Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida is buying $300 million in land. It’s for the environment — and developers.
One of the rare bipartisan highlights of Florida’s legislative session this year was the decision to spend $300 million buying up land for conservation. Republicans, Democrats and environmentalists called it a boon for the environment, helping save thousands of acres of land in Florida’s delicate wildlife corridors from development. The result could be a boon to landowners and developers as well. The fine print in this year’s budget includes a stipulation that some environmentalists fear could spur development in the state’s wetlands. More from the Tampa Bay Times .
Southwest Florida airport traffic surges more than 250% in June
Airport traffic continues to surge in Southwest Florida. In June, a record-breaking 839,377 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. That’s up 253% compared to June 2020 and more than 43% above June 2019. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 49% compared to last year, according to a statement. More from the Business Observer.
Should Space Coast businesses push COVID-19 restrictions? Many Brevard County residents resist wearing face masks
As the numbers of COVID-19 infections are surging once more in Brevard County and across the state, the Space Coast business community finds itself in a deep quandary over how much to push COVID-19 restrictions when the public wants the pandemic to be over and is resistant to wearing face masks or keeping 6 feet between each other in checkout lines. More from Florida Today.
Low pressure system hovers off Florida coast; hurricane center says odds of development aren’t great
A low-pressure system east of Florida retains odds of developing into the next tropical depression Monday morning. Still, the National Hurricane Center isn’t confident the change will happen before it makes landfall later in the day. The low, associated with thunderstorms and showers, is 45 miles east of St. Augustine and 75 miles southeast of Jacksonville, the NHC said. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Ruby Beach Brewing Co. plans Aug. 5 opening of new downtown Jacksonville taproom
It's been more than a year since Ruby Beach Brewing Co. closed its taproom temporarily to relocate inland from Jacksonville Beach to a 116-year-old building in downtown Jacksonville. The move to 228 E. Forsyth St. has taken months longer than owner Mark Vandeloo planned due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic. "It has taken longer than we expected it would. Trust me, there is nobody on this planet more frustrated with that holdup than me," Vandeloo said. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Jacksonville Icemen Igloo renovations to begin
The city issued a permit July 23 for initial work toward converting the Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex into the Jacksonville Icemen Igloo for the city’s professional hockey team. Bluewater Builders Inc. of Coral Springs is the contractor and Chiodini Architects of St. Louis, Missouri, is the architect for the estimated $400,000 project for demolition and interior structural work.
» More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Out of the Box
A man’s bid to float from Florida to New York in a giant bubble is cut short
A man inside a makeshift bubble floating along the Atlantic Ocean washed ashore in Florida Saturday. It was the latest attempt by runner Reza Baluchi to run across the sea inside a cylindrical contraption he calls a “hydropod.” This time, he was headed from Florida to New York to raise money for first responders, sick children and people who are homeless, he said.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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