April 7, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/19/2020

Ron DeSantis may be quiet, but his fingerprints are all over Florida’s legislative session

As Florida’s state lawmakers pass the halfway point of the 60-day legislative session, it’s easy to think Gov. Ron DeSantis has faded into the background. The Legislature is making headlines grinding out bills and budgets, yet DeSantis is operating far from the public spotlight, in some cases avoiding questions from reporters. But a closer look reveals his fingerprints on an array of issues, where he's either nudging bills along or ushering in their early demise. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Thousands of Florida homeowners face insurance change

In a new sign of problems in Florida’s property-insurance industry, tens of thousands of homeowners will be shifted to a different insurer this spring because of a company’s financial troubles. Regulators late Monday announced an agreement to shift 43,000 policyholders, most of them homeowners, from Anchor Property and Casualty Insurance Co. to Homeowners Choice Property and Casualty Insurance Co. effective April 1. The move came after Anchor was the subject of a downgrade in a financial-stability rating. [Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal]

Florida getting presidential attention one month before primary

While Iowa and New Hampshire have captured most of the attention of the Democratic nominees for president, Florida is lurking in the background as one of the biggest prizes of all. Usually, by the time Floridians get to cast a ballot, the nominees have long been decided. But this time Democratic voters here may actually get to make a difference. [Source: WMFE]

Hurricanes fertilize mangrove forests, shape coastal landscape of the Florida Everglades

The destructive power of a hurricane appears to do plenty of good for mangroves in the Florida Everglades. It’s a welcome impact from an otherwise destructive force of nature as mangrove forests do plenty of good for people. They blunt the impact of hurricanes. They absorb damaging winds and prevent floodwaters from moving farther inland. They bear the brunt of the wind and storm surge, so people living in developed areas don’t have to. [Source: FIU News]

Florida Seminole tribe members allege NYC fashion brand appropriated their culture

Members of the Seminole tribe in Naples feel their history was ripped from them for somebody else’s profit with a recent collection from a New York City-based fashion designer and her brand, Ulla Johnson. The items are part of Ulla Johnson’s Resort 2020 collection, which a company statement said were “inspired by Seminole historical craftsmanship.” Seminole tribe member Corinne Zepeda found the patchwork offensive. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Christian theme park Holy Land Experience will lay off 118 workers
The Holy Land Experience, an Orlando Christian attraction best known for its daily crucifixion performances and a campus that replicates ancient Jerusalem and a Roman coliseum, will lay off most of its employees. On Friday, the attraction filed a layoff notice with city and state officials that it plans to eliminate 118 jobs, representing most of its employees, as of April 18.

› Tampa Bay area fast-food chain recruits Boston Market CEO to run company
Checkers & Rally’s has named Frances Allen CEO and a member of the company's board of directors, effective Feb. 17. Allen, according to a press release, comes to the Tampa-based fast food chain from Boston Market, where she also served as CEO. She succeeds Rick Silva, who served as CEO and president of the Tampa-based, nearly 900-unit fast food chain for 13 years.

› Jacksonville’s Cypress Business Center is acquired
A Texas-based company has purchased the Cypress Business Center off Philips Highway between Butler Boulevard and Baymeadows Road, according to NAI Hallmark and NAI Global, who handled the $8 million sale. The 8301 Cypress Plaza Drive center is Woodside Capital Partners’ second office/warehouse acquisition in Jacksonville over the past few years.

› Delivery company cuts jobs in Palmetto after losing Amazon contract
A delivery service is laying off 55 employees in the Sarasota-Manatee region after losing its contract with Amazon. Express Parcel Service LLC said the job cuts at its Palmetto location are part of 267 layoffs at five locations in Florida. All of the layoffs take effect April 12.

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