December 7, 2022

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/26/2022

Ian is now a hurricane, forecast to be Cat 3 soon

Ian turned into a hurricane Monday morning and is forecast to rapidly strengthen into a major Category 3 storm when it’s near western Cuba. Forecasters say it could possibly strengthen even more once it’s in the Gulf of Mexico and a hurricane watch was issued for parts of Florida’s west coast. A hurricane watch is in effect north of Englewood to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay. A storm surge watch was extended north along Florida’s west coast to the Anclote River. More from the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

See also:
» Residents clear water, plywood shelves as Ian threatens Florida

NASA stands down from Tuesday launch for Artemis I, might roll back

With the approaching threat of what is forecast to be Hurricane Ian, NASA finally threw in the towel for a launch attempt Tuesday of its Artemis I mission to the moon from Kennedy Space Center. But it held off a decision to roll the massive 5.75 million-pound, 322-foot-tall combination of Space Launch System rocket, mobile launcher and Orion spacecraft to the safety of the Vehicle Assembly Building. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida among best states for women-owned businesses

Florida is the best state in the U.S. for woman-owned small businesses and No. 2 when the District of Columbia is included, according to a study from Australia-based software development firm Deputy. The study analyzed April 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy including the number of businesses owned by men and the number owned by women. The Sunshine State ranked No. 2 with 4,747 women-owned small businesses per 100,000 businesses, barely edged out by D.C.'s 4,753. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Student loan plan affects 2.43 million Floridians

Nearly 2.43 million people in Florida are eligible for reductions or elimination of student-loan debt under a plan announced last month by President Joe Biden, according to numbers released Tuesday by the White House. The total includes more than 1.7 million Pell Grant recipients in Florida. Overall, 38.5 million borrowers across the country are eligible, according to the White House. While Biden has touted the plan, many Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have criticized it. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Floridians receive more bad news on insurance as hurricane threat looms

With a potentially powerful hurricane about to make landfall in the Sunshine State, Floridians have received some sobering news. Residents of Florida now have the highest property-insurance rates in the nation. The Insurance Information Institute reports the average premium in Florida is $4,231 — nearly triple the U.S. average of $1,544. Many Floridians feel fortunate simply to have coverage for their home, which is usually their No. 1 investment. [Source: Villages News]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Let’s make a deal: Movie studio to rise on taxpayer-owned land in Fort Lauderdale
It’s like a reversal-of-fortune script out of Hollywood: Long overlooked parcel goes from incinerator to Superfund site to movie studio. Fort Lauderdale commissioners approved the deal Thursday night, paving the way for a $164 million state-of-the-art movie studio to rise on city-owned land where no one else seemed to want to build. The property, 61 acres at the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Northwest 31st Avenue, was once home to an incinerator that left the ground contaminated. The site was cleaned up two decades ago, but failed to draw any investors until now.

› Exhibit claiming to show Banksy art works is coming to Tampa
What’s the deal with the “Banksyland” exhibition coming to Tampa that’s being advertised on social media? We know it’s not authorized by pseudonymous street artist Banksy — the exhibition’s website sports the tagline “Banksy: Unauthorised. Uncensored. Unmasked.”

› FPL to pass along tax savings to customers
With a new federal law providing tax breaks for renewable energy, Florida Power & Light on Friday asked state regulators to approve a plan that would pass along an estimated $384.1 million in savings to customers over the next three years. The plan, which would start with a $25 million refund to customers in January, would trim rate increases that FPL customers will face in 2023.

› Sarasota-Manatee seniors forced back to work by the housing crisis
On early weekday mornings, as sunlight filters through the oaks and as walkers start hitting the trails, Rick English is at his post at Bradenton’s G.T. Bray Park. He tidies the restrooms, edges the sports fields and rides the mower out over the grass. “I’m proud of the fact I help make G.T. Bray beautiful,” English says. But despite the peaceful setting and the pride that English takes in his work, this is not the way he had envisioned his retirement playing out.

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In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs
In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs

Over the course of the morning, volunteers will hand out boxes full of produce and pantry items. More than 300 people will walk — or drive — away with cartons of eggs and gallons of milk, bread and pastries and cereal. They’ll leave with bags of bananas, and apples and meats that they’ll feed to their families.

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