October 24, 2020

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/16/2020

Florida Trend Exclusive
How to solve Florida's large-scale affordable housing crisis

Neither Florida nor the nation has figured out affordable housing. More than 40 federal, state and private funding sources for affordable housing target homeowners, renters and developers in Florida, according to the Florida Housing Coalition’s affordable housing resource guide. Florida also is home to 18 existing and proposed community land trusts, ranging from Franklin County in the Panhandle to Key West, aimed at making homes affordable. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida coronavirus cases rise again as death toll continues its climb

Florida on Thursday reported its highest single-day tally for new COVID-19 cases since last month. The state saw 3,356 new cases of COVID-19, and 144 additional deaths. The latest figures came as health officials warn they expect a rise in new coronavirus cases to happen this month, reversing a downward trend in the data. The tally for new cases is the highest since Sept. 19, when Florida reported 3,573 new cases. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

A conversation with economist Sean Snaith: Florida’s economy right now

Florida’s economy took a catastrophic blow during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism, one of the state’s main economic sectors, ground to a halt and unemployment skyrocketed . But as in-person events resume and businesses rehire, the state has entered what many are calling a partial recovery. Sean Snaith, an economist who teaches at the University of Central Florida, discusses where the state is currently at. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida elections officials prepare for poll watchers, possible voter intimidation

Elections officials across the state are preparing for an influx of poll watchers this November, and the possibility that poll watching could cross the line and become voter intimidation. Poll watchers aren't new: political parties and candidates regularly enlist the help of poll watchers to observe polling places and report any suspected irregularities. But some voting rights groups are concerned that the heated rhetoric around this year's presidential race could pose problems. [Source: WTVX]

Florida universities won’t waive SAT/ACT requirement despite pandemic

Many high school seniors are facing a pandemic-induced hurdle as they prepare to apply to college: They’ve not been able to take the required standardized tests. The virus forced many schools to cancel SAT and ACT tests, and Florida public universities require those test scores for admissions. Unlike most other states, Florida has refused to back away from that requirement. As a result, parents and students have been anxious as the Nov. 1 deadline to apply approaches. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› NASA sets targets for Artemis I core stage hot fire, trip to Kennedy Space Center
NASA is targeting mid-November to light up all four engines of the Space Launch System core stage to be used on the Artemis I mission to the moon, and wants to get it to Kennedy Space Center in mid-January. Currently installed in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the massive 212-foot-tall core stage has completed six of eight planned green run tests before it can be shipped to KSC by barge as the final piece of the first mission of the Artemis program.

› Enterprise Florida plans virtual international trade show for March
Enterprise Florida, the state’s business-recruitment agency is planning next year to hold an international trade show online. The three-day, “first-ever” Florida International Trade Expo in March is expected to showcase Florida export products and services.

› Quarter-billion dollar cruise industry bailout floated in Miami
As the US cruise industry enters its seventh month of inactivity due to Covid-19, Miami-Dade is eyeing a plan that could forgive more than a quarter-billion dollars that cruise lines would otherwise have paid PortMiami. A worst-case scenario in which cruise lines remain docked for two-plus years would see the port lose $271.5 million and be forced to dip into reserves to remain operational past April, a memo from Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt said.

› Tampa Bay area insurance firm, with acquisition, expands to Florida’s east coast
Clegg Insurance Group has acquired the property and casualty insurance division of Boca Raton-based iCan Benefit Group. According to a press release, the deal adds more than 1,500 clients to the Clearwater-based firm’s book of business. It’s the fourth acquisition for Clegg Insurance Group since the company was founded a decade ago.

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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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