May 24, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/7/2019

Florida Trend Exclusive
Marijuana in Florida: This bud's for us

Headed by Wall Streeters and MBAs and backed by deep-pocketed investor funds, more than 20 companies are fighting for dominance in the era of Big Pot ushered in by voters. By voting in 2016 to approve a constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana, Florida voters have birthed both a marijuana industry and a rush to dominate it. [Source: Florida Trend]

Ending invasive species group ‘a disaster,’ says Florida scientist who helped start it

For 20 years, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee coordinated all of the federal government’s efforts at controlling pythons and other invasive species plaguing the nation, aiding in the design of regulations and scientific approaches to dealing with them. But last week the Trump Administration officially suspended the committee, in effect disbanding it at a time when Florida — which has more invasive species than any other state — has doubled down on its attempts to stop pythons. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Hurricane Michael one year later: Housing crunch still a major obstacle

A year has passed since the Category 5 hurricane gashed Bay County, leaving hundreds of crumpled homes and apartment complexes in its wake. Twelve months later, not much has changed for many residents. The thousands who evacuated can’t return and those who stayed, but lost their homes, have struggled to find new residences or ones that fit their price range. [Source: Panama City News Herald]

Florida’s toll road projects lack big support, except from road builders

The controversial idea this year to expand Florida’s toll system by 300 miles was first pitched by road builders. Now, months after lawmakers signed off on the expansion, it appears road builders are the only members of the public voicing support for the idea. Out of hundreds of public comments solicited by the Florida Department of Transportation in August about the largest toll system expansion in 60 years, only two dozen came from people in favor of building the three roads. Of those, nearly all came from road builders, contractors and engineers who sent their endorsements via personal email addresses without disclosing their employers. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

South Florida business schools aim to broaden their appeal with innovative, flexible programs

Sustainability, cybersecurity, social media marketing, big data, analytics, cryptocurrencies. These are just a few challenges and opportunities that executives and other business professionals must deal with today — in addition to growth, profit-and-loss, finance, marketing and all the traditional disciplines that keep companies competitive and successful. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Hurricane center tracks two systems in the Atlantic
October storms are churning the Atlantic one week into the month. Meteorologists are tracking two nontropical weather systems with increased chances of becoming tropical or subtropical depressions later this week, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. update.

› Hundreds of workers needed for Christmas light maze at Tropicana Field
The creators of Enchant Christmas, a huge Christmas light maze coming to Tropicana Field, are putting out the call for hundreds of seasonal workers to serve as character actors and customer service representatives. The event, which is billed as the world’s largest Christmas maze, is coming to St. Petersburg starting in November.

› Python hunting team captures its largest snake ever. There was another milestone, too.
September was a record-breaking month for python hunters. First, two members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Python Action Team captured an 18-foot, 4-inch-long female Burmese python at Big Cypress National Preserve Sept. 22. The snake, weighing 98 pounds, 10 ounces, is the largest ever captured at the preserve in Southwest Florida. And it’s the second largest ever captured in Florida.

› JEA for sale: bid price at least $6.8 billion
JEA will open bids Monday, beginning a five-month process to negotiate with potential buyers. City Council member Michael Boylan wants council to have public hearings during that time to explore the pluses and minuses of selling.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Fort Lauderdale gyms reopened briefly before ordered to close
Fort Lauderdale gyms reopened briefly before ordered to close

Fort Lauderdale gyms The Fitness District and CrossFit Increase open following strict guidelines on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Mayor Dean Trantalis would order them to remain closed later that evening.

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