July 12, 2020

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/28/2020

Florida revenue takes $878.1 million hit in April from coronavirus-stifled tourism sector

State revenue was off $878.1 million in April from an earlier estimate as tourism and hospitality-related industries, along with car sales, were grounded by the coronavirus, according to economists. A monthly revenue report from the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research reflects economic damage caused by the pandemic and the effects of stay-at-home orders on state tax revenues. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Gov. DeSantis schedules first cabinet meeting since pandemic

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has downplayed the importance since last year of formal meetings with the state’s top elected officials, is scheduled to conduct his first Cabinet meeting Thursday since COVID-19 became a crisis. Democrats have cited the lack of meetings among the Cabinet during the virus emergency to dig at the Republican governor. [Source: WUFT]

OK, you found a job in Florida. So how do you stop unemployment benefits?

After weeks of anger and frustration trying to get unemployment benefits, some Floridians are now getting just as frustrated trying to stop getting them. Florida’s beleaguered, $77 million CONNECT system is the subject of an inspector general investigation ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis after claimants repeatedly could not get through to process claims or experienced weeks of non-payment over the first two months of the coronavirus outbreak. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

You can work out, but not shower. Here’s how coronavirus changed going to the gym

Gym rats and body builders, rejoice! Broward County gyms are officially reopen for business as of Tuesday. But if you’re expecting large crowds, don’t worry: They’re opening at 50 percent capacity. Limiting patrons is one of the many changes gym-goers will see when they return to facilities for the first time since the two-month COVID-19 closure. Broward County’s emergency order also bans showers except under certain circumstances. [Source: Miami Herald]

Disney wants to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom July 11. SeaWorld plans public reopening June 11

Walt Disney World is planning a phased reopening with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopening July 11 followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15, a Disney executive told Central Florida business leaders Wednesday. SeaWorld proposed reopening its three Orlando parks, including Discovery Cove and Aquatica, to the public on June 11 — about three weeks from now — interim CEO Marc Swanson said Wednesday. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.


› Cheez-It Bowl: Orlando game gets new sponsor to replace Camping World
Cheez-It is the new title sponsor for one of the two college football bowl games held annually at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Cheez-It Bowl will replace the Camping World Bowl during the upcoming football season. Cheez-It previously was the title sponsor for a bowl game held at Chase Field in Phoenix from 2018-19.

› Tampa sees alarming surge in violent crime; leaders discuss guns, gangs, solutions
The city of Tampa has seen a 36 percent rise in violent crimes involving guns in the first five months of this year compared with the same period in 2019. Violent crime overall has surged by 10 percent. And there have been 15 homicides in the city so far, compared with 12 in the first five months of last year.

› Oakland Park offers curbside library pickup; launches small business support campaign
The Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library is now offering curbside pickup for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials can be requested and picked up Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who have an Oakland Park Library card in good standing.

› Some Orlando craft breweries are serving again. Here’s why they can do it
Some craft breweries in Central Florida are starting to come back to life under state rules that allow them to open because they also serve food. Now, the beer-makers must try to recover from severe dropoff in business since Gov. Ron DeSantis banned them from serving customers onsite in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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