Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Ratings agency says insurance action 'essential' to stabilize market in Florida
The financial-rating agency AM Best said Monday that further “action is essential” to stabilize Florida’s property-insurance market, as lawmakers prepare to grapple with the issue during a special legislative session this month. The agency issued a four-page commentary that described a stew of problems for insurers, such as high reinsurance and litigation costs, and pointed to companies seeking hefty rate increases and reducing the numbers of policies they write. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida sues DuPont, other companies over toxic firefighting foam
Florida is suing the makers of certain firefighting foams, accusing them of polluting the environment and potentially sickening people with chemicals. Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office filed suit in mid-April in Hillsborough circuit court. The state’s lawyers accuse several businesses — including DuPont de Nemours, Inc.; The Chemours Company FC, LLC; Tyco Fire Products; and Chemguard, Inc. — of using materials that could put people at risk of cancer and other illnesses. The substances are commonly called “forever chemicals.” More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Algal toxins linked to brain disease widespread in Southwest Florida
The good news: A first-of-its-kind field study of Southwest Florida air and water didn’t find widespread cyanobacteria toxins – mostly. The bad news: It did find several neurotoxins as well as three forms of BMAA, a neurotoxin linked to grave brain diseases. Two of the forms were in every one of 945 analyses done over five months between last July and November by Calusa Waterkeeper volunteers and analyzed at Wyoming’s Brain Chemistry Labs. More from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Florida drivers seeing highest gas prices in 4 weeks
After falling steadily over the past few weeks, Florida’s gas prices are on the rise once again. The state’s average gas price went up another 8 cents over the past week, averaging $4.18 per gallon on Sunday, according to AAA. “Florida drivers are finding the most expensive prices at the pump in four weeks,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Global supply concerns are keeping upward pressure on oil prices, as many countries look to limit the import of Russian oil." More from WFLA.
State signs off on disputed FPL permit
The state Department of Environmental Protection has renewed a permit for a canal system at a Florida Power & Light plant in Miami-Dade County, after a long-running legal battle about the issue. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton issued an order Friday approving a recommendation from an administrative law judge and granting the renewal. The issue involves a 5,900-acre canal system at FPL’s Turkey Point complex that Administrative Law Judge Cathy Sellers likened to a “radiator.” More from the News Service of Florida.
Mary Barrow, who restored more than 20 historic Gainesville buildings, dies at 85
Mary Besalski Barrow, who led the charge to create Gainesville's five historic districts and helped restore more than 20 historic local homes and buildings, died Thursday morning surrounded by her family. She was 85. Barrow and her husband, Dr. Mark Barrow — a key contributor to the opening of the Matheson Historical Center, Alachua County’s first historic museum and archives — played a major role over the years in preserving Gainesville’s rich history.
» More from the Gainesville Sun.
Out of the Box
From closet, Tampa mom records meditation podcasts with 44 million downloads
Katie Krimitsos’ life is loud. Her two parakeets bang their cage, even when the door is open. Her 3- and 6-year-old daughters are, well, they’re 3 and 6. As for her husband, “He’s a loud personality, like a bull in a China shop,” Krimitsos laughed. Krimitsos turns to meditation for peace. “Meditation has always just been a mind-blowing way for me to get quiet and sift through whatever I have going on,” she said. It works so well for Krimitsos that she decided to share her technique via a podcast that helps women meditate.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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