Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida Keys to reopen to tourists in June
The Florida Keys will reopen its doors to tourists next month, ending a more than two-month pause on visitors to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Monroe County banned visitors to the string of islands in March, acknowledging the move was "a major inconvenience" but needed for the health and safety of visitors and residents. But starting June 1, vacation rentals, hotels and other lodging establishments can reopen to patrons. More from U.S. News & World Report and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Suncoast scraps record bank deal
Suncoast Credit Union, Florida’s largest credit union, has scrapped plans to buy Apollo Bank of Miami in what would have been a record-setting deal. Tampa-based Suncoast, which operates nine branches in the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte counties region, announced five months ago that it would acquire Apollo, a $745-million-asset lender. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Company offers hurricane protection systems for nurses
Storm Smart, one of the largest manufacturers and installers of code-approved hurricane protection products in the state, has a new program to support front line health care workers. The company , according to a statement, intends to donate a whole-home hurricane protection system each month during hurricane season to a local nurse through its “We Care” Program. More from the Business Observer.
Loxahatchee River, dying for freshwater, asks for emergency assistance
South Florida’s only nationally-recognized wild and scenic river is being poisoned by a lack of fresh water as dry conditions allow the ocean to sour the unique ecosystem once dominated by towering cypress trees. The Loxahatchee River, which traditionally receives a stipend from Grassy Waters Preserve to fight saltwater intrusion during the dry season, has been cut off from that tap for weeks with preserve waters themselves running low. More from the Palm Beach Post.
Gov. DeSantis says Florida road projects are months ahead of schedule
Gov. Ron DeSantis says road construction in Florida is months ahead of schedule. In a press conference in Orlando, the governor said the I-4/408 interchange ramp is now open, at least 6 weeks before it was expected to be completed under an accelerated schedule. He said the state hasn't halted construction like other states, but rather has taken advantage of the reduction of traffic to speed up road projects across the state. More from WTSP.
Some restaurant changes are here to stay
C’est La Vie on Main Street in Sarasota never had much use for app-based delivery services. The restaurant, known for its pastry and coffee counter that greets customers when they walk inside, and for sit-down breakfast service on the sidewalk, has used downtown Sarasota foot traffic and word of mouth to build goodwill and a reputation in the community over nearly 30 years to propel its business. But that changed in March, when restaurants were allowed to deliver or switch to to-go only as a safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter, after the oil sector. What’s more, the fashion industry loses about $500 billion of value every year due to the clothes that are thrown into landfills — or burned — without ever being sold, according to United Nations research. A Miami fashion-tech entrepreneur wants to provide a solution that will help the environment — and one that brands will embrace because it saves them money.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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