Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida COVID cases fell Thanksgiving week, but so did vaccinations
Florida’s COVID-19 cases continued to fall during Thanksgiving week. But vaccinations are also trending downward, and the effort to inoculate children ages 5-11 has stalled as experts fear the spread of the newly-detected omicron variant. That’s according to the weekly report the state released on Tuesday, covering the seven day period of Nov. 19-25. The report, which is usually released late Friday afternoon, was delayed last week because of the holiday. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida health care industry may get extended protection from COVID-19 lawsuits
With no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Florida Senate panel Tuesday approved extending pandemic-related legal protections for hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care providers. The proposal (SPB 7014), backed in a 7-4 vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would help shield health providers from lawsuits until June 1, 2023. Lawmakers during this spring’s legislative session passed a bill that offered the protections for one year --- a period that is set to expire March 29, 2022. More from the News Service of Florida.
South Florida hopes Art Basel will bring economic boom
From Miami Beach to Wynwood, to Little Haiti and other neighborhoods, Art Basel is bringing in jobs. For some, this week is a gold mine of cash that pays the bills for months. More than $60 million will be spent on hotel rooms over the next few days, said David Whitaker, the president of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. More from NBC Miami.
Gas prices are about to drop, experts say
Your wallet is about to get a little bit of a break this holiday season. Experts say gas prices are primed to decline after weeks of expensive fill-ups. It comes as crude oil prices have rapidly dropped. The bad news is that that’s in part because of concern about the new omicron strain of COVID-19. “Florida drivers should begin to see significant relief from the pain at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association who tracks fuel prices. More from WPLG.
Pari-mutuels fire back at Seminoles in gambling appeal
Accusing the Seminole Tribe of being “disingenuous with the court,” two pari-mutuel operators on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to reject the tribe’s request for a stay of a ruling that struck down a gambling deal that allowed sports betting in Florida. The tribe filed an emergency motion last week asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to stay U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich’s ruling in a lawsuit challenging the deal, which gave the Seminoles control of online sports betting in the state. More from the News Service of Florida.
Out of the Box
This artist wants you to pay $1,000 for a cup of coffee at his Miami Art Week pop-up
Would you pay $1,000 for a cup of coffee? In almost every case, the answer to this question is a resounding “Are you out of your mind?” But during Miami Art Week, when no price is too high and no common commodity too unremarkable to exploit, the query is perfectly natural.
» More from the Miami Herald.
End of an Era
Assets for St. Petersburg’s Biff-Burger to be sold at auction
The future of St. Petersburg’s iconic Biff-Burger on 49th Street North appears up in the air pending an auction of the restaurant’s assets next week. All of the assets from the long-running restaurant and neighboring spot Buffy’s BBQ are set to be auctioned off next Tuesday, according to a listing from Bay Area Auction Services. What this means for the actual Biff-Burger brand remains unclear.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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