October 1, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/18/2020

Florida nonprofits show growth but still lag behind other states

Despite dramatic growth and a sizeable workforce, Florida’s nonprofit sector continues to rank well behind most other states when it comes to the prevalence of active groups and how much money they have. A report, released Friday by the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, says the state has 4.5 nonprofits for every 1,000 residents, which is 47th in the nation. The top states in that category have about seven nonprofits for every 1,000 residents, the report said. On another measure — assets per capita — Florida nonprofits as a whole ranked 39th in the nation. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Space Force’s experimental X-37B launches from Cape Canaveral

An Atlas V rocket with the U.S. Space Force’s experimental mini space shuttle successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral Sunday morning. The launch was the 84th for an Atlas V rocket and 139th ULA mission overall, but only the seventh time for Atlas V in this particular configuration that allowed for a wider payload and no side-mounted solid rocket boosters. The X-37B is 29 feet long with a 14-foot wingspan. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Antibody tests bolster suggestion COVID spread early in Florida

In Florida, health department reports show patients who eventually tested positive for the virus experienced symptoms as early as January. The Florida Department of Health hasn’t explained those potential fault lines in the state’s assertion that the first cases didn’t appear in Florida until March. And, in the ensuing months, the state has shared little to no data on those who have tested positive for antibodies, which experts say better captures the extensive spread of the coronavirus. [Source: Panama City News Herald]

Royal Caribbean reveals details of cruise layoffs as Miami-based industry withers

Some 2,000 jobs have now been shelved in the region’s $6 billion cruise industry. And the job losses are likely to have a ripple effect. The cruise industry is estimated to employ or support approximately 150,000 jobs in Florida. With about 70% of the state’s industry concentrated in Miami-Dade and Broward, thousands of secondary-industry employers that work with cruise companies, including caterers and cleaning firms, are likely to be affected. [Source: Miami Herald]

State seeks renewed death sentences as Florida high court backtracks on unanimous juries

William Deparvine and Ray Lamar Johnston are not sympathetic characters. Both men committed horrible crimes in Hillsborough County. And both men were sentenced to die because of it. Both men also had trials in which the jury was not unanimous about whether death was an appropriate sentence. That lack of consensus became a problem; ultimately, it put each of them on track for new sentencing hearings, with new juries, set for later this year. Now, though, it appears the new sentencing hearings might not happen. And some lawyers say that’s unfair. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Office Depot will slash 13,100 jobs and close more stores
Office Depot, seeking to cut costs and sharpen its mission to focus on business customers, intends to cut 13,100 jobs and shut an unspecific number of retail stories and distribution centers. The company, which is based in Boca Raton, quietly made the announcement last week in a brief filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

› Orlando area gyms make changes to assure members can safely resume workouts Monday
Friday’s decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis to re-open fitness clubs at 50% capacity on Monday, therefore, was met on social media with mixed emotions ranging from elation to outrage as the coronavirus pandemic continues. But gym owners are trying to assure their members and alert the masses that steps have been taken and precautions will continue in order to ensure a safe space that can provide a beneficial outlet during a stressful time.

› ‘Slow, uneven’ recovery for Miami tourism may not pick up until December, experts say
South Florida’s tourism leaders expect the industry to trickle back slowly over the coming months as the area relaxes COVID-19 restrictions. But they don’t expect anything resembling normalcy before Art Basel makes its annual appearance in early December. That was the message Thursday at the State of the Tourism Industry Forum, a virtual meeting held by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

› Food distribution draws thousands to Ed Smith Stadium
Without a car, he arrived pushing a wire handcart to carry his food. The man — who asked to be identified only as “James” — used to clean swimming pools for a living but hasn’t had work in months. On Saturday morning, he got up early, caught a free bus on Sarasota County Area Transit, and stood in a line of cars at Ed Smith Stadium for All Faiths Food Bank’s most recent mass distribution.

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