Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Hurricane Michael funding stalemate could cost Florida timber farmers $100 million
There's about a $100 million difference in how the Florida Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture want to spend disaster relief money in eight north Florida counties. The money is part of $380 million in block grants that became available in November for the region devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018. More from the Tallahassee Democrat, the Gainesville Sun, and WPEC.
SpaceX looks to launch tourists to orbit using Crew Dragon
SpaceX aims to launch up to four tourists into a super high orbit, possibly by the end of next year. The private company is working with Space Adventures Inc. for the flight, officials announced Tuesday. Ticket prices are not being divulged but expected to be in the millions. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida lawmakers to ban discrimination in organ transplants
Florida's Legislature is moving toward ensuring new protections for disabled people who may need organ transplants, part of a national trend among states. The proposals would formally ban insurance companies and others from denying transplants for anyone with physical or mental disabilities. More from the AP.
JaxPort will soon ask city for river deepening dollars
As the $484 million deepening of the St. Johns River chugs closer to the Jacksonville Port Authority’s docks, JaxPort plans to make its first request to City Hall for tens of millions of dollars in city assistance. The port authority has not put an exact dollar amount on its ask, but port officials will be meeting in the next few weeks with city leaders. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Tampa investment firm accused of $170 million Ponzi scheme
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing a Tampa real estate investment firm and its founder of running a Ponzi scheme that raised $170 million from about 1,140 investors and misappropriated millions of dollars to pay for sports cars, collector wristwatches and chartered jets. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
"You can do it"
Growing up in Crawfordville, Florida, Carol Broxton, Pharm. D., had dreams but no direct path to them until she received a Bright Futures Scholarship funded by the Florida Lottery that paved her way to a college education. Now a regional pharmacy manager in Tallahassee (for JTJ Medical Supply, doing business as Mail-Meds Clinical Pharmacy & Bliss Rx), Broxton is working to return the favor. [Sponsored report]
New Brickell hot spot on the Miami River is finally open for business
The new entertainment hot spot in Brickell is finally opening — but slowly. Riverside, the 120,000-square-foot venue on the Miami River originally set to open last year, is opening in stages throughout February on the weekends. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy food from seven different restaurant concepts as well as outdoor activities.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Born in Jamaica, Viv Helwig grew up in Brevard County, raised by an entrepreneurial mom who ran a successful real estate brokerage. He graduated from Flagler College in 2008 and went to work for a Pennsylvania steel mill, selling raw materials to medical device makers in the Midwest. After five years, he decided to strike out on his own as a steel distributor.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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