August 12, 2022

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/4/2022

Florida leaders announce "massive" effort to address opioid epidemic

As Florida grapples with nearly 2,000 overdose deaths so far this year, state leaders on Wednesday announced a “massive” effort to address opioid addiction in counties that need it most. The initiative, which includes Florida’s first statewide director of opioid recovery, is based on a pilot treatment program in Palm Beach County that state health officials touted as a success. [Source: News Service of Florida]

A housing crisis and inflation are making it harder for theme park workers to stay in Florida

Theme park workers met this week to discuss how inflation and an affordable housing crisis are making it harder for them to live and work in Florida. Back in October, state law set the minimum wage at $15 dollars an hour. Workers now say more pay and benefits are needed to combat inflation. Florida is consistently ranked one of the most expensive places to live in the country. [Source: WUSF]

Nearly 600,000 primary ballots already cast

Almost 600,000 Floridians had cast vote-by-mail ballots as of Wednesday morning for the Aug. 23 primary elections, with Democratic voters outnumbering Republicans, according to data posted on the state Division of Elections website. The data showed that 598,761 vote-by-mail ballots had been cast, including 260,718 by Democrats and 236,456 by Republicans. [Source: News Service of Florida]

How many monkeypox cases are there in Florida and the rest of the nation?

Florida has confirmed more than 400 cases of monkeypox since the U.S. outbreak began in May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the state’s cases are in South Florida. In the U.S., the state with the most cases is New York, which has recorded more than 1,000 cases, followed by California, with more than 800. Both states have declared an emergency over monkeypox. So has Illinois. [Source: Miami Herald]

Crabs that may help save Florida's iconic reefs will be born and bred on land

The baby Caribbean king crabs, seen by scientists as a major keystone in Mission Iconic Reefs – the $100 million effort to restore coral on the Florida Reef Tract at the state's southern tip – will be born and raised inland. Some will be raised in quarries once dug to build the Overseas Highway that connects the Florida Keys with one another and the mainland, and others will be raised in Sarasota at the Mote Aquaculture Research Park. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Attention Tampa Bay, Orlando and Miami: You can now book a bus through Uber
Uber has added charter buses to its Tampa Bay transportation roster. Beginning today, customers can use the new feature, Uber Charter, to book larger vehicles, including vans, minibuses and coaches, through the app. Riders in Miami and Orlando will also gain access to Uber Charter today.

› South Florida abortion clinic fights $41,000 state fine over waiting period
A South Florida abortion clinic is fighting an attempt by state regulators to impose a $41,000 fine over allegations that the clinic did not show that it provided required information to women at least 24 hours before abortions. The Hialeah clinic, A GYN Diagnostic Center, is challenging the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration in the state Division of Administrative hearings, according to documents filed Monday. The case emerged as the agency also faces an administrative challenge to an attempt to revoke the license of a Pensacola abortion clinic.

› Two launch attempts Thursday from Florida's Space Coast planned for rare back-to-back launch day
A duo of rocket missions could could blast off into space Thursday in back-to-back launches from Cape Canaveral. First up, United Launch Alliance is sending a Space Force satellite into orbit. The company’s Atlas V rocket will launch the missile defense satellite SBIRS GEO 6. Some 13 hours later, SpaceX is targeting a launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, carrying a satellite for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute on a mission to study the moon.

› Miami Beach palms may be labeled historic to save them
In September, the Miami Beach City Commission is to hear legislation to protect legacy palm trees in specific neighborhoods by allowing residents to label them historic. “I’m going to bring that proposal forward to allow other neighborhoods the ability to preserve their landscaping and not to have the removal of palm trees, because it is not necessary,” city Commissioner Steven Meiner said.

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Rays pitcher JP Feyereisen reads with kids at the Largo Public Library as part of the "Reading with the Rays" program. The event hits close to home for Feyereisen, who went to school to be a teacher and plans to become a teacher and coach once his baseball career is over.

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