Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Fearing COVID-19 surge, Florida officials crack down on spring breakers
Though many colleges have canceled spring break to prevent students from congregating in vacation spots, officials here are expecting a large influx over the coming weeks. Flights and hotels are cheap. Brutal winter storms in much of the country left people yearning for an escape. And Florida’s pandemic rules on bars and nightclubs are more lenient than those in many states. More from the Wall Street Journal and WPLG.
Florida gas prices highest since summer 2019
Gasoline prices continue to grow more expensive as February proved to be the priciest month at Florida pumps since July 2019. Florida gas prices over the month climbed an average of 24 cents per gallon, with the average at $2.61 according to a AAA report. Since Jan. 1, the state average has increased by 41 cents. Nationally, the most expensive prices are in California with an average of $3.69 a gallon. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Disappearing seagrass hurting beloved manatees in Florida
Tens of thousands of acres of seagrass that is critical to the health of the Indian River Lagoon have disappeared. The situation is threatening a number of species, including manatees, who depend on seagrass for food. Since 2009, 58% of the seagrass in the lagoon system has disappeared, choked off from sunlight as a result of an over-saturation of nutrients in the water, according to the St. Johns River Water Management District. The nutrients are a result of fertilizer, septic tank and road runoff into the lagoon. More from the AP.
Florida bill affecting vacation rentals moves through legislature
Listen up if you own or plan to stay at a Florida Airbnb. SB522, a bill moving through the state legislature, could affect how you do business. State Representative Anthony Sabatini supports the bill, citing that "property rights are fundamental. We don't need nanny-state local governments in cities and counties punishing and hurting small property owners who own homes that want to make a second income." Currently, the law lets cities and towns have a say in regulating how vacation rentals operate. More from WOFL.
Hurricane Facts: What do hurricane hunters do in the offseason?
When hurricanes begin spinning, hurricane hunters begin hunting. For at least six months out of the year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Hunters are passing through tropical storms in the Atlantic and collecting data. The team is based out of Lakeland Linder International Airport, about an hour southwest of Orlando, But after hurricane season, does the team take a break? More from the Orlando Sentinel.
For Rays, an ‘amazing’ feeling welcoming back fans
Fans were excited Sunday — even under the distanced seating, limited capacity and other coronavirus pandemic restrictions — to see the Rays in person, and at home, spring or regular season, in nearly a year. But they maybe were not as thrilled as the players were to have them there. “It was amazing,” shortstop Willy Adames said. “We were talking about that during (pregame) stretch. … It’s kind of boring with them not being able to be in the stands."
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Jon Hart, Hart SEO
Jon Hart started Hart SEO in 2017 in his dormitory room while attending Edward Waters College on a basketball scholarship. The one-man company specializes in helping internet-based companies succeed through search engine optimization, along with website and logo design. Hart, 26, taught himself the skills he needed to go into business by watching YouTube videos and following along on his laptop. “I spent six hours a night for a whole semester practicing coding,” Hart said.
» Read more from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
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