Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday starts Friday. Here’s what‘s covered.
As school districts juggle their reopening plans and families scramble to adjust to the uncertainty, retailers are rolling out products and shopping options to help them prepare. Kids’ masks, cleaning supplies and online learning tools are among the new items on shopping lists for a back-to-school season shaped by the pandemic. But not all of them will be covered under Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WPTV.
Orange County elections could decide fate of a $600 million convention center expansion
Orange County voters are casting ballots in a trio of local races that could play a big role in determining the future a more than $600 million expansion of county’s enormous convention center — and the tax that is supposed to pay for it. Three of the seven seats on the Orange County Commission are up for grabs in the Aug. 18 election. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Port Canaveral pushes for federal funding for ports to recover from COVID-19 cruise shutdown
Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray is helping spearhead maritime industry efforts to lobby Congress and the Trump administration for emergency federal assistance to seaports. U.S. ports have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting shutdown of the cruise industry. Port Canaveral last week implemented a massive staff cut, largely the result of the continuing shutdown in cruise ship sailings because of the coronavirus pandemic. More from Florida Today.
Sarasota Opera cancels fall programs but plans online and mobile concerts
The coronavirus is forcing more cancellations for the Sarasota Opera, which is dropping its fall productions of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and the Sarasota Youth Opera’s “The Hobbit” as well as a major fundraising event. But Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi said the company will not stay silent this fall as they work on plans for a streamed concert of live performances and touring mini-concerts featuring resident artists. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Disney World’s safety rules for workers evolve during coronavirus pandemic
For years, Disney World’s long written safety rules kept order. Now, reopening in the global pandemic, theme parks are forced to react fast — sometimes within hours — to update procedures meant to protect visitors and employees during the coronavirus pandemic. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
QR code restaurant menus boost Menuat
As restaurants search for a more sanitary alternative to traditional, reusable menus, Jacksonville-based Menuat is offering a solution. Typically, Menuat develops digital menus for its clients that can be displayed on large screens at restaurants, hotels or stores. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and restaurants were forced to adapt to keep customers and employees safe, Menuat launched a QR code menu.
» More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
For better or worse, toll roads would transform Florida
Planning is continuing on building three new toll roads, which would become the biggest road construction project in Florida since the Interstate Highway system was built. The plan would expand the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extend the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and add a new multi-use corridor, including a toll road, from Polk County to Collier County.
» Read more from WUSF.
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