Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida and Walgreens reach $683 million opioid settlement
Walgreens and Florida reached a $683 million settlement this week to resolve claims that the company profited from the opioid epidemic in the state, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Thursday. Walgreens was the 12th defendant to settle with Florida after the state filed lawsuits against major opioid manufacturers and distributors, which included CVS Pharmacy Inc. and CVS Health Corp. Walgreens did not admit to wrongdoing as part of the settlement. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
The cost of raising JEA's power lines over the St. Johns for bigger cargo ships just got higher. But who will pay?
Higher power lines for bigger cargo ships in Jacksonville would come at a higher price. A feasibility study for raising JEA transmission lines so jumbo-sized cargo ships can reach the port authority's Blount Island Terminal shows it would cost about $42 million to accomplish that major project. The expense in a report done by Worley Group is higher than a previous estimate by JEA in September 2020 that put the cost at $30 million. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Orange County’s tourist tax pulls in record revenue
Orange County’s tourism industry shattered records in March for tourist-tax revenue collection. The 6% levy on hotel rooms and other short-term lodgings brought in $38.5 million in March, the most ever by more than $7 million, according to Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond, who tracks the figures and released the latest numbers Thursday morning. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Black farmer medical marijuana license draws 12 applicants
Regulators of Florida’s medical marijuana industry are currently examining a dozen applications for a new license intended for Black farmers. The application window for new licenses, which were newly made available because of the growing number of medical marijuana patients, lasted from March 21-25. But after a five-year wait, it’s still unclear when a decision will be made on which applicant will get a license. More from Florida Politics.
Sarasota angel firm invests in a new executive director
Sarasota-based Bridge Angel Investors has invested in a new executive director. Kim Miele, the former executive director of the Gulf Coast CEO Forum, has stepped into the role with the private investment group. As executive director, Miele’s main focus will be on growing membership and potential deals. More from the Business Observer.
Haitian Compas Festival makes its big return during Haitian Heritage Month in Miami
May is Haitian Heritage Month. In South Florida that means the return of non-stop konpa music, celebrity chef cook offs and introductions to Haitian culture. All are returning to the in-person scene this year after a two-year hiatus and virtual gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Out of the Box
What's a 'space jellyfish'? One might show up for Florida's next SpaceX Starlink launch
A planned SpaceX launch of another batch of satellites may produce a cool-looking phenomena known as a space jellyfish. Thankfully there are no stings involved here though. A space jellyfish is, simply put, the sun’s rays illuminating the particles left in the air from the launch. Not many launches produce the effect – several factors must line up perfectly for it to occur.
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