August 4, 2020

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/31/2020

› Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill to empower Space Florida as NASA aims for Mars
Hours after NASA launched its Perseverance Rover from Cape Canaveral toward Mars, Gov. Ron DeSantis ceremonially signed a bill to financially empower Space Florida. The measure, HB 717, will provide Space Florida with more flexibility to provide bonds and financing for commercial space and aerospace projections.

› New CEO brings gutsy — yet polished — edge to $930M firm
A word that comes up constantly when people talk about Christina “Cina” Welch, recently named president and CEO of FCCI Insurance Group, is preparation. Most times, over-preparation. Like the times Welch, an attorney who joined Lakewood Ranch-based FCCI in 1998, in the legal department, oversaw a littler brigade road clean crew up through the University of Florida alumni Gator Club. Tasked with cleaning Osprey Avenue, outside downtown Sarasota, Welch would get there first, clipboard in tow to divvy up assignments, and set up a sign-in table with donuts and orange juice.

› Gatorland offers Florida residents half off admission
Looking for a deal you can sink your teeth into? How about one that can sink its teeth into you? Florida residents have until July 31 to take advantage of half-off admission to Gatorland. Guests who purchase admission at the gate with valid Florida ID for each adult can get in for $14.99 adults, $9.99 children ages 3-12 and $12.49 for seniors age 55 and older. Children younger than 3 are free.

› North Port pulls back on public records access
The North Port City Commission took a step backward in transparency Tuesday, when it both decided against creation of a portal where people could observe current emails and voted to remove access to emails gleaned from specific public records requests. The commission had considered creating a real-time portal similar to those used by Sarasota County and the city of Venice.

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Floria school districts, staffing agencies need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers
Floria school districts, staffing agencies need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers

Education leaders are in a mad dash working to get ready for the start of the school year. Among the preparations, school districts statewide still need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers.

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