Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Ida's winds missed Florida but insurance rates will still rise
Florida might have dodged a bullet from Hurricane Ida, but consumers in the Sunshine State ultimately won’t be able to escape its financial wrath. Insurance experts say Ida will drive up rates for reinsurance — which is insurance that insurance companies must buy to guarantee they can pay all claims after a disaster — and those insurance companies will pass those higher rates down to us. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Health experts say Florida's vaccination rate is improving but progress is slow
Researchers say they’re pleased to see the vaccination rate increase, but progress has been slow and there’s still a long way to go despite renewed efforts to get more people vaccinated for COVID-19 since the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant. Doctors say it’s important to continue to encourage people to get vaccines because although Florida’s seven-day average of cases has decreased, it still remains high at 13,122 cases. More from WFTS.
SpaceX sets Wednesday night launch window for all-civilian Inspiration4 mission
The first all-civilian mission on a multiday trip to space looks to launch from Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday night. SpaceX set the five-hour window for liftoff from 8:02 p.m. to 1:02 a.m. Thursday. The Inspiration4 crew, made up of billionaire mission commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski, will ride in the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience atop a Falcon 9 rocket and blast off from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
UPS needs package handlers, drivers and more for holiday shipping; plans call for hiring 1,770 in Jacksonville area
The Christmas holidays may be more than three months away, but UPS is already seeking some elves to handle the expected holiday rush. So the 114-year-old shipping and supply company expects to hire at least 1,770 seasonal employees in the Jacksonville area as it anticipates an annual increase in package volume beginning in October. Company officials predict a record peak holiday shipping season that usually ends in January. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Dogs check dozens of Miami airport workers a day for COVID. They’ve found cases
Before they go to work, dozens of Miami International Airport employees have been put to the sniff test from a pair of specially trained dogs that can detect COVID-19. So far the pilot project launched last month has detected a pair of cases and will be extended until October and could be expanded to other key facilities. More from the Miami Herald.
Friendship Fountain, 56 years old, still draws visitors to Jacksonville
Friendship Park isn't what it used to be: The park on the Southbank, an ambitious and gorgeous bit of mid-century modern design, is less than half the size it was when it opened in 1965. Yet its much-renovated centerpiece, Friendship Fountain, remains an icon in Jacksonville, the site of tourist visits, school trips, protests, rallies and civic announcements. And when the Super Bowl came to the city in 2005, it was seen again and again in televised images across the world.
» More from the Florida Times-Union.
Tampa Bay playwright gets long-delayed premiere of a personal work
For the last 18 months the set that Scott Cooper designed for the world premiere of Natalie Symons’ play “The People Downstairs” has waited to come to life at American Stage in St. Petersburg. The play was in previews and ready to open when the pandemic forced all theaters to shut down in March 2020. The set has been dusted off, but most of the same cast and crew have returned for the long-delayed premiere, which is now set to begin Wednesday and continue through Oct. 3.
» Read more from the Sarasota Herald-Triibune.
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