January 25, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 12/4/2019

State warns Florida’s elections websites could be target for hackers

Florida’s top election official on Tuesday warned that attackers could attempt to disrupt elections without even breaking into the voting systems — by simply changing the results on election websites. Secretary of State Laurel Lee told the governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force that Florida’s elections tabulation system is secure, but state and county elections websites “are far more vulnerable to being attacked or defaced and pose a very real threat, not of changing election results, but of undermining voter confidence.” More from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida winter cruise season in full swing with arrival of Sky Princess

Florida is fully loaded with more than $3 billion worth of new and updated cruise ships as Princess Cruises’ new vessel Sky Princess made its debut. One of only two brand new ships to debut from Florida ports alongside Norwegian Encore before the new year, Sky Princess made its way into Port Everglades on Sunday to begin Caribbean sailings through next spring. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

The state of Florida agriculture: Innovations, better crops, greater production

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services led by Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida had 47,000 commercial farms occupying over 9.45 million acres in 2017. That year, the state ranked first in the nation in the value of production for cucumbers, grapefruit, oranges, squash, sugarcane, fresh market snap beans, and fresh market tomatoes. [Source: 83 Degrees Media]

SpaceX pauses some Starship activity in Florida; focusing on new version in Texas

SpaceX will move some activities related to its upcoming Starship vehicle away from the Space Coast as it pushes forward with the next phase of its development, a shift that will result in some impacts to local workers and operations. The company said it has not stopped all Starship-related activity at its facility on Cidco Road in Cocoa, but has paused some local work as it focuses on a new version known as "Mark III" in Boca Chica, Texas. [Source: Florida Today]

Florida Supreme Court hears the pros and cons of ‘jungle’ primary

It’s known as a “jungle” primary, and the Florida Republican and Democratic parties want no part of it. Now, the Florida Supreme Court will decide whether a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul the state’s primary-election system will go before voters in November 2020. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› St. Pete Pier Marketplace vendors announced
The city of St. Petersburg has selected its initial round of vendors for the Pier Marketplace at the St. Pete Pier when it opens next Spring. The vendors will provide goods and services ranging from jewelry and art to artisan foods and caricatures.

› Underground power lines dispute continues
An administrative law judge will hold a hearing this month in a dispute about how to carry out a new law that is expected to lead to more underground power lines in Florida --- and higher costs for utility customers. The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents customers, is challenging a Nov. 5 decision by regulators to approve proposed rules stemming from the law, which the Legislature passed this spring.

› He founded a Miami bank in the middle of the financial crisis. Now it’s being acquired
It was the worst of times — or so it seemed. It was 2009, and Eddy Arriola, a former tech entrepreneur from a prominent local Cuban-American family, had decided to start a bank. He named it Apollo, after the Greek God of prophecy. Few believed that founding a community-minded financial institution at the height of the financial crisis would survive.

› Orlando considered one of the least-safe cities in America, new study finds
In a new study, WalletHub ranked Orlando near the bottom of 182 cities in its Safest Cities in the U.S. list. The study focused on three key factors when formulating the list, including “Home & Community Safety,” “Natural-Disaster Risk” and “Financial Safety.” Each category totals up to a certain amount of points, which are then averaged out for the final score.

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