May 28, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/23/2019

Florida takes cautious approach to combat vaping illnesses

Despite the spread of vaping-related illnesses, Florida’s top health official told legislators the state isn’t taking dramatic steps at this time to address the issue. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public-health emergency in September and banned the sale of vaping products for four months, a move that has been challenged in court. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has shied away from endorsing a similar ban as part of a public-health campaign, noting that the cause of the illnesses has not been determined and that indications point to products that are sold illegally. [Source: WJCT]

How technology is helping those on the autism spectrum master the job interview

What happens when you partner up one of South Florida’s most respected charitable foundations with a hot technology startup? A growing number of new ways to help people with autism find jobs and live independently. While people on the autism spectrum excel at many kinds of jobs, one of the steps to employment that is the most difficult for them is the face-to-face interview. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida tomato study could prevent spread of damaging disease

A recent study by the University of Florida may help prevent the spread of a disease that's damaging tomatoes globally. Florida's tomato industry generates $520 million a year, but a disease called bacterial spot is lowering the crop's immune system, and decreasing the overall yield. It’s caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas. [Source: WUSF]

Florida’s secret eateries: Virtual and ghost restaurants only a delivery away

A growing number of Florida eateries are what’s known as virtual restaurants, and the only way to get food from them is on delivery apps DoorDash, Postmates and UberEats. These digital restaurants are poised to usher in the future of food-delivery apps, which are already reshaping the country’s $863 billion restaurant industry, according to an April report by the National Restaurant Association. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Feds fault FIU, state and contractors for deadly bridge collapse

During a hearing Tuesday on last year’s deadly Florida International University pedestrian footbridge collapse, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the bridge’s “catastrophic failure” stemmed from a flawed design with “significant errors.” All of the major parties involved in the project — from the university to the Florida Department of Transportation and the project’s engineers and contractors — came in for harsh criticism during the public hearing. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Looking for a job? Sawgrass Mills mall is offering over 1,000 soon
Are you searching for a job in time for the holiday season? Head over to Sawgrass Mills mall Thursday — there are more than 1,000 jobs up for grabs. Sawgrass has more than 360 shops, 100-plus kiosks, 15 sit-down restaurants, a movie theater complex and other offerings with over 30 million visitors yearly.

› FPL customers could be stuck paying $274 million for Hurricane Dorian
Florida Power & Light Co. could file for recovery of about $274 million in its expenses for restoring power related to early September’s Hurricane Dorian, which threatened South Florida over Labor Day weekend. How much of that customers could have to pay on their monthly electric bills was unclear Tuesday, as FPL didn’t immediately respond to questions about the estimated surcharge.

› Florida senators on opposite ends of the spectrum on sunscreen ban
Some sun protection may come at a steep price for the ocean's coral reefs. Now, a Florida state senator wants to ban some sunscreens entirely for the potential harm they cause marine life. Sen. Linda Stewart's proposed bill would require a prescription to use sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals found in most sunscreens that effectively protect against UV radiation but, researchers suggest, can also cause coral bleaching and eventually kill reefs.

› Florida Bar moves to suspend lawyer facing 31 complaints. But no one can find him.
The Florida Bar wants the state’s highest court to immediately suspend a Tampa attorney’s law license after he failed to respond to complaints that he stopped communicating with clients and withheld settlement money.

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Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.

Feeding Tampa Bay opened the new drive-through food bank — dubbed a mega-pantry — in Manatee County in response to an all-time high demand for meals and groceries from local food banks.

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