Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
New unemployment claims rise sharply nationwide and in Florida
New applications for unemployment assistance in Florida increased for a second-straight week — a sign of ongoing economic weakness even after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the state to fully reopen in October. Initial jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 10 climbed from 42,306 to 44,795, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. So-called continuing claims, or those who were on unemployment for at least two-straight weeks, fell from 337,344 to 250,710. Some of that decline was likely the result of the state’s 12 weeks of assistance expiring. More from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
Bikertoberfest rolls on amid COVID-19, but without the mud wrestling or big concerts
Ormond Beach is looking to cash in on bikers during this year’s festival, which in the past has drawn more than 100,000 visitors. Daytona Beach, the home for Biketoberfest since it began in the early 1990s, decided 2020 was not the year for it because of the coronavirus pandemic. Even with Ormond Beach’s acceptance of the event, it’s hard to imagine this will be just like any other year. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
OUC to wipe out carbon emissions by switching from coal to natural gas, solar energy
Orlando’s landmark power plants will cease burning coal by 2027 and switch to natural gas as an early step in a sweeping plan by the city’s utility for a surge in solar energy and cuts in carbon emissions of 50 percent by 2030 and entirely by 2050. “I think we have a very good balanced approached,” said Orlando Utilities Commission’s general manager, Clint Bullock. “We are municipal utility and we trying to keep in mind the needs of our community.” More from the Orlando Sentinel.
University of Florida scientists make big stride toward greening-resistant citrus trees
University of Florida scientists achieved a major milestone in their quest to develop a citrus greening-resistant tree by sequencing the genome of a fruit plant that’s a close cousin to citrus trees. The genome sequence is equal to 54,000 pages of copy paper, but within it, scientists believe they’ve found genes to lay the groundwork to make citrus more tolerant and even resistant to certain diseases, including citrus greening. More from Fresh Plaza.
MOSH weighs relocating museum from its Southbank site in downtown Jacksonville
The Museum of Science and History, best known simply as MOSH, might relocate from its longstanding location on downtown's Southbank, leaders of the Downtown Investment Authority leaders said Wednesday. MOSH launched an $80 million fund-raising campaign in March 2019 to renovate and expand its 50-year-old campus near Friendship Fountain. But another option that's been evaluated by MOSH would be to build the museum at a different downtown spot. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Miami-Dade was supposed to fix the ball fields. Six years later, a jungle covers the diamonds
A field of greens is all that remains of baseball and softball diamonds at Chapman Field Park that were temporarily closed to replace contaminated soil. The repair job was supposed to take six months. That was six years ago. Who’s on first? Looks like an Australian pine, if you can even tell where the infield is. The formerly well-groomed ball fields have turned into a jungle, swallowed by vegetation and trees taller than the light poles. Batting cages are covered with vines. The exhortation “Come play with us!” painted on a scoreboard is obscured by overgrowth.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Out of the Box
Jay’s Sandbar BBQ feeds hungry boaters aboard Fort Lauderdale’s only floating restaurant
When Fort Lauderdale boaters need a fast bite on the Intracoastal, those in-the-know queue up for calamari, clam nachos and Hong Kong-style pork at Jay’s Sandbar Floating BBQ, the city’s only floating restaurant, anchored at the Fort Lauderdale sandbar every weekend. The shallow boating playground, north of the 17th Street Causeway, is a weekend hotspot where hundreds of hard-partying, bikinied revelers indulge against a backdrop of Las Olas mansions. Three years ago Jay Lycke realized the sandbar lacked a crucial ingredient — food Ã¢?• so he converted his pontoon boat into a mobile kitchen.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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