Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida tourism is on the rise again
Florida tourism exploded to record numbers as the state has welcomed 104.5 million visitors so far this year, a 15.3 percent increase over the same time period in 2021. In the third quarter alone, Florida welcomed 35.1 million tourists – a 6.9 increase from the same period in 2021 and the fifth quarter in a row that saw overall visitation surpassing pre-pandemic levels. About 32.6 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in the third quarter period of 2022. Despite Hurricanes Ian and Nicole making landfall in Florida in late summer/early fall, Florida's tourism numbers haven't slowed down. More from Islander News.
Florida watchdog group’s report raises questions about use of ‘ghost candidates’
Government watchdog group Integrity Florida on Monday released a report into the use of so-called “ghost candidates” to affect elections, with the group’s research director saying the use of such candidates in three state Senate elections in 2020 “crossed the legal and moral line.” The report in particular detailed a 2020 South Florida senate race won by Republican Rep. Ileana Garcia, saying that a “ghost candidate” in the race spoiled the outcome by intentionally diverting votes away from the Democratic incumbent. Garcia ultimately won by just 32 votes. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Chances of development increase for tropical disturbance
The National Hurricane Center is tracking a tropical disturbance in the central Atlantic. As of Tuesday morning, the system has been given a 50% chance of development in the next five days and 50% in the next two days. The system is located 800 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. The last named storm in December was in 2013. More from WESH.
Feds give Brightline $20K to help keep its Orlando corridor safe
Brightline is receiving another $20,000 in federal money to help keep people alert to the dangers of its high-speed trains that will soon zip along the railroad’s new extension between West Palm Beach and Orlando. “The grant award dollars will be used for an online campaign,” spokesman Ben Porritt said in an email. “The targeted digital ads will reach people that live within the Zip Codes directly adjacent to the corridor and people who may be interacting with the corridor daily.” More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Innovation Square lawsuit over developer's breach of contract dismissed
A lawsuit filed by the University of Florida Development Corporation, the owner of Innovation Square, seeking more than $500,000 in damages from a developer has been dismissed. The UF corporation was arguing that the developer defaulted on a series of deadlines outlined in a purchase agreement. More from the Gainesville Sun.
Farm-to-table restaurant leader plots local, statewide expansion
The Naked Farmer is getting hot — for more locations. In October, the Tampa-based company, known for its farm-to-table ethos and commitment to serving locally sourced, seasonal food from farms close to home, opened a location on the east coast of Florida in Coral Gables, its third store. A fourth store, in Sunrise, is scheduled to open in January. And in late November it announced store No. 5 would be coming in summer 2023, this one in the Sarasota-Manatee market, in the UTC area outside Lakewood Ranch.
» More from the Business Observer.
Immersive installation shows we are 'all part of' the Everglades
An immersive installation that takes viewers on a journey through the 'River of Grass' from sunset to twilight through poetry, song and visuals was inaugurated during Miami Art Week. Passages, created by Cornelius Tulloch, is set to be made into a permanent exhibition at a visitor center at the Everglades next year. Its unveiling came as environmentalists in Florida and beyond celebrate the 75th anniversary of the national park.
» Read more from WLRN.
» Restoring the Florida Everglades: Where things stand
In case you missed it:
State projects 1.75 million Floridians could lose Medicaid coverage as pandemic-era law expires
‘Our children are at stake:' Teacher shortage in Florida among worst in the nation