Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
The fate of Florida's film and entertainment office is debated
Lawmakers questioned the fate of an office that seeks to bolster the entertainment industry in Florida, as the House moves to eliminate the state’s business-recruitment agency and a series of economic-development programs. The House Commerce Committee on Friday voted 16-3 to move forward with a priority (HB 5) of House Speaker Paul Renner to close the doors on the business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida. Several lawmakers raised concerns about including the Office of Film and Entertainment, which provides services to Florida’s entertainment industry, in a list of programs and incentives that would be repealed. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida gas prices see recent spike but should start falling again
If you own a car and live in Florida, you’ve probably noticed the recent uptick in gas prices. According to AAA, the cost of a gallon of gas jumped 15 cents last week alone, averaging $3.46 on Sunday. That’s a noticeable increase from late December, when a gallon of regular unleaded dipped below $3 in the Sunshine State. It was, however, 12 cents less than 2023′s high to date of $3.58 per gallon, AAA noted. But drivers should get a break in the near future. More from WFTV.
Farmworkers march in Florida for better pay and working conditions
Farmworkers were leading a five-day, 45-mile (72-kilometer) trek on foot this week from one of the poorest communities in Florida to a mansion-lined, oceanfront town that is one of the richest in an effort to pressure retailers to leverage their purchasing power for better worker pay and working conditions. The farmworkers said they were marching to highlight the Fair Food Program, which has enlisted companies like McDonald’s, Walmart, Taco Bell and Whole Foods to use their clout with growers to ensure better working conditions and wages for farmworkers. More from the AP.
‘Millionaire cities’: As the luxury housing market holds steady, 15 communities keep typical home values over $1 million
Despite the housing market rebalancing toward a more normal one, wealthy areas in South Florida are still holding on to their high home values. There are at least 15 cities in South Florida where the typical home is worth at least $1 million, of “millionaire cities” in the country, according to an analysis done by Zillow. It makes South Florida one of the areas with the most millionaire cities in the country. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Massive seaweed bloom starts washing ashore Florida beaches
A massive buildup of seaweed that scientists have tracked for months has started to wash ashore the Sunshine State, with experts warning that the worst could still be ahead. Reports from Key West, Fort Lauderdale and other South Florida communities show clumps of brown seaweed piled up along what are usually white, sandy beaches. More from FOX Weather.
‘Pathfinder for women in business,’ Kay Fahringer, a Miami banking executive, dies at 100
Catherine “Kay” Hewson Fahringer, a renowned South Florida financial executive and community leader who lived to 100, knew how to make an entrance. Especially when things went awry. Fahringer’s pluck and savvy got her noticed long before she found her footing as a financial executive in South Florida.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Florida grandmother named one of USA TODAY's Women of the Year
At 87, Mary Ann Sterling radiates vitality. She talks fast, in a quiet, but commanding voice with just a touch of Southern drawl. She's eager to tell anyone who will listen about the grandchildren. Not just her own — though she'll happily throw in a story about them, too — but the hundreds of children in Brevard County, Florida, being raised by their grandparents.
» Read more from Florida Today.
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