February 17, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/21/2019

In fight vs. Florida election hacks, public, officials may be kept in the dark

If the FBI discovers that foreign hackers have infiltrated the networks of your county election office, you may not find out about it until after voting is over. And your governor and other state officials may be kept in the dark, too. There's no federal law compelling state and local governments to share information when an electoral system is hacked. And a federal policy keeps details secret by shielding the identity of all cyber victims regardless of whether election systems are involved. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.

Florida unemployment rate drops to 3.2%

Florida's unemployment rate is 3.2%, or 0.3 percentage points below the national rate. The state released figures Friday that show unemployment in September dropping slightly below the 3.3% rate in August. There were 336,000 unemployed Floridians out of a workforce of 10.4 million people. The state added 11,100 jobs in September. Read more at WTSP and see regional employment reports below:

» Fort Lauderdale
» Tampa Bay area
» Orlando
» Miami
» West Palm Beach
» Southwest Florida
» Pensacola

A new task force will examine Florida agencies’ cybersecurity

How vulnerable are Florida government agencies to a cyberattack? It’s a question state leaders hope to be able to answer by this time next year. The state’s newly-appointed Florida Cybersecurity Task Force convenes next week to begin a year-long analysis of the state’s cybersecurity health. Its goal is to identify areas for improvement and prioritize digital threats against the state. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Writer Randy Wayne White is a Florida Icon

Writer Randy Wayne White tells Florida Trend: "Writing’s a pain in the ass. Every day, it’s hard. Never had an easy day." The creator of the Doc Ford series of novels also says: "Florida has always been a carny state and, to a degree, a con man state." [Source: Florida Trend]

How Scientology doubled its downtown Clearwater footprint in 3 years

The Church of Scientology and companies run by its members spent $103 million over the past three years buying up vast sections of downtown Clearwater. They now own most commercial property on every block within walking distance of the waterfront, putting the secretive church firmly in control of the area’s future. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Miramar: Your partner for business

In the first six months of 2019, some 228 businesses decided to make the City of Miramar their home. Between October 2018 and July 2019, the city issued 6,498 new business, building, and other permits. What did they all have in common? They discovered a city whose planning, permitting, and approval process is built for the speed of business. [Sponsored report]


› Sarasota-Bradenton on screen: the biggest movies made there
A circus big top housing high drama, a hotbed of government corruption and murderous get-rich schemes, and the start to a bikini-clad crime spree — Sarasota-Manatee’s played them all onscreen over the years. Since the silent movie era, Florida has lured filmmakers to the Sunshine State with its camera-ready tropical locations. Sarasota-Manatee is no exception, with its plentiful beaches and waterfronts, ornate mansions and vestiges of Old Florida.

› Spirit Airlines to invest $250 million in new headquarters and move 1,000 employees
Spirit Airlines will invest $250 million in a new Dania Beach corporate headquarters, moving 1,000 employees from Miramar, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announced Thursday. The discount airline said it would add 225 jobs at its new Dania Beach campus by 2022, with an annual average salary of $79,000. The new jobs will be an expansion of all types of jobs at Spirit, the airline said.

› Florida Attorney General's Office cracking down on moving companies
The Florida Attorney General's Office is cracking down on the moving industry. The office is suing more than 10 moving businesses for giving customers "deceptive, low ball estimates then extorting higher fees by holding consumers' property hostage." The office also said the businesses "have harmed hundreds of consumers."

› Central Florida retailers offer more perks and maybe higher pay to fill holiday season jobs
Employers in Orlando and across the U.S. are feeling pressure to offer more perks for holiday-season workers in a tight labor market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a big pay boost for all of those potential employees.

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Tampa Bay couple heading back to US after cruise ship quarantine
Tampa Bay couple heading back to US after cruise ship quarantine

Tampa Bay couple Phil and Gay Courter have been quarantined on the Princess Diamond since Feb. 4. Once they get back to the U.S., they will be quarantined for 14 days.

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