Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Amid pandemic, Florida voters using mail-in ballots at record level
Of 1.8 million Floridians who had cast ballots a week before the Aug. 18 primary election, more than 1.6 million of those have voted by mail. While in-person early voting began last week across the state, at least one election supervisor says turnout is lower at polling places and being dwarfed by the number of votes cast by mail. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, 225,203 people had voted early, including 122,151 Republicans and 89,275 Democrats, according to numbers posted on the state Division of Elections website. More from WJXT.
Judge rules NextEra must divulge net proceeds in JEA sales attempt
A judge has ruled that NextEra Energy Inc. cannot keep secret how much it wanted to buy JEA for, General Counsel Jason Gabriel said Monday. NextEra, the parent company of Florida Power & Light, had redacted that figure when the bid information was made public in response to records requests, although it was included for all the other bidders. More from the Biz Journals.
Commentary: Brits will bring tourism dollars back to Orlando as soon as possible
If there is one thing that motivates the average UK tourist, it is the thought of their annual trip to Theme Park Central. They will happily put off just about any domestic payment or necessity in order to fund their ongoing Florida addiction. New roof? Not essential. Kitchen remodeling? That can wait. Grandma’s hip replacement? Maybe next year. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Tampa biotech firm, fed up with foreign foes, launches manufacturing incubator
Tampa biotech SynDaver made a name for itself as a pioneer in manufacturing synthetic but extremely lifelike human and animal bodies, including dogs and pigs, used in medical and veterinary schools. Last year, it expanded into the secondary school market, introducing SynFrog, an artificial frog that can be dissected in biology classes but then reused, saving school districts money and putting squeamish students at ease. More from the Business Observer.
Plans for towers on St. Pete’s Central Avenue moving forward despite pandemic
Despite barriers caused by the pandemic, the people behind one downtown development say they continue to make progress toward breaking ground. The 515-foot-tall residential tower in the development would exceed the height of ONE St. Petersburg, which stands at 456 feet, and would be the tallest building in St. Petersburg. The tower was recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, Red Apple announced Tuesday. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
End of an Era
Leonardo’s 706 closes after 47 years in Gainesville
Take a peek down any street in Gainesville and chances are you can find a pizza place. When Steve Solomon arrived in town in 1973, that wasn’t the case. Solomon, a Chicago native, opened his pizzeria, then called Leonardo’s Pizza in a Pan, the year he moved here in an effort to bring great pizza to a city he felt needed it. As for why it’s called Leonardo’s, “I’m a fan of DaVinci, it’s Italian, and I thought ‘Steve’s’ wasn’t conducive for pizza,” Solomon said.
» More from the Gainesville Sun.
Out of the Box
Florida Theatre's 'ghost' seats will be preserved
The seats have been removed from downtown Jacksonville's historic Florida Theatre, with more than 500 sold as souvenirs to fans of the venue. But two of the 1,950 seats are being preserved. The theater, which dates back to 1927, has long rumored to be haunted. Two seats in the upper balcony, in particular, have drawn the attention of ghost-hunters over the years. Those two seats — Balcony E1 and E2 — are being shipped to Michigan to be refurbished.
» Read more from the Florida Times-Union.
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