January 27, 2022

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/30/2021

Florida vacations popular for holidays amid no lockdowns

Cooped-up tourists eager for a taste of Florida’s sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and warmer climates are visiting the Sunshine State in droves, topping pre-pandemic levels in recent months. Miami is one of the top search destinations on travel websites and statewide, Florida had 32.5 million travelers from July to September of this year, exceeding the number of visitors during that period in pre-pandemic 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis said recently. [Source: AP]

In a time of 'exponential everything' Florida's old planning laws could help fight climate change

Earl Starnes became Florida's first planning director in the 1970s after the state passed a suite of new laws designed to manage growth, prevent sprawl and protect wetlands, springs and other resources. As threats from climate change and over-development once again remind Florida of its precarious place, those who loved and worked with Starnes say his vision for urban planning, and the rules he tried to put in place, are worth remembering. [Source: WLRN]

The skinny: Iconic Publix Super Market scales could be a thing of the past

If you are still shy about checking your weight on the iconic scale at Publix, you might want to step on the green machine before it vanishes. Those big historic and industrial looking scales at the front of Publix Super Markets could land on the scrapheap of supermarket history one day, because the scale manufacturer stopped making them, a Publix Facebook post recently reported. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida COVID-19 hospitalizations drop

The number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 dropped during the past week, according to data posted online Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The data showed 1,228 inpatients with COVID-19, down from 1,351 a week earlier. The data Monday also showed 239 COVID-19 patients in intensive-care units, down from 243 a week earlier. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida residents including Omarosa, Maurice Jones-Drew, owed unclaimed funds. What about you?

What do Maurice Jones-Drew, Omarosa and Derek Trucks all have in common? They're Jacksonville residents that are owed money from the state's treasury. Records show it's from unclaimed checks, refunds and escrow funds that may have been forgotten along the way. And you might be on the list, too. The Department of Financial Services says Floridians are collectively owed $2.5 billion in unclaimed funds, $115 million of that is from the Jacksonville area alone. [Source: Florida Times-Union]


› International hotelier has big plans for lot with a long history of big plans
Anyone one familiar with downtown Tampa knows the vacant lot. It’s on Ashley Drive, between Whiting and Broein Streets, right on the Riverwalk. The CapTrust Building sat on the north side for years before being demolished about two years ago. And it was once proposed to be the site of Trump Tower Tampa, a 52-story condominium complex that was never built. Another 50-story development was later planned for the site, Riverwalk Place.

› Florida drivers expected to see relief at the pump
Florida drivers could soon experience relief at the gas pump, according to the Auto Club Group (AAA). Following weeks of political posturing over rising gas prices, Floridians should soon see deep discounts at the gas pump after crude oil prices were slashed on “Black Friday.” In a Monday press release, AAA noted that crude price cuts were sparked by concerns about the latest COVID-19 variant and the implications it could have on future fuel demand.

› Florida House’s first redistricting maps give GOP advantages
The Republican-controlled Florida House on Monday released its first set of redistricting maps, and they were immediately criticized by elections experts for violating state redistricting rules and derided by Democrats as “a fully-baked cake” that lacked transparency.  

› Masks? Vaccine cards? Your guide to COVID-19 rules at Southwest Florida entertainment venues
Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. Make sure you socially distance. Sit as close together as you want. Bring a negative COVID test or a vaccination card. Never mind, don’t worry about it. The COVID rules are all over the place at Southwest Florida theaters, concert halls and other entertainment venues.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Deauville hotel may be demolished: Watch drone footage of what it looks like now
Deauville hotel may be demolished: Watch drone footage of what it looks like now

The historic Deauville Beach Resort may be demolished as Miami Beach’s building official issued a demolition order on Jan. 20, following an inspection of the deteriorating hotel. Watch drone footage of what the hotel looks like now.

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