October 3, 2022

Friday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/4/2022

Latest manatee death toll surges past last year’s brutal pace despite emergency feedings

Starving manatees are perishing far more rapidly now in Brevard County than during last winter’s unprecedented carnage even after being fed nearly 50 tons of lettuce in a highly publicized emergency response. In just 56 days from the start of January through Feb. 25, the cut-off of available data, more carcasses were counted in Brevard than in any entire year for the past half-century, except for 2021. Wildlife authorities suspected such a high toll might occur this winter among manatees congregating in Brevard waters. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida Supreme Court approves new legislative redistricting maps

New political maps for the Florida House and Senate were approved by the state Supreme Court on Thursday. But Democratic House Leader Evan Jenne said the once-a-decade process to redraw lines might not be over. Jenne said there still could be a lawsuit challenging the maps, which House Democrats opposed. Legislative and congressional maps are redrawn after the federal census to adjust to changes in population. More from the AP.

Up to $50,000 now available for pandemic-related homeowner assistance

Homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments and other expenses during the pandemic can now apply for help through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website. The state is urging financially troubled homeowners to apply for assistance available to pay past-due mortgage and utility payments, property insurance, delinquent property taxes, homeowner association fees, case management services and other housing-related costs. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Amazon joins with nine Florida colleges and universities for free tuition

Amazon announced partnerships Thursday with 140 colleges and universities — including nine in Florida — to fully fund tuition and fees for employees. Hourly employees who have worked for Amazon for at least 90 days are eligible for free tuition and fees every year they work at Amazon. Participating schools in Florida are the University of Florida Online, Florida International University, the University of Central Florida, Miami Dade College, Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, Valencia College and Florida State College at Jacksonville. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Shows are over for Miami Seaquarium’s killer whale Lolita, new managers say

After five decades as star attraction at Miami Seaquarium, the 7,000-pound orca will no longer perform daring dives, splash spectators or serve as mascot for the marine park on Virginia Key, according to the federal agency that oversees animal attractions. Lolita — the focus of a decades-long campaign by animals rights activist who have pushed to return the orca to the Pacific Ocean waters where she was captured in 1970 — has not been doing regular twice-daily shows for months, since the stadium where she lives in a 20-foot deep tank was closed for repairs ordered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of March 4th

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


First look: Epcot flower and garden festival 2022

floridaFest season has cycled back to bloom mode as the 2022 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is underway at Walt Disney World. Visitors are greeted by the giant Goofy topiary in the front bed near the theme park’s entrance this year. The twist is that the character is lofting a big 50th-anniversary cake with one hand. The layered dessert is catawampus, downright goofy-looking. But overall the figure is an architectural wonder, quite a balancing act.

» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Ransom Everglades School students test their experiment to be carried by NASA rocket
Ransom Everglades School students test their experiment to be carried by NASA rocket

A NASA-sponsored rocket will carry an experiment devised by physics students from Ransom Everglades School to the edge of space. See how they tested their experiment.

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