October 24, 2020

Monday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/12/2020

Florida citrus production forecast to drop

Florida’s signature citrus industry is facing another production squeeze, while growers might soon be asked to pay more to help market their products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday forecast a 15 percent decline in orange production for the recently started growing season as compared to the last harvest. Grapefruit production is projected to be down 7 percent. That translates, in part, to a projected 57 million 90-pound boxes of oranges during the new 2020-2021 season, down from 67.3 million boxes in 2019-2020. More from the News Service of Florida.

Ken LaRoe, founder of First Green Bank, wants to focus on climate change with new venture

When Orlando-based First Green Bank merged with Seacoast Bank in 2018, customer Ben Johansen was most upset about the loss of his branch’s building in Winter Park, which sported solar panels and recycled building materials. “Why get rid of a building that had almost no carbon footprint?” said the owner of Embellish FX in Orlando. Johansen’s disappointment reflects a common theme among former customers and employees of the environmentally focused First Green, including the bank’s founder, Ken LaRoe. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Two Venice businesses turn searching for fossils and sharks' teeth into lasting memories

When Visit Sarasota County wants to differentiate south Sarasota County beaches from the rest of the state, they quickly point to the Venice area and the pastime of searching sand near the surf for fossilized shark teeth. Two stores on the island of Venice specialize in fossilized shark teeth and sell a variety of fossils to enthusiasts. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Support to raise minimum wage in Florida not a sure thing, according to poll

In just over 3 weeks, Floridians will decide if the minimum wage should be raised in the sunshine state. A new poll from the University of North Florida shows a thin margin of support for the measure. It needs the required 60% of voter support to secure passage. Amendment Two, if passed by Florida voters, would slowly raise the minimum wage from the current $8.56 to $10 on Oct. 30 of next year. More from WJXT.

Hurricane center ups the odds on Atlantic tropical wave’s formation

As Delta fades from relevance another tropical system on the horizon increases its odds of development leading to the possible formation of Tropical Storm Epsilon. A tropical wave about 900 miles east of the Windward Islands has shown signs of organization Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. update. The wave is associated with showers and thunderstorms and has a 30% chance of forming in the next two to five days. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Tampa's first autonomous shuttle begins operating in downtown area

 It’s new, high-tech and it almost seems like something out of a futuristic movie. Tampa’s new HART autonomous vehicles launched for the first time Monday, and they may very well be the way of the future in the downtown area. With no steering wheel and no driver inside, the city first wants to give the shuttles a year-long test run to see how well they operate in downtown and also how willing people are to try them out.

» More from WTVT.


Out of the Box
Florida company selling asteroid insurance ahead of Nov. 2 fly-by

floridaScientists have said that an asteroid roughly the size of a school bus is headed for Earth, one day before Election Day. While the celestial object, known as 2018 VP1, is not expected to collide with our planet, there is a way to make sure you’re covered just in case: purchasing asteroid insurance. Mike St. Lawrence, who owns the Saint Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Florida became a viral sensation when news broke of a limited or comprehensive alien abduction insurance policy his agency sells. Now, with giant space rocks continuously hurtling through our solar system, St. Lawrence felt it was time to add asteroid insurance for his customers.

» Read more from FOX 10.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

In case you missed it:

Florida Trend Video Pick

Rare, two-headed snake found in Palm Harbor home
Rare, two-headed snake found in Palm Harbor home

A family in Palm Harbor recently found a rare creature in their home – a two-headed snake. FWC researchers said the phenomenon is named bicephaly – an uncommon occurrence that happens during snake embryo development. When two monozygotic twins fail to separate, it leaves the heads conjoined onto a single body.

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