Photo: Scott Keeler\Tampa Bay Times
Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Pandemic shakes Florida’s consumer confidence, survey finds
As the news got worse this month, Floridians grew fearful about their own finances and the future of the economy. As a result, the March drop in consumer confidence as measured in a monthly survey is the worst on record — worse even than the shock delivered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Florida forestry keeps the toilet paper rolling
Forest products contribute to a large and valuable industry for the state of Florida – altogether comprising the state’s largest agricultural commodity. This includes primary and secondary product industries that range from lumber to, you guessed it, toilet paper. With stores struggling to maintain supply in toilet paper aisles and many Floridians now under stay-at-home orders, shoppers can rest assured: harvesting Florida’s forest products remains a necessary operation. [Source: Southeast Ag Net]
Florida sets up weekly tourism-focused conference calls
Visit Florida, the state’s tourism arm, has set up weekly calls with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on responses and resources available for the COVID-19 crisis. The calls, for 30 minutes every Wednesday starting at 10 a.m., are for Florida's private sector and tourism partners, according to a statement. Calls are hosted by the Florida Department of Health. [Source: Business Observer]
Federal appeals court refuses to revisit felons voting decision
Striking another blow against Gov. Ron DeSantis, a federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a ruling that felons who have served their time but are unable to pay “legal financial obligations” must be allowed to vote. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday turned down the Republican governor’s request for what is known as an “en banc,” or full court, review of a decision by a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based court. More from WPEC and the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida sheriff getting 6 tips a day in 1997 'Tiger King' disappearance
A Florida sheriff is using the hype surrounding the wildly popular Netflix series "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" to seek new leads in the case of Jack Donald "Don" Lewis, who's been missing since 1997. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told CNN that the show has generated a lot of new interest in the case. His office is receiving about six tips a day, he said. [Source: CNN]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Disney wins lawsuit over Winter Garden-based DisGear
Disney won a civil federal lawsuit this month after it sued a Winter Garden online retailer last year for copyright and trademark infringement for using images from “Star Wars” and “Frozen” to Mickey Mouse on its shirts.
› Duke Energy to waive late payment, returned check charges during COVID-19 pandemic
Duke Energy Florida is providing relief to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by waiving all late payment and returned check charges. The Florida Public Service Commission approved the emergency petition for tariff modifications on Tuesday.
› Publix allowing workers to wear gloves and masks
Publix employees can now wear gloves and masks during the coronavirus pandemic after the company changed its policy, a spokeswoman for the supermarket chain said Tuesday. Publix director of media and community relations Maria Brous declined to comment on reports that two workers had tested positive for COVID-19.
› Move over, 813: Tampa region getting a new area code
An additional area code, the state’s 20th, was approved for the Tampa region Tuesday as numbers in the decades-old 813 area code are running out. The Florida Public Service Commission voted, without discussion, to a 13-month implementation of what is known as an “overlay” plan that will add the yet-to-be-determined number in the existing 813 area.
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