October 2, 2023

Thursday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/4/2023

Jobless claims show slight increase

Florida had a slight uptick in initial unemployment claims last week, but the pace remains relatively unchanged since last fall. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 5,396 first-time jobless claims were filed last week in Florida, up from a revised count of 5,093 during the week that ended April 22. Florida has averaged 5,576 claims over the past four weeks. More from the News Servce of Florida.

SpaceX launches more Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tore through the early morning sky Thursday, taking more Starlink internet satellites to orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The flight from Launch Complex 40 marked the 81st mission for Starlink, a low-Earth orbit constellation that includes more than 4,000 satellites. The spacecraft operate about 340 miles above Earth and provide internet connectivity to more than 1 million subscribers across the globe. More from Florida Today.

How is downtown St. Petersburg construction affecting local restaurants?

Lately, all of downtown St. Petersburg can feel like an active construction zone, in particular the portion of Central Avenue stretching from First Street to 13th Street. Dumpsters take up pedestrian walkways and parking spots. Heavy scaffolding sidles outdoor patios. Some streets have lost entire blocks of sidewalk, obliterating any chance of foot traffic. Meanwhile, businesses remain open, though many say they’re feeling the brunt of the activity — the constant noise, the heavy vibrations from drilling, the absence of parking for their employees. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Miami foundation wants to give local arts groups $3.5 million

A Miami philanthropy group is looking to award millions of dollars to local organizations that promote arts access, education and fellowships. The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation launched the third iteration of the Pérez CreARTE Grants Program, a two-year grant that provides funding to Miami arts organizations. This year, the program is awarding over $3.5 million to organizations to help fund affordable workspaces, equity initiatives and educational opportunities. Grants for winning organizations range from $100,000 to $250,000. More from the Miami Herald.

Fort Lauderdale mayor wants to hand out millions to flood victims. Commission says no way.

Flood victims with badly damaged homes would have gotten up to $5,000 each — compliments of Fort Lauderdale — under a plan pitched by Mayor Dean Trantalis. “There are limits to what FEMA will cover,” Trantalis said during a news conference last week. “So the city of Fort Lauderdale needs to pony up.” But for now, it looks like FEMA is your best bet. City commissioners nixed the mayor’s idea during a public meeting Tuesday, citing bureaucratic roadblocks and the high cost of paying out millions to flood victims. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Disney contest’s prize includes Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser stay

The top prize of an online contest includes a voyage on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser as part of a five-day Walt Disney World vacation plus four lightsaber hilts and other theme-park goodies. The Star Wars Galactic shopDisney Sweepstakes is accepting entries through May 31. To enter, participants must submit email addresses, confirm eligibility requirements and read the official rules. There’s a limit of one entry per person per day.

» More from the Orlando Sentinel.


Florida History
50 years ago in Tampa, a sold-out Led Zeppelin show beat the Beatles

Fifty years ago this month, 56,800 fans crammed into Tampa Stadium to watch Led Zeppelin play their new album, “Houses of the Holy.” Just four years prior, they had played to 7,000 at Curtis Hixon Park. The May 5, 1973, Tampa concert wasn’t just a killer show. It also shattered the attendance record for the biggest crowd at any single-act concert. Up until that point, the Beatles held that honor with their 1965 performance at New York City’s Shea Stadium, which drew about 55,000.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

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