Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Here’s why Florida is seeing a surge of COVID cases again — and how to protect yourself
Florida is seeing an increase in COVID-19 again, accounting for 1 in 5 new cases in the United States. Hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are also reporting an uptick in COVID patients and are beginning to limit visitations as they prepare for another potential surge of cases. So, what’s causing the increase? Health experts say the new cases likely have to do with a variety of factors. More from the MIami Herald.
Florida coast under watch by hurricane center for possible area of interest
By the end of the week, the National Hurricane Center could issue watches or warnings regarding an area of interest forecast to develop off Florida’s East Coast. The broad, non-tropical low-pressure system is forecast to emerge by late Friday or early Saturday. The system has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next five days. If the latter happens, it will be the sixth named storm of the year and receive the name of Fred. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Jacksonville Mayor Curry’s $1.41 billion proposed city budget sees spending increase by 5.22%
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s proposed $1.41 billion fiscal year 2021-22 general fund budget includes $494.7 million in capital spending bolstered by a jump in ad valorem and state tax revenue and federal coronavirus-related aid. In a speech to City Council on July 20 at City Hall, Curry credited his 2015 city pension reform legislation, the recent 6-cent local option gas tax increase and federal American Rescue Plan funding for allowing the city to boost spending a year after the pandemic. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
A company asked to ship gas through Tampa’s port. Then it ‘disappeared.’
Not only does Strom Inc. have no agreement with Port Tampa Bay, it has no investors or outside backing, no natural gas supplier and does not own the Crystal River property on which it told the Department of Energy it plans to start building a production facility this year. “It’s kind of like a ghost company,” said Don Taylor, president of the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, who years ago worked with Strom as the company pursued economic incentives to build in Crystal River. “They just kind of disappeared, and we never heard from them again.” More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Miami-Dade office vacancies highest in 8 years
Florida’s economy is fourth-best in the nation in bouncing back from the plunge during the pandemic, but Miami-Dade’s office vacancy rates are also the highest they have been in eight years, at 16.9%. Even though vacancy has grown, so have newly signed leasing rates, by 8.6% since mid-year of 2020 and by 13.3% since the beginning of the pandemic. More from Miami Today.
Out of the Box
Florida's first 3D printed house is being built in Tallahassee
A new way to build houses has come to Tallahassee: Florida's first 3D printed house began construction in the Griffin Heights neighborhood last Thursday morning. "I have to keep pinching myself," said 39-year-old Kyndra Light, the co-owner of the company behind the project Precision Building and Renovating. "I can't believe it's actually happening." Together with her husband James Light, the two have been searching for innovative ways to bring affordable housing to people in need — and that's where the "printer" comes in.
» More from the Tallahassee Democrat.
Entrepreneur creates technology that reaches help within seconds
A few years ago, Mark Gray’s mother fell and broke her ankle while at home by herself. Like many others in this position, Gray worried that if it happened again his mother might not be able to reach help. He tried to get her to wear an alert button around her neck. When that didn’t pan out, he took another tact: he created his own business and product, now called Constant Companion. “I wasn’t trying to start a business,” he says. “I was just trying to protect my mom.”
» Read more from the Business Observer.
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