Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
No state had a bigger gap last year between deaths and births, but migration kept Florida’s population growing
Florida deaths outnumbered births during the height of the 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic by more than 45,000 people, slowing the Sunshine State’s otherwise impressive population growth, according to new estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021 — the snapshot period used for the Census Bureau’s new estimates released Thursday — Florida’s population grew by 211,196 people. That’s an increase of just under 1% over those 12 months. More from Florida Politics and the Orlando Sentinel.
Margaritaville brand booming across Florida, with sites planned in Melbourne, Gainesville
Like a colorful lineup of tropical cocktails atop a tiki bar, Margaritaville's multifaceted Key West-spirited brand of destinations is spreading across Florida. Think hotels in Jacksonville Beach and Anna Maria Sound. Entertainment-centric active-adult communities near Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach. A recreational vehicle "glamping" resort in Auburndale. And even a cruise ship, offering "Margaritaville at Sea" between West Palm Beach and the Bahamas. More from Florida Today.
Busy month lies ahead for both launch pads at Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center will be juggling rockets and spacecraft in the next month that will herald a couple of new eras in space travel. Both of KSC’s launch pads will be in action, one to send up two SpaceX Crew Dragon capsules while the other is performing a dress rehearsal for the Artemis I moon launch planned for later this year. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Tampa Bay area movie shoots on the rise despite lack of political support
Thanks to lawmakers’ inaction, tax incentives for TV and movie productions have dried up at the state level, but that hasn’t stopped efforts to land entertainment industry productions. The Pinellas County Film Commission isn’t waiting around for state lawmakers to act. After a pandemic-driven slowdown, the organization has landed deals with four productions this year and is in talks with several more. More from the Business Observer.
Jacksonville's Wounded Warrior Project receives its largest individual gift of $15 million from MacKenzie Scott
The Jacksonville-based Wounded Warrior Project received its largest individual gift of $15 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who has donated an estimated $12 billion since December 2020 to nonprofits across the country. Scott, former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, wrote in a Wednesday blog post that she has targeted her giving "on the needs of those whose voices have been underrepresented." More from the Florida Times-Union.
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Out of the Box
Pink remote-control food coolers may roll on downtown Miami sidewalks
Automated food delivery robots that debuted in Los Angeles are moving to Miami. The hot pink, remote-controlled coolers are being piloted in downtown Miami. Elnatan Rudolph, managing partner of COCO Automated Food Delivery, represents Miami and presented the idea at the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board meeting March 18.
» Read more from Miami Today.
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