Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida is spending $3.6 million to issue pandemic bonuses to teachers and police
Florida is paying a private contractor $3.6 million to help issue $1,000 bonus checks bearing the governor’s logo to teachers, principals and first responders. Two state agencies signed contracts with Fidelity Information Services last month to collect information on police officers, firefighters, paramedics, teachers and principals to determine which ones are eligible for the $1,000 bonuses and send them checks. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Central Florida business owners say they are still struggling to hire workers
Some Central Florida business owners said even though Florida ended the federal unemployment benefit two months early, they are still struggling to hire workers. In Flagler Beach, the owner of Oceanside Bar and Grill says business is booming with pandemic-weary visitors. Johnny Lulgjuraj said though he is still a little short-handed, more people are applying for work but want higher pay. Lulgjuraj said his business is putting more money into labor and that the reckoning in terms of pay, was overdue. More from WESH.
A neighborhood reborn? Businesses, philanthropists join locals in reshaping historically Black Orlando community
With its gleaming white walls, designer décor and 9-foot ceilings, Pendana Senior Residences at West Lakes looks like one of the luxury condo towers near Lake Eola. Instead, it’s a $24.5-million affordable apartment development, where rents start below $400 a month, built on what used to be one of the most downtrodden stretches of the city. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida river gets curves back in 22-year, $980 million restoration
The 22-year project to restore Florida's Kissimmee River from a straight manmade channel to its natural meandering state has marked a major milestone. Officials involved in the nearly $1 billion Kissimmee River Restoration Project said at an event Thursday that 44 miles (70 kilometers) of the waterway have been returned to its curving path in central Florida. More from the AP.
National grocer, after Tampa debut, plots expansion to other parts of Florida
The Kroger Co., which only recently began delivering groceries in several Florida cities, including Tampa, now plans to expand into the biggest metro region in the state: Miami. Andrea Colby, e-commerce corporate affairs and communications manager for Florida, says that “at this time we do not have a start date.” But several employees at Kroger’s new 375,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Groveland, Lake County, say they’ve been told the center is getting ready to begin delivery service in Miami later this year. More from the B usiness Observer.
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Producers of St. Pete Pier lighted drone show talk challenges of high-tech display
A ballet of 300 drones will dance in the sky over Tampa Bay on Saturday, as a high-tech light show comes to the St. Pete Pier. The drones will be spinning and moving in formation to celebrate the first anniversary of the city’s landmark reconstruction. The producer of the show, a Detroit-based company called Firefly Drone Shows, is one of just a handful in the U.S. permitted to perform the choreography of lighted drones.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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