Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida leads the nation in percentage of residents living in high-risk coronavirus counties
While many Floridians are living their lives without COVID-19 precautions, the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state is on the rise. As of this past week, more Florida residents are living in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls "high-risk counties" than anywhere else in the country. Florida has 86 percent of people living in high-risk counties, compared to the national average of 22 percent. More from WLRN, the Miami Herald, and WFLA.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida marina values on the rise
Marina sales to deep-pocket investors have been increasing, buoyed in part by a boom in boat sales and also by a 2019 decision by the IRS to treat boat slip and storage fees as rental income. That increased the attractiveness of marinas as an investment. In February, the nation’s second-largest marina owner, Centerbridge Partners’ Suntex Marinas, agreed to acquire the nation’s third-largest owner, Westrec Marinas, for $400 million. Both have marinas throughout Florida. [Source: Florida Trend]
Florida is slow to move to new FBI crime reporting system
Florida's nearly 400 law enforcement agencies did not report 2021 crime numbers to the FBI, joining the nearly 40% of agencies nationwide that failed to do so, according to information provided to Axios by The Marshall Project, a criminal justice watchdog organization. Florida was part of a trend that will result in a data gap that experts say makes it harder to analyze crime trends and fact-check claims politicians make about crime. [Source: Axios Tampa Bay]
Hurricane forecasters watching rough weather in southwest Caribbean
Hurricane forecasters are watching a patch of rough weather in the southwest Caribbean that could strengthen into a tropical depression later this week. The system could strengthen into a tropical system if it remains over water, forecasters said. The chances of that happening by Thursday morning are about 20 percent. The chances of that happening by the end of the weekend are about 40 percent, forecasters said. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Sierra Space astronaut training to be based at Kennedy Space Center for future commercial Dream Chaser flights
Sierra Space is gearing up for the future use of its Dream Chaser spacecraft to support commercial astronaut activity with a training center based at Kennedy Space Center, the company said Tuesday. The Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy will be led by company president Janet Kavandi, a former astronaut who flew on three space shuttle missions and retired from NASA in 2019. “Our intent is for Sierra Space to stand at the forefront of the commercial space industry,” said Kavandi. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› FPL launches plan to eliminate carbon emissions
Florida Power & Light plans to eliminate carbon emissions from its electricity generation by 2045 through expanding solar energy and other technology, company officials announced Tuesday. The plan, part of a broader decarbonization effort outlined by FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, would lead to massive increases in the use of solar panels and battery-storage technology. Also, it would mean shifting to what is known as “green hydrogen” at power plants and continuing to use nuclear power.
› At 200, Jacksonville has old problems. Can their lessons help tackle tomorrow's issues?
When Jacksonville briefly became a city with more Black voters than white in the 1880s, officials drew voting districts that concentrated Blacks in just three of nine City Council wards. When civil rights groups sued last month over redistricting for next year’s local elections, lawyers argued that “most of Jacksonville’s Black voters are segregated into just four of 14 districts, depressing their influence over City Council elections.”
› Winter Park entrepreneur makes doughnuts meant to last up to 75 days
If you start looking online about doughnuts, you’ll see a popular concern about how long they last. This was precisely the issue that Wil Torres wanted to tackle while providing a quality option for everyone who loves the sweet snack. That’s how Golden Dough Foods came to life. With its headquarters in Winter Park, Golden Dough Foods is home to Golden Dough & Co. and La Panadería Dulce (The Sweets Bakery) brands, which Torres says is making the first-ever individually wrapped, full-sized, yeast-raised doughnuts with extended shelf life at mass scale.
› Bay area tourism officials keeping watching over economy, record prices
Before the pandemic, Americans had $1.2 trillion dollars in hand. That's money not going to any bills; that was money going in to the bank. Post pandemic, that same metric is now at $4.1 trillion. Economist call it a surge in loose money from government stimulus plans and that coupled with steadily rising fuel and food prices and stagnant wages, is driving serious warnings about a coming recession. Meanwhile, Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada says the area continues to see a tourism boom.
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