October 19, 2021

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/7/2021

Florida argues its blocked ‘vaccine passport' ban is ‘economic regulation'

Florida’s enjoined ban on businesses requiring workers and patrons to show proof of vaccination is a form of “economic regulation” that does not violate any individual constitutional rights and should be allowed to go into effect, state attorneys argue in their challenge of a federal judge’s ruling that stayed its implementation. [Source: The Center Square]

Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment moving headquarters to

Star stock picker Cathie Wood’s latest move is to Florida. Her firm, ARK Investment Management LLC, said Wednesday that it will permanently close its New York headquarters at the end of the month and move to St. Petersburg, Fla., on Nov. 1. Known for its line of exchange-traded funds that invest in companies deemed disruptive and innovative in their industries, ARK said it aims to deepen ties with local entrepreneurs and technology startups by also building an innovation center. More from the  Wall Street Journal and the Tampa Bay Times.

Goliath grouper catch approved by Florida wildlife commission

The first legal killing of goliath grouper in Florida in more than 30 years was approved Wednesday by the state wildlife commission. The catch will exclude adult fish, setting a size limit of 36 inches or about the size of a kitchen trash can. It will be limited to 200 fish. And it will exclude South Florida, protecting them from Martin County south to the Florida Keys. More from the  South Florida Sun-Sentineland TCPalm.

Federal legislation proposed to help Florida’s struggling hotel industry

Business travel has yet to fully bounce back from the pandemic, and Florida's hotel industry is struggling partly because of that. American Hotel and Lodging Association CEO and President Chip Rogers says a majority of hotel revenue comes from business travel. A joint report from his association and Kalibri Labs shows that for Florida, revenue from business travel is projected to be down by nearly 61% compared to revenue generated by business travel in 2019. [Source: WFSU]

Oil drilling proposal for Everglades may face tougher time with Biden administration

A Texas company's plans to drill for oil in the Everglades may have a tougher time winning approval, now that an administration that's skeptical of fossil fuels has taken over in Washington. Burnett Oil Co. has proposed drilling at two sites in Big Cypress National Preserve, important Florida panther habitat that sprawls across both sides of Alligator Alley. Although oil drilling has taken place there on a modest scale since the 1970s, the potential expansion has generated intense opposition from environmentalists. [Source: Phys.org]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Disney World brings back more live shows, character meet and greets
Walt Disney World says more live entertainment is returning to its lineup, including the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park and socially distanced pictures with popular characters. In November, the parks will be introducing more individualized time with characters although not embracing the old hugs and autographs routine yet.

› JinkoSolar’s only U.S. factory in growth mode in West Jacksonville
Now more than 2½ years into operations, China-based solar-panel maker JinkoSolar (U.S.) Inc. is heading into its growth phase at its West Jacksonville manufacturing plant, the company’s only U.S. factory. “We are in what I call ‘post-startup mode,’ which is all about optimization and streamlining the process,” said General Manager Mike Favo. “So, we’re in growth. We’re past startup and in growth.”

› Bradenton mall heading to bankruptcy auction
DeSoto Square Mall in Bradenton is set to be sold through a bankruptcy auction starting Oct. 11. A bankruptcy judge in New York approved the sale Sept. 20 after a request by the lender, Rompsen US Master Mortgage, which had foreclosed on the property. The judge’s decision allows for bidders to make offers on the property for two days. The judge will hold a hearing Oct. 20 to consider approving the sale.

› Lockheed Martin's Titusville division wins nearly a half-billion dollars in missile work  
Lockheed Martin Corp. landed a modification to a Space Coast-based missile contract potentially worth more than $1 billion. Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin’s Titusville operations won a $445 million contract modification for a previously-awarded U.S. Navy contract to produce Trident II missiles, the Department of Defense announced Oct. 1. This modification will be worth more than $1.1 billion if the Navy exercises all available options under the contract to buy more missiles.

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Spook Hill: Central Florida’s legendary road
Spook Hill: Central Florida’s legendary road

In Lake Wales, the gravity hill is an optical illusion where cars appear to roll up the spooky hill. The attraction is adjacent to Spook Hill Elementary School, which adopted Casper The Friendly Ghost as their school mascot. Spook Hill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.

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