September 19, 2021

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/27/2021

Lawsuit seeks to force Florida to keep paying $300 jobless benefits

Broward County residents struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic have filed a lawsuit challenging a decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to cut off federal unemployment money for Floridians. The lawsuit, filed Sunday in Broward County circuit court, contends that the DeSantis administration violated state law last month when it stopped providing $300 a week in federal assistance to jobless people. The money, approved by Congress as part of COVID-19 relief efforts, came on top of state unemployment benefits. More from the News Service of Florida and the Orlando Sentinel.

Some Florida school staff employees excluded from bonuses

Back in May, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $1,000 bonuses for Florida teachers and principals -- grades Pre-K through 12th grade -- for their work during the pandemic. In a recent letter to school superintendents, the Florida Department of Education outlined who qualifies to receive the $1,000 bonuses. Excluded are: assistant principals counselors, media specialists, support staff (cafeteria workers, janitors and secretaries) [Source: WEAR

Toxic algae bloom on Florida's coast ravages marine life: "This is an absolute nightmare"

Beaches near Tampa have been littered with dead sea creatures, killed by a massive algae bloom that marine scientists say has been worsened by pollution. Tyler Capella, who runs a fishing charter business, took CBS News out on Tampa Bay to see what he calls his nightmare. Dead fish are everywhere, killed by a red tide that has turned Tampa Bay toxic. "This just goes forever," Capella said. "It's devastating. My worst fears have come true. I mean, this is an absolute nightmare." [Source: CBS News]

Gas prices dip below $3 as demand holds steady

Average Florida gasoline prices are back below $3 a gallon but are still up 91 cents from a year ago. The average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.97, down four cents over the past two weeks, the AAA auto club said Monday. The numbers also show that concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases have not significantly affected the demand for fuel. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Need a break on back-to-school shopping? What to know about a tax holiday starting soon

Florida is poised to enter its second fall semester of school under the cloud of a pandemic. And while there is renewed discussion and some confusion as to exactly how classrooms may look and function in terms of masking, social distancing and other precautions as COVID-19 once again surges in the state, there is one thing we know solid: The familiar back-to-school tax free week is happening again this year — pandemic or not. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Jacksonville DIA to consider negotiations for new MOSH at Shipyards  
The Downtown Investment Authority board is scheduled to vote July 29 on a resolution to start negotiations with the Museum of Science and History to move its facility to part of the vacant city-owned Shipyards property on the Northbank. The action would authorize DIA CEO Lori Boyer to begin talks with MOSH leadership about the museum’s plans to build on a portion of a 21.7-acre parcel.

› Miami chefs are leaving restaurants to work in private homes. ‘It’s life changing’
More restaurant chefs, from line cooks to the second in command in well-respected kitchens, are making the decision to work as personal chefs after the pandemic exposed their industry’s fragility. Some are moonlighting on their off days. Others left restaurants altogether. It’s another dent to a big Miami hospitality industry struggling to staff up in the pandemic.

› How a Hollywood coffee roaster with an off-the-beaten path shop hit it big on Amazon
You may not have heard of Koffee Kult, a family-owned coffee shop tucked inside a warehouse in Hollywood, but the organic coffee roaster has built a cult-like following on Amazon. Since 2010 owner Jamie Mardis has grown his business from a profitable hobby to a 5,000 square foot warehouse with 14 employees where he and his family roast and ship 3,000 pounds of coffee across the country for their online orders each day.

› Jabil board approves $1 billion stock buy back
Jabil Inc.’s board of directors has given the company the green light to buy back $1 billion of common stock. The company did not disclose any immediate plans to begin a buy back, instead saying the board gave officials the authority to make the purchases “from time-to-time through fiscal year 2023 using various methods, including in the open market at the company's discretion and subject to market conditions and other factors.”

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