Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida Citrus commission rejects tax hike for marketing
Small growers of Florida’s signature crop, expressing concerns about the future of the citrus industry, indicated a willingness Wednesday to pay a higher tax rate if it gets people to drink more orange juice. But the Florida Citrus Commission rejected a proposal to raise from 7 cents to 12 cents a per-box tax on oranges that growers pay to help market their crop. More from the Fort Myers News Press, the Florida Phoenix, and the St. Augustine Record.
JPMorgan Chase bank can chop down 66 trees to make room for solar panels near Lake Mary
Seminole County commissioners have agreed to allow banking giant JPMorgan Chase to chop down 66 large shade trees from a parking lot off International Parkway near Lake Mary to make room for more than a dozen solar panel canopies. In turn, the solar panels would provide up to 55% of the electrical power delivered to the company’s three-story office building. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida is headed for era of driverless cars
Florida is on the road to an era of driverless cars with its good weather, popularity as a tourist destination, and demographics. That's the assessment of two advocates of the technology — one a Palm Beach consultant and the other a state senator from St. Petersburg who says Florida is already a leader in the push toward autonomous vehicles. More from Government Technology and the Palm Beach Post.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport's traffic growth continues with 40% increase
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport passenger traffic set an all-time record for the month of October with 160,327 passengers traveling through the airport. Traffic for October 2019 was up 40% over October 2018, according to a press release. Year-to-date passenger numbers are up 41%, with 1,556,328 passengers using the airport so far this year. More from the Business Observer.
Integrity Express Logistics expanding Tampa office
Integrity Express Logistics plans to add 50 or more more employees earning an average of at least $60,165 a year as part of an expansion of its Tampa regional office. Based in Cincinnati, the company matches freight with the trucks that haul it in 48 states and Canada. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Out of the Box
Icebar Orlando helps the Sunshine State chill
Cold, hard truth: Florida winter is inconsistent. Freezing into your bones one day, piercing heat later that same day. But there is one place that you can wear a jacket year-round: Icebar Orlando on International Drive. Now the cool attraction is offering Sunshine State residents a chill deal with the Florida Freeze package. Sundays through Thursdays, residents can get admission plus jacket and glove rental and a drink for $19.95.
» More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Orlando's sustainability director Chris Castro
When he was a freshman at the University of Central Florida, Chris Castro and some fellow classmates approached then-President John Hitt with a request: Sign a pledge to make UCF a carbon-neutral campus by the year 2050. Castro, who grew up in Miami, where his parents operated a palm tree farm, now is doing similar work on a larger scale. As Orlando’s sustainability director, he’s overseeing Mayor Buddy Dyer’s vision to make Orlando one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable cities in the country.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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