August 20, 2022

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/5/2022

'Floridians are generous': In 2021, most residents donated to charity, about half volunteered

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, almost 70 percent of Florida households made charitable donations in 2021, according to a new study. Because of spending more time at home and hearing about the pandemic's economic impacts, people became more aware of their neighbors, their needs and the nonprofit organizations that can help them, said Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who led the "Giving in Florida" study. More from the Florida Times-Union.

JaxPort to host fourth annual Small Business Appreciation Day

The Jacksonville Port Authority announced it will host its fourth annual Small Business Appreciation Day on May 24. The event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 9810 August Drive in North Jacksonville. JaxPort said procurement leaders from around the region will participate in a roundtable discussion about business opportunities at the port and other agencies throughout the city of Jacksonville. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Florida-based Hertz to buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar

Car rental company Hertz is planning to buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Swedish premium electric car maker Polestar over the next five years as it looks to boost its electric vehicle rental fleet. Financial terms were not disclosed. The vehicles are expected to be available in Europe in the spring and in North America and Australia later this year. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Neal family legacy expands as development in Manatee and Sarasota counties moves east

The Neal family’s impact on the community spans generations, and for 52 years the local residential developer has built thousands of homes between Manatee County and Naples. Pat Neal heads the family’s flagship company, Neal Communities, and following the footsteps of his father and grandfather he has built homes in southwest Florida since 1970. His son John grew up in the family business, and today his company Neal Land & Neighborhoods is at the helm of North River Ranch in Parrish, the biggest development project the Neals have undertaken. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

OPD wants to expand program that sends mental health professionals on some 911 calls

Police officials in Orlando want to expand a program that sends mental health counselors on some 911 calls in place of cops, citing a successful yearlong test and a chance to make more of an impact. Orlando’s City Council hosted a workshop Monday morning to discuss and assess the program, which saw counselors respond to 956 calls since the pilot was launched last March. Those encounters ended in 133 people showing up to mental health counseling appointments, and 197 people being involuntarily committed under Florida’s Baker Act. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

American Stage in the Park returns in St. Petersburg with ‘Footloose - The Musical’

 After being postponed for two years, American Stage in the Park returns to Demens Landing Park in St. Petersburg with Footloose — The Musical on April 6. It runs through May 8. Based on the 1984 movie, the Broadway musical adapted by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie follows Ren McCormack, a big-city teen who moves to a tiny rural town where dancing has been outlawed. Feeling out of place, he inspires other teens to rebel against the strict rules implemented by the local reverend.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


He succeeded with celebrity cars, and now his Polish vodka is taking off in Miami  

floridaSometimes a tragedy gives rise to a business. And that business sometimes rises to a family legacy, one worthy to leave to children and grandchildren. In 2019, Cuban-American entrepreneur Alex Vega was shot three times in the in his Southwest Miami-Dade driveway. After the shooting, Vega, owner of The Auto Firm, known for customizing the “most expensive toys” of the rich and famous, made a promise to himself: to leave his family a business, and the financial security that comes with it, beyond his role as car guru.

» Read more from the Miami Herald.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Video of large waterspout off northwest Florida
Video of large waterspout off northwest Florida

A large waterspout formed this week off Destin in Northwest Florida.

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