May 27, 2020

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Photo: John Pendygraft / Tampa Bay Times

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/31/2020

Florida businesses get creative with take-home hair-color kits and karate lessons online

You can’t go to the hair salon or the bar, the dog trainer or the karate studio. But you can take home a touch-up kit or a do-it-yourself cocktail, and even get lessons online. As coronavirus spreads, businesses of all kinds are looking for new ways to serve customers from afar. Among the examples emerging so far are take-home kits and video conferencing. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Lawmakers push DeSantis to improve state’s unemployment system

Gov. Ron DeSantis drew heightened pressure Monday to improve the state’s already challenging unemployment compensation system that has been overwhelmed by thousands of suddenly jobless Floridians trying to use the online application process. DeSantis appears to have made fixing the benefits system a low priority in the state’s fight against coronavirus. At one of his recent news conferences – which his staff has opened only to select reporters – DeSantis said he’ll “look at” making changes, but offered no specifics. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida’s voter registration system experiences ‘intermittent issues’

Florida’s online voter registration system began experiencing “intermittent issues” Sunday that could have kept some residents from registering to vote online. Some users who went to RegistertovoteFlorida.gov on Sunday encountered a 503 error saying the service was unavailable. The state has added a notification to the website apologizing for any inconvenience and saying it’s working to resolve the issue “as expeditiously as possible.” [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

FPL proposes one-time 25% power bill cut for May

Florida’s largest utility plans to give its residential customers a 25% one-time rate cut to help ease financial burdens stemming from the coronavirus crisis. All of FPL’s residential customers would automatically see the decrease in bills they pay for the May billing cycle, if state regulators approve the utility’s proposal. FPL serves about 5 million customers, or 10 million people, along Florida’s eastern and southwestern coasts. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida peaches seeing good volumes due to warm temperature

The Florida peach season kicked off a few weeks ago and the harvest is going strong. The Florida peach season traditionally starts as the Chilean peach program finishes up, running from late March through mid-May. The Florida peaches are the first domestic peaches available in the US each year, starting before the Georgia, South-Carolina and California producers begin their programs. [Source: Fresh Plaza]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Meet Gainesville’s women-led car shop paint team
Hilary White-Speir paints for a living, which isn’t unusual for the graduate of an arts program. But her choice of canvas — the doors, hoods and roofs of vehicles, is a little more unorthodox. She and Rebecca Nichols, whose background is originally in horticultural sciences, form the paint team at University Collision Center in Gainesville, 2700 NW 74th Place, the pair leading a new generation of car repair shop workers hoping to break stereotypes in an industry long dominated by men.

› What would business closure look like in Lakeland?
If Lakeland officials agreed to close all non-essential businesses, does anyone know what that would look like? Mayor Bill Mutz said he plans to recommend the city close all non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of coronavirus at the 3 p.m. special-called commission meeting Monday in City Hall. His proposal will likely hit resistance.

› 4 Rivers proclaimed the best barbecue in the South by Southern Living magazine readers
Winter Park-based 4 Rivers Smokehouse was chosen as the South’s Best Barbecue in an annual reader contest held by Southern Living magazine. Writer Robert Moss says the growing restaurant chain cuts “across regional style and challenge(s) traditional boundaries.”

› Miami-Dade halts construction inspections
After most of its permitting staff went into self-isolation because of multiple coronavirus cases within their ranks, Miami-Dade is suspending construction inspections and telling builders to hire their own engineers to review work for safety and code compliance.

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Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
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