Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Citrus forecast points to difficult season
Florida’s citrus industry is forecast to have one of the lowest production years in decades as it continues to grapple with a devastating disease and other issues. In the first estimates for the 2021-2022 growing season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday forecast a nearly 11 percent drop in orange production and a 7.3 percent reduction in grapefruit production from the past season. Harvest totals would be among the smallest since the 1940s. More from the News Service of Florida.
How Tampa and Orlando could become the next ‘megaregion’
Central Florida cities along the Interstate 4 corridor — from Tampa Bay to Orlando — are growing at an accelerated rate. One local developer said the trends he’s seeing in Tampa and St. Petersburg, from the droves of people moving to the region to the high demand for housing and more businesses, is reminiscent of of the growth he once saw in South Florida. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Vaccine rule complaints filed against Florida arts venues, businesses and cruise lines
More than 100 performing arts centers, cruise lines and other businesses, along with some public officials across the state are being investigated by the Florida Department of Health for possible violation of a state law prohibiting the use of a COVID-19 vaccine passport or other mandates. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Kroger to debut micro-fulfillment service in Florida
Kroger plans to enter South Florida with two smaller-size automated fulfillment facilities developed alongside technology partner Ocado, the grocer said in a press release on Tuesday. One of the facilities is a “Zoom” micro-fulfillment site, Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said in the announcement. The facilities, which will allow Kroger to offer service in as fast as 30 minutes, join an existing CFC in Central Florida and “spoke” sites in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida. More from the Grocery Dive.
Four Seasons development in downtown Jacksonville wins $114 million in city support
Jaguars owner Shad Khan's four-year quest to bring a Four Seasons Hotel to downtown Jacksonville on the St. Johns River moved closer to happening Tuesday after City Council unanimously approved $114 million in taxpayer support for the deal. Khan and his Iguana Investments must spend at least $301 million in private financing for the five-star development that would contain about 176 hotel rooms, 25 luxury condominiums and a six-story Class A office building, according to terms of the development agreement. More from the Florida Times-Union.
You’re invited to The Poynter Institute’s virtual Celebration of Journalism gala on Nov. 10, honoring the free press, democracy and the distinguished career of Lesley Stahl, award-winning broadcast journalist and “60 Minutes” correspondent for CBS News. Be immersed in an evening of poignant storytelling featuring special appearances from celebrity journalists and glimpses inside newsrooms making a difference. Together, we’ll uplift the quality of journalism for all. Grab tickets at poynter.org/gala
Aakash Patel, Elevate Inc. CEO
In the mid-2000s, with a bachelor’s in political science and English literature from Florida State University in hand, Aakash Patel seemed destined to go to law school and embark on a career in the legal industry. Then, much like today, an economic crisis hit and caused many people, including Patel, to rethink choices large and small. He decided to switch gears and seek a job in public relations or marketing, but then, urged on by his grandfather, father and some entrepreneurial friends he now thinks of as mentors, he was persuaded to start his own company — Elevate Inc., a business consulting firm.
» More from the Business Observer.
Florida stone crab season opens Friday: Here’s what to know
The Florida stone crab season opens Friday, which means fresh claws may start showing up on dinner menus and in specialty stores as early as Saturday. The stone crab resembles a bodybuilder, with pumped-up, beefy claws folded out in front of its body. The Florida delicacy can cost two times the price of Alaskan snow crab legs. The 2 million pounds of sweet crab meat harvested last year fueled a $31 million industry.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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