Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Georgia wins major victory in legal fight with Florida over water use
For years, Florida has blamed Georgia’s water use for causing damage to the economically vital oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay. But a special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed this week, dealing a major blow to Florida in its legal fight to force Georgia to share more water in a river system that links the two states. More from the Tallahassee Democrat, Law.com, the AP, AJC and WABE.
Floridian of the Year
Challenges of teaching math in Florida schools
Florida has a critical shortage of math (and other) teachers, and school districts are putting more teachers uncertified in their field in the classrooms. In the 2017-18 school year, roughly one out of every 14 math classes in the state was taught by a teacher not certified in math. ‘Everybody can do math,’ says Samantha Neff, who shares her methods with other teachers.[Source: Florida Trend]
Florida vaccination efforts slow the spread of hepatitis A
Florida’s surgeon general is cautiously optimistic that education and vaccination efforts during the past few months are working to contain the spread of hepatitis A, which caused the declaration of a public-health emergency in August. The state Department of Health said 33 new hepatitis A cases were reported last week, bringing the total this year to 3,221. [Source: WJXT]
Raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour? Here’s who gains and who loses
Potentially before voters in 2020, a proposed constitutional amendment would gradually increase Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. It has more than the required number of signatures — 769,000 — to be on the ballot. The Florida Supreme Court only has to sign off on the language. But while welcomed by underpaid workers, the proposed amendment is likely to face opposition from some employers and business groups in the state. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Most 'boomtowns' are in three states and Florida is one
Florida, Texas and Colorado are collectively home to more than two dozen of the nation's fastest-growing cities for population growth and economic expansion, according to a new report. SmartAsset, a personal finance company, recently collected data on 500 of America's largest cities, ranking the locales on economic metrics that include population and housing growth, unemployment, and gross domestic product expansion. [Source: US News & World Report]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Infinite Energy doles out annual holiday loot
Last week, Livia Adams woke up to news that surely brightened her holiday season. Adams, who renews natural gas and electricity contracts for Gainesville-based Infinite Energy, had won the company’s $50,000 grand prize at its annual holiday party. “It was a big surprise,” she said. “I woke up and saw my phone was blown up with texts.”
› House panel advances craft distilleries expansion
Republicans on a House panel kept afloat greater freedoms for craft distilleries Wednesday, keeping alive Rep. Anthony Sabatini‘s measure to expand the industry in the state. The Howey-in-the-Hills Republican’s bill (HB 583) would raise the new annual production cap for craft distillers to 250,000 gallons, more than tripling the current limit.
› Jacksonville developers plan Lakeshore entertainment district
An entertainment district anchored by The Phoenix Bar & Bowling is planned on the bank of the Cedar River in the Lakeshore neighborhood of Jacksonville. King Street District on Monday finalized its purchase for $575,000 of the former Tidewater Boat Works property at 2652 Blanding Blvd. adjacent to The Phoenix Bar & Bowling, which is owned by King Street.
› Orlando’s public transit is failing workers
Central Florida’s public transit system is failing the low-wage workers who help drive the region’s $75 billion tourism economy. Officials acknowledge Lynx’s shortcomings, but say they can’t do more without more money. “Is it a first-rate transportation service? No, it can’t be until it has a dedicated funding source,” said Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine, chairman of the Lynx board.
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