Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida sees drop in jobless claims
As Florida prepares to scale back unemployment benefits, the state had its first week of new jobless claims below 10,000 since March 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The federal agency issued a report that estimated Florida had 8,864 new claims during the week that ended May 22, down from a revised count of 14,561 during the previous week. The department had initially estimated 17,849 claims during the week that ended May 15. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida Trend Exclusive
JaxPort's deepening project is already paying off
JaxPort’s $484-million harbor deepening project is on track to be completed in 2022 — three years ahead of schedule. The project calls for deepening Jacksonville’s shipping channel from the current 40-foot depth to 47 feet. Also included in the project are plans to widen parts of the channel and construct two turning basins at Blount Island and Brills Cut. Once completed, the 13-mile deepening project will pave the way for JaxPort to receive more cargo aboard today’s larger ships. More from Florida Trend.
As drug overdoses soar in Central Florida, new push to enlist employers to help struggling workers
Amid a staggering rise in fentanyl-fueled drug overdoses, Central Florida leaders are launching a $2.7-million effort to help private businesses deal with addicted workers and to help people in recovery find jobs. The effort, announced Thursday, is led by CareerSource Central Florida and the public-private initiative Project Opioid. In part, it will offer free training to human-resources professionals and business owners on how to support employees struggling with drug abuse instead of simply firing them. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida’s top environmental official, Noah Valenstein, is resigning
Florida’s top environmental official is stepping down. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein’s resignation is effective June 4, according to a letter he sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The letter was dated May 8. Valenstein’s roughly four years leading the agency began under DeSantis’ predecessor, Rick Scott. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport sets passenger record for the second month in a row
For the second month in a row, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) has broken its passenger traffic record. Passenger traffic at SRQ totaled 294,165 passengers in April. The record broke the previous all-time record set in March, with 277,590 passengers, according to a statement. Compared to April 2020, the traffic for April 2021 was up 2,920%. More from the Business Observer.
The sky's the limit
Kaivon Moran has sky-high dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. He was only 4 years old, and on his first-ever plane trip when the pilot pinned wings to the young boy’s shirt and welcomed him on a cockpit tour. From there, Kaivon’s future was decided: He’d one day become a pilot. With help of the Florida Lottery Bright Futures Scholarship, the Sarasota High School senior’s future is taking off. [Sponsored report.
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Mex up your Memorial Day with elote
Though the flavors of elote — tangy, spicy, sweet, fatty and decadent all at once — run deep in the hearts of those who grew up on this traditional Mexican street food, there may be one element of the experience that runs deeper. “That horn!” says Jennifer Tamayo, laughing. Tamayo was born in Mexico City, then moved with her family to L.A. before they settled in Orlando, but the tradition of these primitive mobile kitchens — in particular the tricked-out versions created from pilfered grocery carts by enterprising vendors — is near and dear to her heart. “They’d blow it to let you know they were coming, and they’re so loud!”
» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.
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