Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida jobless claims hold steady as hotels push for federal aid
As the hotel industry pushes for more federal assistance to cover the costs of workers, Florida continues to see little change in the number of new unemployment claims being filed. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 6,509 first-time unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Oct. 2, down from a revised count of 7,713 for the week ending Sept. 25. The agency initially had estimated Florida’s count for the week ending Sept. 25 at 6,502 claims. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
No apparent COVID outbreaks arise despite packed college football stadiums in Florida
College football stadiums across Florida filled with tens of thousands of non-masked, screaming students and boosters packed closely together have so far resulted in no recognizable community outbreaks amid the pandemic, according to infection figures on the state’s biggest campuses. The season began amid fears that big games could become super-spreader events. Now, nearly halfway through the season, which kicked off as the highly infectious Delta variant was still spreading across the U.S., the days and weeks after home games showed no significant surges on college campuses. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
'An insane amount of money': Florida's demand for travel nurses raises concerns of price gouging
Florida hospitals are facing skyrocketing costs for temporary contract nurses as the COVID-19 pandemic burns out longtime staff members and workforce shortages continue to worsen. As staffing agencies for travel nurses double and triple their fees to hospitals, the Florida Hospital Association is tracking complaints of price gouging in other states. California's hospital association last month asked the state Department of Justice to conduct a probe on behalf of its 400 hospitals. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
FWC resurrects support for osprey as state bird
Add the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to the supporters of doing away with the mockingbird as the state bird during the 2022 legislative session. Commissioners agreed Thursday to offer the osprey as a potential replacement for the mockingbird --- Florida’s avian symbol since 1927. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has filed a proposal (SCR 324) to rescind the designation of the mockingbird as the state bird. [Source: News Service of Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› State seeks to recoup $3 million in sawmill incentives
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup $3 million in incentives that the state provided to help attract a sawmill to Suwannee County. The department filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Leon County circuit court against Klausner Holding USA, Inc. Then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 approved providing $3 million to the project from an incentive program known as the Quick Action Closing Fund.
› Gainesville For All wins national grant from Gannett Foundation
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Gainesville For All was working with local government agencies and nonprofits to coordinate services for families in neighborhoods where a range of barriers create generational poverty. But the need for services has only grown as the health consequences of COVID-19 hit disproportionately harder on people of color.
› Elon Musk’s traffic tunnels to the beach now on the horizon for Fort Lauderdale
The city known for its notorious gridlock may be tunneling its way to the beach one day in the near future. After months of talks, Fort Lauderdale is now one step closer to hiring Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to build twin tunnels to the beach to help cut down on all that maddening traffic.
› Concertgoers around Tampa Bay race to find COVID tests in time for shows
In August, two of the country’s largest live music promoters, AEG Presents and Live Nation Entertainment, announced they would begin requiring vaccination cards or negative COVID-19 tests starting in October. Other event producers have followed. The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa enacted a similar policy in September, as did the Gasparilla Music Festival last weekend.
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