August 20, 2022

Thursday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/26/2022

Florida lawmakers deliver insurance reforms. Will they work?

Pressed into action by Gov. Ron DeSantis to stem a growing crisis, Florida lawmakers delivered property insurance reforms sought by the governor and largely favored by the insurance industry. Now the questions are whether they will work, and who will benefit. Homeowners are struggling with higher rates, while insurers are failing and dropping coverage. DeSantis was under pressure to get something done. The solution lawmakers came up with is a bill that the Senate sponsor said is more focused on stabilizing struggling insurers than delivering immediate rate relief. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the News Service of Florida.

Expect to pay more to cut in line at theme parks this vacation season

In October, Disney ditched its free FastPass+ system and put in Genie+, which charges $15 per person per day to make reservations on select rides. Each park, however, has at least two attractions for which guests need to purchase a separate Lightning Lane ticket to skip the lines. That can cost an extra $7 to $15. Few Disney fans are happy about it, but some are paying it: Disney has had record quarters in its earnings reports since it rolled out the new system. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Carnival Freedom cruise ship catches fire in Grand Turk

A Carnival Cruise Line ship that sails out of Port Canaveral was seen with its iconic smokestack funnel on fire Thursday morning while docked in Grand Turk. Carnival Cruise Line officials said in a statement the ship’s “emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk. All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation.” More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Thousands in Central Florida are eligible for cheaper internet bills

Tens of thousands of Central Florida residents can get a $30 break on their internet bill, under a federal effort to bridge the so-called digital divide that leaves millions nationwide disconnected from the online world. The deal announced earlier this month between the Biden Administration and 20 providers, including Spectrum and AT&T, provides a discounted rate — even free for some plans — to low-income households who either make no more than double the federal poverty threshold or qualify for benefits like SNAP, WIC, Medicaid and free-and-reduced lunches at school. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Landstar System enters the Fortune 500

Jacksonville added a new Fortune 500 company and an additional Fortune 1000 firm, according to the magazine’s annual list of largest U.S. companies. Trucking company Landstar System Inc., which has made Fortune magazine’s ranking of 1,000 largest companies for several years, jumped into the Fortune 500 after its 2021 revenue grew by 58.1% to $6.54 billion. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

What’s it like to film 10 movies in 9 months in Tampa Bay? Ask this crew.

Jonathan Stoddard initially said he has starred in four movies shot in Pinellas County since late-September. No, he’s done five, he said, correcting himself. No, make that six. Yes, six is the correct answer, Stoddard said. “It’s hard to keep track,” the Los Angeles resident said. “It’s been crazy.” All six films are part of a slate of 10 brought to Pinellas County by former Clearwater Aquarium CEO David Yates and his Los Angeles production partner Danny Roth.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Out of the Box
Walmart drone deliveries are coming soon to Florida

Walmart plans to start delivering orders to customers via drones in six states, including Florida, the company announced Tuesday. Stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Utah and Virginia will also offer the service, which could reach up to 4 million U.S. households. Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., people will be able to order tens of thousands of eligible items totaling up to 10 pounds, and have them delivered within 30 minutes for a fee of $3.99.

» Read more from WGCU and the Tampa Bay Times.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

In case you missed it:

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.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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