Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida unemployment claims inch up
First-time unemployment claims in Florida rose for the second straight week. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 6,740 initial claims were filed last week in the state, up from a revised count of 5,796 during the week that ended June 4 and 3,698 during the week that ended May 28. Last week’s total was the highest for Florida since the week ending Jan. 22, when 7,346 claims were filed. The Department of Labor also estimated that the number of claims nationally dipped from 232,000 during the week that ended June 4 to 229,000 last week. More from the News Service of Florida.
Disney delays moving 2,000 jobs to Orlando amid ‘don’t say gay’ clash with DeSantis
Amid the feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis over the so-called “don’t say gay” law, the Walt Disney Co. has delayed for more than three years plans to move about 2,000 high-paying jobs to Orlando from California. Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said Wednesday the expected opening date for the Lake Nona campus was pushed to 2026 to “give people more time” and accommodate the construction timeline for the new offices. A Disney representative previously told the Orlando Sentinel the offices were expected to be operating in Orlando by December 2022. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Wildlife officials preparing to aid manatees
After a record number of manatee deaths mostly linked to malnutrition, state and federal wildlife officials hope to double rescue and rehabilitation capacity before the sea cows again congregate in warm waters during the winter. In a conference call Wednesday with reporters, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they continue to set up infrastructure and equipment in anticipation of a heightened response when manatees make their winter return to areas depleted of sea grasses. More from the News Service of Florida.
Every state but Florida pre-ordered COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5
Federal regulators could approve COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than 5 by the end of the week. For most states, that means shots could be available as early as next week, but that might not be the case in Florida. Florida is the only state that hasn’t preordered COVID-19 vaccines for young children. It missed a Tuesday deadline to order the shots. Other states could get them as early as Monday. More from WJXT and the Miami Herald.
NASA set to finally complete Artemis I wet dress rehearsal
NASA is hoping the fourth time’s the charm for the final big test before it can finally launch its massive new rocket to the moon. The redo of the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal at Kennedy Space Center is slated to begin on Saturday evening with staff call to stations about 48 hours before the culmination of the test expected to be completed Monday afternoon. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida’s 4 major airports rank among the worst for on-time flight arrival
If you have traveled to or from Florida lately, you probably noticed more flights are delayed and canceled. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation confirms the recent trend. So far this year, more than 1,200 flights coming into Orlando International Airport were canceled compared to more than 560 for all of 2019, according to Bureau of Transportation statistics. The agency’s latest data is from March. The data also shows all of Florida’s major airports are seeing more delays and cancellations now compared to before the pandemic in 2019.
» More from WESH.
Chemists focused on mental health start psychedelic-powered biotech firm
Jackie von Salm and Chris Witowski gave up six-figure salaries with stock options to launch Psilera, a Tampa-based biotechnology company specializing in developing psychedelic-inspired compounds and drug delivery systems for treating mental health disorders. Both entrepreneurs were born and raised in the Tampa Bay area.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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