December 8, 2023

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/28/2023

Tropical Storm Idalia likely to be major hurricane before reaching Florida’s Gulf coast

Tropical Storm Idalia is likely to become a major hurricane before it reaches Florida’s Gulf coast on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said in a Monday morning update. A major hurricane is a Category 3, 4, or 5 storm and has maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph. A category 3 storm has wind speeds up to 129 mph and can bring devastating damage. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

‘Florida fatigue’ slows South Florida tourism this year, after pandemic breakout

After three strong pandemic years when business flourished for South Florida’s critical tourism industry because this area was one of few destinations in the world that essentially kept beaches and other visitor attractions open, travelers have many other places to go in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean for vacations this year. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Permanent anchor in Pensacola

Pensacola has received a $3.9-million grant from the state to build a headquarters for the American Magic sail racing team at the city’s port. The state grant will be coupled with an $8.5-million grant from Triumph Gulf Coast, a non-profit that doles out funds recovered from fines related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [Source: Florida Trend]

Column: Florida's springs worthy of becoming state park

It’s worth repeating and thinking about this fact: Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs on the planet. Perhaps partly because of that abundance — we have hundreds of springs, pumping billions of water a day, what’s the big deal if we lose one here and there? — in a relatively short historical time we’ve managed to tarnish a feature of the state that should be viewed as a national treasure, the kind you’d find in a national park. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

‘Right to Rock’ bill filed for Florida 2024 session would limit entertainment venues

Entertainment venues that accept state funding would not be able to break contracts with performers based on their social media use or political affiliations, under legislation filed last week. Rep. Joel Rudman, R-Navarre, filed the bill (HB 15), which he called the “The Right to Rock Act,” for consideration during the 2024 legislative session. The proposal would apply to venues’ contracts with performers such as musicians, comedians, dancers and actors. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Rally in Orlando calls harsh heat inside state-run prisons a ‘crisis’
The growing movement demanding a state-wide solution to what prison reform activists are calling a heat crisis within Florida’s carceral system gained traction this year, with prison officials and lawmakers alike acknowledging the problem and taking steps to address it. But despite those efforts, little was accomplished. On Saturday, a group of about two dozen people rallied together in front of Orlando’s City Hall to demand that the situation be taken more seriously amid one of the hottest summers of Florida’s history.

› Clearwater organization to open Florida’s first tourism business incubator
Tourism is Florida’s top industry and Clearwater is seeing record numbers and growth. Local business advocacy groups say they want to make sure small businesses aren’t left behind. Amplify Clearwater developed the idea of creating a tourism business incubator in Florida.

› Florida inmate can sue over Ramadan meals, court rules
A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a Florida prison inmate to pursue part of a lawsuit alleging violation of his rights during Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and prayer for Muslims. Inmate Akeem Muhammad said in the lawsuit that during Ramadan he needed to eat a meal before “astronomical twilight,” which is before sunrise, and fast until eating again after sunset, according to the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

› Recycling faces a big overhaul in Broward, as most cities back creating new system
Most of Broward’s cities have now voted to create a new taxing authority that will be tasked with handling the disposal of trash and recycling. As the county tries to cull support for its ambitions to keep more garbage out of the landfill, Pembroke Pines was the last to vote on whether to join the consortium, voting unanimously Wednesday night against the move. That makes three holdout cities: Hallandale Beach previously voted against joining, and Pompano Beach, which refused to vote at all earlier this summer, won’t be part of the plan.

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