January 21, 2021

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/15/2020

We’re running out of hurricane names during the 2020 storm season

It was a busy Monday for forecasters: Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky emerged in the Atlantic. Soon after, Tropical Storm Sally was upgraded to the year’s seventh hurricane. Hurricane Paulette and Tropical Depression Rene are still out there. Now, five named systems are churning in the Atlantic basin simultaneously for the first time since 1971. September is the peak of hurricane season, and 2020 has been an especially active year. In fact, there’s only one name left on the list of storms — Wilfred. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Hurricane Sally moves in on Panhandle and Gulf Coast

DeSantis names Central Florida woman as next Supreme Court justice after legal standoff

After blowing past another deadline and drawing a third court order to replace a judge on the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday appointed Judge Jamie R. Grosshans of Winter Garden to the state’s highest court. The announcement came after DeSantis pulled all the political stops to defend his first choice, Palm Beach County Judge Renatha Francis. He announced that after the Florida Supreme Court rejected her as ineligible, he asked President Donald Trump to appoint her to the federal bench. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Florida Supreme Court ups pressure on DeSantis to name a replacement justice after he misses deadline

Florida Department of Corrections plans to resume prison visitation in October

Putting safety measures in place to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Corrections plans to resume allowing visitors at state prisons on Oct. 2. The state stopped visitation in March. As of Friday, 15,812 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, and 117 had died. Also, 2,836 workers in the corrections system had tested positive. [Source: News Service of Florida]

COVID-19-era economy in Florida ranked 19th best among 50 states

With a June jobless rate of 10.4 percent and a five-year annualized employment growth rate of negative 0.7 percent, the Florida economy finished 19th best in a new ranking by the website 24/7 Wall St. The state’s annualized gross domestic product growth through the first quarter of this year stood at 2.8 percent, the financial news website reported, while its poverty rate came in at 13.6 percent. [Source: The Center Square]

Florida to send 2.2 million postcards to unregistered voters

Florida will soon mail more than 2 million postcards to residents that it believes are unregistered but potentially eligible voters. The mailings, which go out less than a month before the voter registration deadline for November’s general election, are required as part of the state’s decision to join a multi-state pact aimed at sharing voter roll information. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Education beyond high school for all is key to Florida's economic recovery

For some time, the data crunchers at the Florida College Access Network were reading tea leaves suggesting that Florida needed to boost the number of residents with a degree or credential after high school and close the opportunity gap that held back people of color. Low-education jobs were at risk of being automated. The workers who recovered best from the Great Recession had at least some college. And the majority of Florida workers would be Black or Hispanic by 2030, yet those groups lagged in college degree attainment. Then COVID-19 hit, and FCAN’s mission became the urgent cornerstone of Florida’s economic recovery. [Sponsored report]


› Big Overtown project moves ahead as judge dismisses part of a lawsuit that froze it
A Miami-Dade circuit judge has dismissed a principal piece of a lawsuit that briefly froze a major redevelopment project aiming to bring a Target, other big retail stores and new housing to impoverished Overtown. Following the partial dismissal, developer Michael Swerdlow and partner Alben Duffie announced they have closed on the purchase of the property for the project from the city of Miami’s Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redvelopment Agency.

› Sarasota-Bradenton getting Rogers Market, a new high-end convenience store concept
Convenience stores seem to be getting more and more high end these days. With the arrival of Rogers Market, a gas station and convenience store that combines all the trappings of a regular grab-and-go with a modern design and high-end comfort food, it seems Sarasota-Manatee is entering a whole new phase of convenience combined with class.

› Amazon hiring 1,300 workers in South Florida
With many people still struggling to find work during the coronavirus pandemic, there is some good news. Amazon announced that it is hiring an additional 100,000 employees throughout the United States and Canada, and more than 1,300 of those jobs will be in South Florida. Many of those will be at the company’s Opa-locka facility.

› Overdoses rise in South Florida as people struggle with isolation from pandemic
More people who are out of work and isolated at home are dying of drug overdoses in South Florida, becoming overlooked victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida reported 5,621 overdose deaths, a 14% increase from January 2019 to January 2020, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in parts of South Florida, early numbers suggest 2020 could be even worse.

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