December 1, 2021

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/19/2021

Is orange juice in jeopardy? Florida's citrus crop forecast hits historic low

Oranges have been big business in Florida – part of the state's identity and crucial to its economy. Over the years, however, citrus production has plummeted. Citrus greening is only part of the problem. Urbanization and consumer habits are other factors. Back in the day, orange juice used to be a bigger part of our mornings. Peak production came in 1997 with 244 million boxes. Citrus greening hit Florida a few years later; and with no cure in sight and consumption going down, it can be tough for growers to be optimistic about what is next. [Source: WTSP]

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of November 19th

Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.

DeSantis signs vaccine mandate bills into law as Florida challenges new rule

Wasting little time, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law four bills dealing with mask and vaccine mandates less than 12 hours after state lawmakers passed them mostly along party lines Wednesday night. Arguing for the rights of Floridians to not be vaccinated, DeSantis said he was signing the strongest legislation of its kind against a federal mandate on employer vaccine requirements. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Central Florida beach rated second most dangerous in America; 5 of top 10 in Florida

Aside from gorgeous sunrises and white-sand shores, Volusia County is also known as being home to one of the most dangerous beaches in America, according to recently released data. Shark fans might immediately conclude it’s New Smyrna Beach due to its infamy as the Shark Bite Capital of the World. However, a reader-supported online publication, Outforia, identified Daytona Beach as the second most dangerous beach in America. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

What’s the best mall in South Florida?

Maybe you hung out at the mall as a teen. Maybe you’re heading to one right now as a grown-up ready to do some holiday shopping. Since the 1960s, indoor malls have been a thing in South Florida. Aventura, Swgrass Mills, Dadeland Dolphin, Westland, 163rd Street, Broward, Galleria and others have opened over the past 60 years. Some of them started as outdoor strip shopping centers before they were expanded and enclosed. All of them changed the way we shop. [Source: Miami Herald]


› It’s a bad time to buy used cars in Tampa Bay. Blame the supply chain.
When the pandemic struck, manufacturers in many industries slowed production as demand for products plummeted. Spending picked up in short order, but overseas factories and logistics companies couldn’t snap back to pre-pandemic pace — especially in regions struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks and labor scarcity. That led to supply shortages, backlogged orders and stocked cargo ships stuck offshore.

› United Arts gets ‘critical’ $500,000 from NEA
United Arts of Central Florida has been awarded $500,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts — money that will help the advocacy organization keep pace with and increase the diversity of Central Florida’s ever-growing arts scene. The award, the first NEA grant for the organization in at least 15 years, has additional significance than the sizeable amount: It makes United Arts eligible for future funding from the independent federal agency.

› This Boca Raton center helped kids for decades. Now foreclosure looms for the holidays.
The Wayne Barton Study Center, a nonprofit community center that helps underprivileged children in Boca Raton, is giving back to the community this holiday season with turkey giveaways — even as it faces a big money struggle. Despite its spree of philanthropy, you may not know that the organization is facing foreclosure on the study center, according to founder and CEO Wayne Barton. The foreclosure case, which pertains to the center’s mortgage, is pending, court records show.

› Pilot training academy combats industry shortage with $15M investment
When Paragon Flight Training first opened for business in 2006, its student population mostly consisted of people interested in becoming recreational pilots. But over the last four to five years, the Fort Myers-based flight school has seen a big shift toward students seeking to become professional or commercial airline pilots. The company, in turn, directed its focus there.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Introducing the Hyper-Sub in Lake Butler, Florida
Introducing the Hyper-Sub in Lake Butler, Florida

Against the backdrop of a bright blue sky and a calm lake, the Hyper-Sub roars to life. The sleek, black vessel hums loudly from its docked position at the Lake Side Park Boat Ramp in Lake Butler, Florida. But this boat attracts crowds of adults and children because it looks like a submarine.

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