Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Place your bets: What to know as craps, roulette & sports betting begin at Florida casinos
The first dice have been rolled and wheels spun as craps and roulette officially launched in Florida at Hollywood’s Seminole Classic Casino Thursday morning, capping off an elaborate ceremony featuring drumming, feathered dancers and cockatoos. But for the Seminoles, Thursday was also a serious affair. It marked a turning point amid ongoing legal battles and another example of the tribe’s continued prosperity despite the obstacles thrown in its path. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, NBC Miami, and Axios.
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Column: Florida’s food fight over tomatoes could send your grocery bill higher
A food fight is brewing between Florida and other states over what may seem the unlikeliest of reasons. Tomatoes. Americans love the red, vine-ripened fruit (yes, tomatoes are a fruit, though the Supreme Court ruled them a vegetable for regulatory purposes), eating 600 million each year. Some of those tomatoes are grown in Florida, where the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) is asking the Department of Commerce to step in and reduce the flow of tomatoes grown in Mexico. Florida farmers don’t like the competition, and they’re in a stew over it. More from the DAily Courier and the Palm Beach Post.
Florida lawmakers consider annual fees for owners of electric vehicles
Florida lawmakers have restarted a move to impose annual registration fees on electric vehicles amid pushback over the proposed amount. The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday backed a proposal (SB 28) that would require electric-vehicle owners to pay $200 registration fees to try to offset anticipated losses in gas-tax dollars as more people convert to electric and hybrid vehicles. Annual fees of $50 a year would be imposed on plug-in hybrids that use a combination of electricity and gas and $25 fees would be imposed on electric motorcycles. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Hundreds died using kratom in Florida. It was touted as safe.
A Tampa Bay Times investigation found that more than 580 people in Florida have died from kratom-related overdoses during the past decade — even as the industry has touted the safety of its products. Most of the deaths were caused by a fatal mixture of kratom and at least one other substance, but 46 people overdosed solely on the herb. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
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ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› UNF manufacturers survey shows cautious optimism for Jacksonville economy
A monthly survey of Jacksonville manufacturers by the University of North Florida’s Local Economic Indicators Project showed stability in the Northeast Florida economy but with a cautiously optimistic outlook. A purchasing manager’s index derived from UNF’s Jacksonville Economic Monitoring Survey fell slightly from 51 in October to 50 in November.
› Ghosts of the lagoon: Skeletal remains of boats haunt waterways from Vero to Sebastian
Whenever Keith Drewett takes his boat out from Vero Beach Yacht Club, he witnesses skeletal hulls slowly decomposing, listing and sinking into the sand of the Indian River Lagoon. It's not a sight reserved for Drewett, vice president of the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County. For boaters up and down the county, this is old news. They know people abandon their boats, leaving the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and local governments to deal with the problem.
› Miami cybersecurity startup helps businesses protect their 'crown jewels'
Cybersecurity startup Enveedo raised $3.15 million to guide businesses through the process of building their own security programs. Headquartered in downtown Miami, the startup's risk management platform provides a roadmap to help security and IT professionals develop strong cybersecurity protocols. The seed funding round was led by Austin-based venture capital firm Silverton Partners with participation from Runtime Ventures and Blu Ventures.
› Sarasota County foresees ecotourism push on 100,000 acres of preserves
Access to almost 100,000 acres of preserves, reserves, state parks and other natural areas could give Sarasota County an additional draw for tourism, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Director Nicole Rissler told county commissioners at a recent presentation on opportunities to increase public access to preserved and protected lands.
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