Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Climate change forces a rethinking of mammoth Everglades restoration plan
In 1948, work got underway in the Florida Everglades on a public works project hailed as the nation’s largest, aimed at reigning in once and for all the mighty river of grass that once spanned much of the peninsula. By the 1990s, however, a reckoning was at hand. Residents were awakening to a litany of environmental concerns, most notably that draining the Everglades had left Florida with a dwindling drinking water supply. Now, climate change is forcing another rethinking. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
UCF is designing self-repairing oyster reefs to protect Florida’s coastlines
A University of Central Florida engineering researcher is part of an international team of scientists who are developing oyster-based shoreline protection for U.S. coastlines. The work is through a $12.6 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded project that seeks to create self-repairing, biological and human-engineered reef-mimicking structures. The project is led by Rutgers University and is a collaboration among researchers in the U.S. and Australia. UCF is receiving about $800,000 for its role in the project. More from UCF News.
SpaceX and VAST Space partner to launch 1st commercial space station
Wanted: AirBnB-like situation somewhere in the greater cosmos, not too far from Earth with a gravity simulator for about 30 days in space. OK. So maybe it won't be all that, but VAST Space may be cooking up something similar in about two years. The company announced today that it plans to launch its Haven-1 outpost the first private commercial space station to Earth orbit. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Baseball, convention center, arts seek big chunks of Orange County tourist tax money
As Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond announced Wednesday a one-month record haul of just under $39 million in tourist taxes, more than 50 groups are awaiting a chance to explain why they should help spend it. Among hopeful applicants seeking a cut of a possible tourist-tax largesse are a group trying to lure Major League Baseball to Orlando and Orange County Convention Center executives who want about $587 million to restart an expansion halted in 2020 when the revenues collapsed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Claims of improper influence plague downtown Sarasota condo project
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has reopened an inquiry into contacts between the developers of a downtown Sarasota high-rise condo and public officials who would vote on the controversial project. The decision to reopen the investigation came less than a day after FDLE notified Sarasota authorities that its investigators found "no evidence of a crime" involving contact between the development group for One Park Sarasota and a city planning board member and city commissioner. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
650 concrete trucks will descend on downtown St. Petersburg. Here’s why.
Starting Friday night around 9 p.m., 650 concrete trucks will drive into downtown St. Petersburg to begin pouring the foundation for the Residences at 400 Central. The process will take between 20 and 24 hours. Crews will pour more than 2 million pounds of concrete. The foundation will be reinforced by more than 5 million pounds of steel. It will be one of the largest concrete pours in the city’s history, second only to the construction of the St. Pete Pier.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Out of the Box
It’s ‘one of the weirdest restaurants’ in Florida. Snakes are staying, but there’s change
TV’s Al Roker once called Linger Lodge “one of the top five weirdest restaurants in the country.” Forbes put it in the top 10 of unusual places to eat. No argument there. Snakes mounted on the walls. Alligator bites and frog legs on the menu. “Swamp Water” at the bar. Now this piece of old Florida, first opened in 1945, has a new owner.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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