Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida legislative session final days: Updates on what you need to know
The 60-day legislative session is nearly over. Lawmakers could agree Friday on the one thing that they are required to do, pass Florida’s state budget, and go home. But no matter what happens next, the 2021 session has already felt more consequential than recent sessions. Perhaps not since the 2011 session, when tea party Republicans flexed their muscle after being swept into office for the first time, have so many important — and divisive — bills been passed. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida's new invasive reptile rules have breeders leaving and activists rejoicing
New restrictions on the breeding, importing and ownership of invasive reptiles in Florida start Thursday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted in February to adopt the new rules, after multiple public meetings online. The changes have supporters and detractors. As of April 29, pet owners cannot purchase tegu lizards or green iguanas, among other nonnative reptiles newly prohibited. Those who already own them, must get them registered and microchipped. More from WUSF News.
People flock to Fort Myers Beach as season continues into summer months
After more than a year of staying in, people are flocking to Florida for vacation. It’s expected tourism will pick up even more during the summer months, traditionally the slower season. Right now, Fort Myers Beach is packed, leaving restaurants slammed and hotels booked. Many businesses in Fort Myers Beach are hiring additional staff because they’re busier than they could have predicted. More from WINK News.
Orlando Magic move corporate offices to downtown, still no timetable for entertainment district
While plans for a permanent corporate home for the Orlando Magic remain on hold, the basketball team will move its offices from Maitland to downtown Orlando later this year. The Magic has leased a floor in downtown’s CNL Building II next to City Hall. The 23,000-square-foot space will house more than 200 employees, leaving behind their longtime offices in Maitland’s RDV Sportsplex. The move is expected to be temporary until the completion of the $500 million Orlando Sports + Entertainment District, a planned mixed-use development on 8.1 acres across from the Amway Center. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Miami Mayor's ‘cafecito’ city hall meetup attracts throngs seeking Miami tech momentum
More than 100 techies and investors heeded the call of Twitter, turning up Wednesday morning for chat and caffeination outside Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove for Mayor Francis Suarez’s first public “cafecito tech talk.” The event came together almost overnight, as word of an impromptu Miami Tech Week began gathering steam on social media Sunday and continued over the next 48 hours. More from the Miami Herald.
Entrepreneurs repurpose former state prison
It has everything. Barracks, kitchens, classrooms, lounge areas, a medical building and more than 1,200 acres of property. What more could you ask for in a former maximum-security prison? This place — what was once the Hendry Correctional Institute — offers so much that a group of businessmen have breathed new life into it. They've opened a training complex for military, law enforcement and civilians on the site in the Hendy County, just east of the Collier County town of Immokalee. They’ve formed three businesses based there: Tradecraft Range and Training Center, Force Center, and Force IMI.
» More from the Business Observer.
Out of the Box
Beaches and cream: The Ice Cream Float delivers frozen treats on the water
Amy McGill has only sailed the Pompano Beach waterways for a month but already she’s gotten used to the screams from people standing on their docks: “Ice cream! Ice cream!” “They come running when they hear our ice cream jingles,” McGill says. On weekends sugar-starved boaters on the water have found sweet satisfaction at the Ice Cream Float, McGill’s hot-pink, musical ice-cream boat that roams the canals and lakes of Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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