Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida sues CDC: Governor demands cruise ships be allowed to sail immediately
DeSantis said the no-sail order is outdated and hurts the state as the industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians. “We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” the Republican governor said at a news conference at the Port of Miami. [Source: WJW]
Florida will get more than 550,000 COVID vaccines this week. Here’s where they’ll go
Florida will receive 554,370 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government this week, a significant drop from the previous week as production issues all but halt shipments of Johnson & Johnson doses. Last week, the state received 811,400 doses that included the largest shipment of Johnson & Johnson doses to date. Next week, only 43,000 of the single-shot doses will come to Florida, a decrease of nearly 200,000. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida orange production dips below California
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Florida is forecast to produce enough oranges to fill 51.7 million 90-pound boxes by the time the 2020-2021 growing season ends in July. That is down 6.8 percent from a March forecast and would be 23 percent lower than production during the 2019-2020 season. Meanwhile, the department forecast California’s production at 52 million boxes, the same as in a March forecast. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement that the “latest forecast is concerning” while noting growers have long faced challenges, including citrus greening disease. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Rain adds millions of gallons at Piney Point — but leak remains plugged
An influx of rainy weather has added millions of gallons of water to the leaky pond at the Piney Point industrial site in Manatee County that last week threatened the surrounding area with potential flooding and contamination. However, the leak in the east wall of the pond remains plugged with a steel plate, according to Florida Department of Environmental Protection. And water levels are still far lower than the roughly 480 million gallons that were in the reservoir before the leak began. [Source: Miami Herald]
Tampa Electric files for 19 percent rate hike
Tampa Electric Co. asked regulators Friday for permission to raise customers’ rates by 19 percent beginning next year. If approved, customers would pay $125.48 per 1,000 kilowatt hours, the average monthly energy use for a home. That’s just over $1 more than what the power company predicted in February when it let regulators know it intended to ask for an increase. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
UF Research spending reached a record $942.2 million in fiscal year 2020, despite a two-month pause in most operations due to the pandemic. According to a new report to the National Science Foundation, research expenditures supported by the federal government increased to $397.2 million, while state and local expenditures increased to $169.2 million. Learn about ongoing UF research in areas such as Alzheimer’s, early childhood learning and agriculture.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› One of Florida’s biggest real estate investors says market is headed for a correction
Jeff Greene — who owns more than $2 billion worth of property, roughly half of it in Florida, according to Forbes estimates — thinks the real estate frenzy is nearing a peak.
› 3M sues Tampa Bay company over sale of fake N95 masks
The suit alleges that MM Medical Supply sold tens of thousands of counterfeit 3M masks to a hospital system.
› St. Augustine restaurant industry facing crippling labor shortage
At this time last year, the restaurant business was navigating through unchartered waters, not sure if or when it might see the other side of the economic shutdown brought on by COVID-19.
› Tesla tunnel to the beach may not be a pipe dream
Imagine whizzing through an underground tunnel that travels below Las Olas Boulevard and the Intracoastal Waterway all the way to the beach.
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