December 4, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/18/2020

Florida’s new leaders see hope emerging from year of crisis

After a tumultuous national election year in which a virus has gripped the world with fear, Florida's two new legislative leaders gave a message of hope for 2021 as lawmakers met in a one-day session Tuesday. It came at a time when President Donald Trump convincingly carried the state and Republicans gained seats in the Legislature. But the message Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls sent was one that seeks to cross a divide. More from the Bradenton Herald and the AP.

Florida voters sour on state of nation

Voters in Florida made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate. AP VoteCast found that 42% of Florida voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 57% of voters said it is headed in the wrong direction. [Source: AP]

As coronavirus cases climb in Florida, health department top spokesperson resigns

With the pandemic worsening in Florida, the person in charge of reminding residents to wear a mask and stay six feet apart has abruptly resigned. Alberto Moscoso, the chief public information officer for the Florida Department of Health throughout the pandemic, bowed out Nov. 6 amid a reshuffling of personnel at the state agency. He would not elaborate on why he left, or where he was going. In a statement, Fred Piccolo, a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, did not provide a specific reason for why Moscoso resigned. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Women leaders in Florida

From state government to finance and engineering, women leaders are making an impact across Florida. Today, a focus on Mary Mayhew of the Florida Hospital Association. Mayhew, a mother of two adult sons, says she learned early in her government career to not lead by reacting — and to grow a thick skin. “You don’t make good decisions if you’re constantly in crisis mode. You’ve got to balance the fires of the day — and there are always fires of the day — with proactive strategies and goals,” she says. “In government, you can’t be all things to all people. The challenge is always, how do you achieve your core mission?” [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Attorney General warns Floridians of texting scam related to COVID-19, stimulus check

Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning taxpayers of a new COVID-19 related text scam that deceives recipients into disclosing personal banking information in order to receive a $1,200 stimulus check. This latest scam impersonates the Internal Revenue Service. The Attorney General’s Office reminds taxpayers that the federal government and state agencies will never require personal banking information to be disclosed via text message to receive stimulus payments. [Source: Space Coast Daily]


› Online CARES portal closes after 30 minutes; 15,000 residents apply for $1,000 stimulus check
The portal for the Orange County online CARES Act stimulus check portal closed within 30 minutes after its launch Monday morning. The county once again reopened its stimulus check portal to aid residents who are facing economic struggles in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed residents to apply for a one time payment of $1,000.

› SBA North Florida District Office names new director
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Nov. 17 that Michael Barrera will be its next North Florida District Director, replacing Wilfredo Gonzalez who served in the position since 1996. Barrera will oversee SBA programs and services across the 43-county North Florida district. He has already started in the role.

› Port Tampa Bay, city near agreement on Channelside Drive project
After months of debate over planned construction on Channelside Drive, Port Tampa Bay and Tampa officials on Tuesday came close to an agreement on how to mitigate its impact. And if the project progresses as planned, it won’t be a moment too soon.

› Greater Fort Lauderdale just lost its craving for South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2021
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival plans to shrink its Broward County footprint when the roving, celebrity chef-studded bacchanal returns to South Florida Feb. 24-28, 2021. The Crave Greater Fort Lauderdale series is gone. Instead, SOBEWFF’s presence north of Miami-Dade County will include just five events: one in Fort Lauderdale, four in Hallandale Beach and none in Palm Beach County, festival founder Lee Brian Schrager told the Sun Sentinel on Monday. That’s fewer than the 2020 edition, which saw six events staged in Broward and two in Palm Beach County.

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Dave Barry’s new hat keeps him dry in Miami’s weather
Dave Barry’s new hat keeps him dry in Miami’s weather

Dave “Santa Claus” Barry stays dry with his new slick umbrella hat as part of his 2020 gift guide.


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