Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
2021 hurricane forecast: 17 storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 major ones
Get ready for another above-average hurricane season in 2021. The first major forecast of the season calls for 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes, according to Colorado State University research scientist Phil Klotzbach, one of the world’s top hurricane forecasters. He announced Colorado State’s annual forecast on Thursday. But it is less intense than what the Atlantic experienced during the historic 2020 storm season. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida Trend Exclusive
COVID death rates in Florida: The numbers
Since levels of testing have varied so widely from county to county in Florida, the number of “confirmed cases” in a county may reflect how well a county tests rather than the actual incidence of COVID-19 in the population. In addition, there is no way to count those who’ve been exposed to the disease but are asymptomatic — some estimates reckon that 10 times as many people have actually been exposed to the disease as have tested positive. More from Florida Trend.
Florida Senate unveils scaled-down gambling bills with no sports betting
Sports betting isn’t on the table in scaled-down gambling legislation unveiled this week in the Florida Senate. A trio of gambling bills omits another closely watched item — gambling license “portability” that could allow betting at former President Donald Trump’s golf club in Doral and the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, according to a memo from Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
Think smart sleeping is a good investment? SoftBank does in its new Miami tech initiative
Miami’s active tech scene has gone to sleep. For an investment, that is. SoftBank says it has picked a third company to receive funds via the $100 million Miami investment initiative it announced in January. The new recipient is Eight Sleep, a high-performance sleep company that sells tech-enabled, temperature-controlled mattresses. Its executives, and soon other employees, are moving from New York to the Magic City. More from the Miami Herald.
Jax Federal Credit Union names president and CEO
Jax Federal Credit Union announced April 6 its board appointed John Servos as the credit union’s CEO and president. Servos joined April 1 after 22 years with Neighbors Credit Union in St. Louis where he was CEO for more than 12 years. Its assets grew from $192 million to $467 million during that time. He also was chief financial officer for nine years and vice president of compliance and audit services for one year. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Disney World at 50: Fake companies and secret deals acquired land for Magic Kingdom
In 1964, Walt Disney used fake companies and secret deals to begin quietly snapping up the land in Central Florida that would later become Walt Disney World. Those shenenigans allowed him to purchase acres upon acres of swamp without suspicion, while keeping prices low. In the Magic Kingdom, the windows from stores on Main Street reflect some of the names of those original “companies.”
» More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Out of the Box
St. Petersburg historic church-turned-home set to sell for $1.3 million
A historic St. Petersburg church that has been renovated into a state-of-the-art home is slated to close later this week for about $1.3 million. Although it’s been renovated, the home isn’t for those looking to shy away from its previous use — the first thing its new residents will see when they sit up in bed is a stained glass window of Jesus across the hall, according to the listing agent, Bryan Belcher. It also features historic exposed scissor trusses and comes with a few pews thrown in.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
In case you missed it:
Report shows majority of Florida hospitals are not complying with the federal price transparency law
At some universities, tenure may become a thing of the past. That could have an economic impact.