed to let voters decide whether to raise the wage next year. [Source: CNBC]

Need a seasonal job? The odds are in your favor in this labor market.

Anyone looking for temporary work this holiday season is in luck. Many of the largest retailers in Florida and around the nation expect to hire more temporary workers, which will intensify the fight for candidates. That could go double for smaller shops and restaurants that have to compete with big-name brands. Problem is, the labor pool is already tight. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida Pizza chain pays $29,000 after it’s busted on OT pay and child labor violations
Flippers Pizzeria, a Central Florida staple pizza chain since the 1980s, paid a total of $29,235 in back pay and fines after Department of Labor investigators found overtime pay and child labor violations at 11 locations. The child labor violation didn’t exactly reach a kids-in-a-coal-mine level — a 17-year-old was allowed to drive to make deliveries. That cost Flippers $1,810.

› Florida’s hep A cases still rising, Tampa Bay counties largely to blame
New information from the Florida Department of Health is showing the major role some Bay area counties have in Florida’s hepatitis A outbreak. As of Sept. 7, Florida had 49 newly-reported cases of hepatitis A, bringing the total number of cases this year to 2,460.

› Sarasota-based boat builder aims to ride big growth wave
The Panga has been called “the boat that changed the world.” And since 2002, Panga Marine has taken that revolutionary design and made it both functional and appealing for American boaters. Kevin Prentice, the new owner and president of Sarasota-based Panga Marine, has big plans to build off that past success and get even more boaters behind the controls of a panga.

› Wall Street tycoon Carl Icahn moving his office to South Florida
Wall Street tycoon Carl Icahn is moving his business to South Florida, multiple outlets have reported. Icahn is the latest Northeast-based finance titan to look to the region’s bright climate and even warmer tax environment. Paul Tudor Jones and David Tepper have also made the leap south in recent years.

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