July 12, 2020

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/18/2020

Booming space industry weathers turbulent coronavirus economy

Coronavirus has hit Florida’s economy hard. The region’s tourist industry appears to have taken the biggest hit, but on the space coast rockets continue to launch and aerospace businesses have by and large kept their doors open. “For the most part, the space industry has done a pretty good job of responding and adapting to COVID,” said Space Florida’s Dale Ketcham. NASA and SpaceX took extra precautions to keep Hurley, Behnken and all the employees working to keep the duo safe in an age of social distancing, deep cleaning and looming concerns over coronavirus. [Source: WMFE]

Late-April surge in pending Florida home sales buoys hope for real estate rebound

In May, Florida Realtors reported April sales of single-family homes statewide dropped 20.7 percent year-over-year, and condo-townhouse sales declined by 36.5 percent compared with April 2019. New pending sales for April statewide were down 35.1 percent in the single-family category year-over-year, and were down 56.6 percent in the condo and townhouse category, according to Florida Realtors. New pending sales are a key indicator of how sales figures will look in ensuing months, with many sales taking up to 90 days to complete. The trend in stable real estate values, however, was evident statewide as the April median sales prices for single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 100th consecutive month. [Source: The Center Square]

As Florida COVID numbers rise, NBA prepares to descend on Disney

The rate of positive coronavirus tests in the Orlando, Florida, area has been soaring in recent days. The NBA hopes that doesn’t matter. After spending weeks putting together an incredibly elaborate series of health and safety protocols – the word “testing” appears 282 times in the document – the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association believe they have done what’s necessary for the health and safety of the 22 teams and others that will be part of the season restart at the Disney campus near Orlando next month. [Source: AP]

Plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida gets go-ahead

A plan to release a horde of 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas is a step closer to fruition after a state regulator approved the idea, over the objections of many environmentalists. Oxitec, a British biotechnology company, has targeted the US as a test site for a special version of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. [Source: The Guardian]

DeSantis issues emergency elections order ahead of Florida primary

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday granted limited flexibility under state law to elections supervisors who for months have warned that the coronavirus pandemic will complicate their ability to hold elections in August and November. In an emergency order that fell well short of granting supervisors the leeway they’d requested months ago, DeSantis gave the state’s 67 local elections officials the ability to begin processing mail ballots earlier than otherwise allowed under Florida law. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Coast Guard warns Florida bridge at ’risk of an imminent collapse
Falling concrete and a crack late Tuesday in a portion of the Roosevelt Bridge that crosses the St. Lucie River caused half of the bridge to be closed, creating significant traffic issues. Additionally, State Road A1A from Albany Avenue to Fern Street — including the old Roosevelt Bridge — is closed, said Sgt. Brian Bossio, Stuart police spokesman.

› Southwest Florida builder names new top financial executive
Gates Construction has named Nicole Robinson controller. A CPA with over 20 years of diversified accounting experience, Robinson will help guide the firm’s strategic financial decisions, according to a statement. She will also oversee the firm’s accounting staff, including staff and project accountants, the release adds.

› Port Canaveral’s new cruise terminal nearly complete ahead of Carnival’s Mardi Gras arrival
When Carnival’s new Mardi Gras cruise ship eventually sails from Port Canaveral, it will have a shiny new home as Cruise Terminal 3 nears completion. Officials from Carnival Cruise Line toured the $163 million project that built an 188,000-square-foot terminal and adjacent 1,800-car garage to host the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet when it debuts. Port officials said the facility received its certificate of occupancy on June 9.

› Miami-Dade hotels focus on new trends, beefed-up safety
Since Miami-Dade authorities gave local hotels the green light to reopen this month, hoteliers from luxury resorts to family-owned businesses have evaluated their business plans, focused on new trends and beefed up safety protocols. One market many hoteliers are now focusing on is the road trip/staycation crowd: locals or close out-of-staters within driving distance looking for a getaway.

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