Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida port officials heading to California to drum up cargo business
Florida port officials will head to California this month to push for more cargo ships to come to Florida to help ease global supply-chain issues. While other ports along the Atlantic and gulf coasts have also increased efforts to attract more cargo as e-commerce consumer demand has risen during the pandemic, Florida officials believe their approach is different by selling the 14 ports from Pensacola to Key West to Fernandina Beach as a single unit rather than highlighting individual facilities. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida gas prices reach 8-year high, and surge expected to continue
Gas prices across the state continue to soar amid rising oil prices, reaching new multi-year highs. According to new numbers released by AAA, gas prices across Florida rose another 12 cents last week. Experts say Sunday’s state average of $3.47 per gallon is the highest daily average since July 2014. The state average is 27 cents higher than this time a month ago and nearly $1 higher than in 2021. More from Click Orlando.
Miramar-based Spirit Airlines to be acquired by Frontier in $3B low-cost carrier deal
The parent company of the budget carrier Frontier is buying Miramar-based Spirit Airlines in a $2.9 billion cash-and-stock deal that will create the nation’s fifth largest carrier. The deal is valued at $6.6 billion when accounting for the assumption of debt and other liabilities. The companies said Monday that the transaction will provide more low-cost fares for more travelers to destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
'The Man in the White Van' film has Jacksonville ties, but was shot out of state. Why? $$$
Warren Skeels, executive producer of MTV's hit reality show "Siesta Key," really wanted to make his new movie, a suspense thriller, in his home state of Florida. After all, "The Man in the White Van," based on a true story, is set in Florida in 1974. And Skeels grew up in Neptune Beach, went to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and still lives in Jacksonville. Bringing it to Florida and shooting there would have made perfect sense, Skeels said — in every way but dollars and cents. More from the Florid Times-Union.
Manatees warming up to lettuce at Florida Power & Light power plant
A record 1,100 manatees starved to death last year from a man-made famine that has choked out the seagrass — the staple of the gentle giants’ diet. Island outcroppings in estuaries up and down Florida have become sea cow mass graveyards as more manatees succumb to the ravages of hunger every day. The death toll was so bad that in April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared the die-off an Unusual Mortality Event. In a first-of-its kind pilot project to try to stave off further starvation, state and federal biologists have been feeding manatees at the FPL plant since mid December. They plan to feed the manatees through the end of March. More from Florida Today.
A water taxi to Anna Maria Island? Effort to curb tourism traffic moves forward
Officials are pushing to implement a pilot program for a water taxi to serve tourism hotspots on Anna Maria Island by as early as Memorial Day weekend. If seen to fruition, the water taxi would connect downtown Bradenton to Anna Maria Island cities and potentially expand to include Longboat Key and Palmetto.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Chicago-born Wrigley BBQ combines baseball, smoked brisket in Palm Beach
Mitch Liebovich learned two vital skills from his grandmother by the time he turned 3: how to throw a curveball and how to cook a brisket. So when the pandemic threw Liebovich a curveball at his ballpark-adjacent barbecue house in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, the pitmaster packed up his smokers and decided to fire up brisket in South Florida.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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