Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida unemployment aid hits another pandemic low — but U.S. increase may spell trouble
New applications for unemployment aid in Florida hit a pandemic low for the second-straight week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. But the ongoing rate of new claims nationally suggest continued economic distress that could trickle down into the Sunshine State. For the week ending Nov. 14, initial unemployment claims in Florida fell from 31,403 to 21,538. More from the Miami Herald.
Forecasters monitoring area of low pressure off Florida coast, disturbance in Caribbean
With a few more weeks left in hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring two areas for potential development in the Atlantic basin. A non-tropical area of low pressure, located several hundred miles off Florida’s east coast, has a 20% chance of developing somewhere between the Bahamas and Bermuda in the next five days. It is forecast to move in a northeastward direction. Meanwhile, an area of low pressure formed Thursday off the coast of Costa Rica and it’s expected to move southwest across the Caribbean. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
CSX rebounding but COVID cases affecting employees
After the initial COVID-19 outbreak slowed freight traffic in the spring, CSX Corp. has seen increased business on its rail lines as the economy recovers. However, the recent spike in COVID cases in the U.S. is affecting operations, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Wallace said last week. “We’re dealing with sort of, I don’t know if you call it a second wave, but more cases popping up and that’s affecting our employee population,” Wallace said at an investor conference presented by Robert W. Baird. More from the Jacksonville Daiily Record.
Pasco tourism took a 15 percent revenue hit from the coronavirus
For Pasco County tourism efforts, 2020 has been a year of ups and downs. While the county got big boosts with the addition of premier venues to bolster their Florida Sports Coast marketing with the opening of the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus and the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center, the arrival of the coronavirus has still taken a toll. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Miami to distribute $8.5M in business grants and grocery gift cards for COVID relief
Miami’s city government will distribute $8.55 million in two COVID-19 relief programs meant to help support small businesses and help families buy groceries. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez requested a special commission meeting Wednesday to discuss how to quickly distribute the money, which will be reimbursed by Miami-Dade County using federal CARES Act dollars. Under federal rules, the money must be spent by Dec. 31. More from the Miami Herald.
Amazon Career Choice program allows North Port man to pursue health care career
North Port resident Ernesto Regis has come a long way in four years. Regis started working at Amazon’s Ruskin fulfillment center in 2016 after moving to Southwest Florida from Canada. He saw an opportunity on the company’s website for patient care technician training offered through the Career Choice program. Regis, 46, completed the course with the company footing 95% of the cost.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Return of the ThunderDome: WWE announces Tropicana Field will host its showcase events
The WWE announced Thursday that Tropicana Field will be the new home for its ThunderDome set — the interactive way for fans to virtually attend its televised showcase events on closed sets after the pandemic shut down watching such events in person. WWE’s prime-time programs Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, as well as pay-per-view events, will be televised from the Trop starting with the Dec. 11 broadcast of SmackDown, presumably until the next Major League Baseball season begins in the spring.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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