December 2, 2022

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/9/2022

Omicron’s ‘fat tail:’ Why aren’t COVID infections falling faster?

The omicron wave has crested, but health experts fear infections aren’t falling as fast as they had hoped. The omicron variant fed Florida’s highest COVID-19 growth rate since the pandemic started nearly two years ago. Health experts predicted that the highly contagious variant would rapidly burn through the state’s population and depart as quickly as it had arrived. But the omicron wave has stuck around longer than predicted, exhibiting what experts call a “fat tail” — meaning infections aren’t going down as fast as they went up. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Controversial solar measure approved with changes

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a revamped solar-energy bill, but the changes did not satisfy the rooftop-solar industry and environmental groups. The Senate Community Affairs Committee voted 6-3 to back the measure (SB 1024), which has drawn fierce debate because of how it would affect the industry and people with rooftop-solar systems. The bill deals with what is known as “net metering,” which governs charges and credits between electric utilities and customers who have rooftop system More from the News Service of Florida.

‘We do only one thing.’ Raising Cane’s plans big Orlando expansion

Raising Cane’s is bringing its fried chicken finger meals — and not one other meat option — to Orlando. The chain of more than 600 restaurants is opening its first Florida restaurant in Miami Beach this year and has about 25 sites in the pipeline across the state, with about 10 in the Orlando area, Co-CEO AJ Kumaran said in an interview Tuesday. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

What is Amazon delivering to Miami now? Health services and home visits  

Amazon already dominates your online shopping. Now it’s hoping to persuade your employer to offer you its telehealth and in-person health services. The tech giant on Tuesday announced plans to expand home visits for health services including vaccinations, tests and physical assessments to more than 20 cities in 2022, including the Miami metropolitan area. More from the Miami Herald.

Luxury hotel expert dishes on Tampa Bay’s allure

Luxury hotelier Pendry Hotels & Resorts is building a 37-story luxury tower on the Hillsborough River with Miami-based developers Two Roads Development. The hotel, expected to open sometime in 2024, will include 220 rooms, a luxury spa and a rooftop pool on a deck overlooking the Hillsborough River, along with fare like an upscale restaurant, a lobby bar and café. On the floors above the hotel will be 207 condos. Reid Boren, managing partner at Two Roads Development, the Miami developer behind the project, say they've already secured $50 million in pre-sales. More from the Business Observer.

Business Profile
Liberty Landscape Supply owner managing ‘vision to grow much bigger’

 Liberty Landscape Supply has evolved from 2 acres in Fernandina Beach into a company with multiple locations throughout Northeast Florida. “The last three or four years we’ve seen some tremendous growth,” said Mike Zaffaroni, the 42-year-old owner of Liberty Landscape Supply. Zaffaroni, who wasn’t happy in his job in pharmaceutical sales, bought a mulch and stone business in 2007 in Fernandina Beach and expanded from there, adding sales of trees, plants, sod, supplies and garden products.

» More from the Jacksonville Dailiy Record.


Out of the Box
South Florida Garlic Fest brings the funk this weekend. Do you know where your breath mints are?

floridaAt this year’s South Florida Garlic Fest, the aroma of the fragrant bulb will be everywhere on festival grounds except the one place where it’s an automatic turn-off: the Love Stinks Singles Meetup tent. Because nothing says “I like you” less than garlic breath, the root vegetable will be verboten at this Valentine’s-themed singles mixer when the festival returns to Wellington’s Village Park Athletics Complex Feb. 12-13.

» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Check out this Miami Beach art exhibit made by chimpanzees
Check out this Miami Beach art exhibit made by chimpanzees

Take a look at the ‘@rt by Chimps’ exhibit at the New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach. Chimpanzee artists painted 15 canvases that were up for sale during the fundraising event and all proceeds from sales go toward the Save The Chimps sanctuary.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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