Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida legislators could limit COVID-19 suits, but split on workers comp changes
Legislative leaders on Tuesday showed support for limits on lawsuits stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they could have a difference of opinion about whether to move ahead with changes to the workers’ compensation insurance system. In separate news conferences, Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, indicated support for legislation that would protect businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida Trend Exclusive
The pandemic hasn't slowed down Florida dorm-building by private companies
Developers and investors have poured into the private dorm market around Florida campuses. Since 2011, the state has added 40,000 privately owned, off-campus beds, second only to Texas nationally, according to RealPage, a property management software company. Florida universities have been “a popular choice” for developers, says Carl Whitaker, market analyst at Texas-based RealPage. “That’s not a terribly surprising trend though, as many Florida-based universities are among the nation’s fastest-growing,” he says. More from Florida Trend.
Limo company owner adds yacht charters. It’s all cruising, Miami-style
Weddings postponed from spring and summer are being rescheduled for winter months. Restaurants and clubs have slowly reopened after long COVID-19 shutdowns. All of this is good news for Lenin Fraga, owner of American Transportation and Limo Service in Doral. His 22 vehicles sat mostly unused in a warehouse for six months. Seeking an additional revenue source, Fraga, an avid boater, branched out to yacht charters. More from the Miami Herald.
Outback Steakhouse parent Bloomin’ Brands cutting dozens of tech support jobs
At the outset of an Oct. 23 address to investors, Bloomin' Brands CEO David Deno lauded his company’s “decision not to furlough any employees during the pandemic.” As this was happening, however, the Tampa parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and other restaurants was in the process of quietly eliminating dozens of local jobs. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
200-year-old shipwreck discovered in Florida
A mysterious shipwreck believed to be nearly 200 years old appeared on Crescent Beach in Florida. Archaeologists believe the ship was pushed onto the beach by a storm, then sand formed around it over time. The waves revealed what looks like the bottom of a ship that experts believe is from the 1800′s. More from the WILX.
Orlando’s secret life of sewers: What workers hope you never know
No one knows where their sewage winds up. That’s what wastewater operators strive for. Florida has hundreds of private and public sewers. They are vital for protecting human health. They can be an asset or a villain in the struggle to heal sickly rivers and coastal waters. Sewage challenges will amplify with population growth and as rising sea levels drown sewers of coastal cities.
» More from the Orlando Sentinel.
For Mena Catering, Zoom parties and small outdoor weddings are the new normal
It wasn’t long ago that Jorge Mena was organizing up to six parties in a day with his team of 100 for crowds of thousands and celebrity clients including the Estefans, Madonna and JLo and ARod. Little did he imagine that in 2020, the Mena Catering uniform would feature a mask and his biggest events would be weddings for 30. “The key is adaptation, because the parties have decreased a lot and also the number of guests. Now the mask and gloves are part of the routine,” Mena said.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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