January 17, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/25/2020

Florida small businesses banking on families shopping local this holiday season

Small business owners in Florida are hoping people shop local this holiday season to make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Visa, 52 percent of shoppers plan to do their gift buying online, while 24 percent plan to shop at local businesses. In comparison, a survey conducted by American Express found 75 percent of people plan to shop small, to support their favorite local stores and restaurants. More from CBS 12 and WTXL.

See also:
» Opinion: Consumers should 'Find it in Florida' this holiday season

‘A high bar’: Florida praised for its elections in 2020

Despite some “small scale issues,” the League of Women Voters of Florida on Monday commended state and local elections officials for safely carrying out “a monumental general election under extraordinary” circumstances. “Florida’s election officials were tasked with conducting a major election, under more scrutiny than ever, in the midst of a pandemic,” League of Women Voters President Patricia Brigham wrote to Secretary of State Laurel Lee and leaders of the Florida Supervisors of Elections association. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Prison population drops during pandemic

Pointing to a backlog of criminal cases during the coronavirus pandemic, state analysts say the number of inmates in Florida prisons has dropped --- but is expected to snap back to more-normal levels in the coming years. The analysts, in a report posted online Monday, said the prison system had 82,027 inmates at the end of October and that the number is projected to go as low as 80,792 at the end of November. [Source: WPEC]

Hurricane season may not end on time. That’s not the only problem.

How fitting that an unprecedented hurricane season would end with an unprecedented November: Two major hurricanes formed this month for the first time in recorded history. Hurricanes Eta and Iota both slammed into the same Central American coastline miles and days apart. But is this really the end? Hurricane season officially ends on Monday, but scientists fear storms could continue to form beyond the “official” end date of Nov. 30. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida sees lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in over a decade

AAA predicts over 50 million Americans will be traveling during Thanksgiving this year and nearly 3 million of them being Floridians. However while many will be traveling for Thanksgiving, AAA says there will be a 10 percent decrease due to COVID-19. Florida drivers are paying an average of $2.03 when they go to the pump. This is 7 cents less than what people were paying only a month ago, but is it something that will get them back on the road this Thanksgiving? [Source: WKRG]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Chocolatier opens new chocolate salon in Sarasota
Norman Love Confections has opened at University Town Center in Sarasota — the first time the prominent chocolatier has expanded outside its Southwest Florida base. The chocolate salon is at 192 N. Cattlemen Road in the West District at UTC. The salon is the first of its kind, where Norman Love Confections pastry chefs “take the stage,” showcasing their artistic expression and creating beautiful “desserts of art,” while engaging guests in a conversational and gastronomic dessert experience, according to a press release.

› Longwood rejects developer’s proposal to buy City Hall, turn it into senior living facility
Longwood commissioners pulled the plug on a developer’s controversial plan to buy City Hall, the police station and other public properties in the historic downtown district for a rock bottom price and then flip them into apartments, a restaurant, a brewery and a senior living facility. TI Group, a Texas-based developer, had pitched the project as an opportunity to create a vibrant city center. But since the plan was first proposed this summer, residents have complained that it would destroy Longwood’s unique downtown charm.

› Justices reject red-light camera case
The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to take up a case about whether a South Florida city’s red-light camera program violates state traffic laws. Motorist Lee Stein went to the Supreme Court in September after the 3rd District Court of Appeal backed the city of Aventura in the dispute --- one of numerous legal fights in recent years about red-light cameras in the state.

› Florida company recalls 940,000 crock pots nationwide two days before Thanksgiving
Crock pots should grant the user convenience in cooking, not trips to urgent care or the emergency room. That’s why Sunbeam recalled 942,760 Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers in the United States and Canada on Tuesday.

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