Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida eyes relaxing child labor restrictions
Under Florida law, employers can't make their underage employees (16 or 17-year-olds) work between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. or for more than eight hours on any day before school. A Florida lawmaker is trying to change that. While the bill, titled HB 49, primarily targets employment restrictions around minors between 16 and 17 years old, it also replaces the word “shall” with “may” in many provisions revolving around when minors 15 years old and younger can work, which could create a legal gray area surrounding the law’s interpretation. More from the Pensacola News Journal, WTSP, and Click Orlando.
Florida Citizens customers: Check mail or face costly insurance switch
A warning to Floridians with Citizens Property Insurance coverage: Check your mailbox. About 300,000 customers of the state-run insurer of last resort are receiving letters in the mail this month with an offer to switch to a private insurance company. If customers don’t respond by Oct. 5, the letters state, customers will be forced to go with the private company — at a potentially far higher cost. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
State to step up testing for deer disease
Some deer killed during two popular hunting days in December must be tested for a contagious disease fatal to the animals as the state expands efforts to limit the spread of the disease. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday that deer killed on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 in most areas of Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties must be tested for chronic wasting disease at one of 21 check stations before being processed for food or going to taxidermists. More from the News Service of Florida.
Amazon kicks off Florida holiday hiring spree
Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is seeking thousands of job candidates throughout Florida to help it "deliver great holiday experiences." The global e-commerce behemoth on Sept. 19 announced it has 16,000 full-time, seasonal and part-time roles available across its Sunshine State operations. Seasonal employees also have an opportunity to transition to full-time positions, the release said. This is just part of the company's plan to hire 250,000 employees nationwide. More from the Tampa Bay Business Journal and the Orlando Business Journal.
Florida prisons use artificial intelligence to surveil calls
Florida is now using artificial intelligence to monitor and transcribe the phone conversations of the state’s 80,000-plus inmates. The Florida Department of Corrections paid $2.5 million to California-based Leo Technologies to begin using its surveillance program called Verus beginning in August. The program scans incoming and outgoing calls, including to inmates’ friends and family, and does automatic searches for keywords selected by prison officials and the technology company’s employees. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
The story of Chopstick Charley's, Jacksonville's oldest Chinese restaurant
Most people called him Chopstick Charley, or just plain Charley, although the name he’d taken for himself in America was John. The confusion is understandable: John Cheung, after all, founded Chopstick Charley’s restaurant in Jacksonville in the early 1950s — when Chinese food was still downright exotic in the city — and he ran it with his family until the mid-1970s. It continued under different ownership until recently when the business finally shut down.
» More from the Florida Times-Union.
Charting a cleaner path
JEA’s new clean energy goals call for 35% clean energy and an 80% reduction in the company’s carbon emission reductions compared with 2005 levels, both by the year 2030. The goals were announced in the company’s triennial Integrated Resource Plan. JEA’s current use of clean energy is 4%. Other goals from JEA include retiring less efficient generating assets and increasing the use of energy efficient projects.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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