February 24, 2024

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/6/2024

Category 6 hurricane? Climate-fueled storms push boundary of wind scale, study says

In a warming world where rising ocean temperatures give fuel to a new breed of ultra-strong hurricanes, does a wind scale that maxes out at Category 5 go far enough? Or could there be a Category 6 hurricane? Researchers raise those questions in a study, released today, that analyzes the nearly 200 Category 5 cyclones that have spun up globally since 1980. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Netflix subscriptions are going up again but only for Florida residents

In an email to its customers, video streaming giant Netflix announced it would begin charging its Florida users an additional 7.44% sales state service tax starting on Feb. 15. The additional charge, which is Florida’s communications services tax (CST), is applied to all types of services, such as toll phones, VoIP phones, video services, mobile communications and even telegrams. More from  Pensacola News Journal and WFLA.

New invasive species to Florida is tiny but deadly to landscapes and crops

Like all invasives that reach the Sunshine State, the thrips parvispinus seems to flourish in its warm southern reaches but it was first discovered north of Orlando in an Apopka greenhouse in 2020. The fringy-winged insect has since been identified at a garden center in Arvada, Colorado, a Food Lion in Tifton, Georgia, and retail locations in the Carolinas, according to a University of Florida report. It has also been intercepted in Ohio and Pennsylvania. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida at epicenter of 2024 cruise trends

Icon of the Seas is one of several new ships arriving at Florida’s ports in 2024, putting the state on track to continue reaching record highs for cruise passenger traffic. A total of 19.4 million cruise passengers passed through the state’s seaports last year, according to the annual Seaport Mission Plan released by the Florida Ports Council. That beat the previous record, hit in 2019, by more than 1 million passengers. [Source: Villages Daily Sun]

Report: Florida remains hot spot nationally for inbound moves

Moving giant Allied Van Lines’ newest report on migration between the states drives home a common theme: Florida remains a hot place for people to move to. But other states are even hotter. Florida is No. 5 on Allied’s 2023 list of states with the most inbound relocations. [Source: Business Observer]


› Spirit, JetBlue appeal of decision that blocked its merger to be heard in June
JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines will have to wait until June before a federal court hears their appeal of a ruling that blocked JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion purchase of its smaller rival. The schedule set Friday, Feb. 2, by the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston is a month later than the airlines had hoped. They asked for an expedited hearing in May so the court could rule before a July 24 deal-closing deadline in their merger agreement.

› What it’s like to spend a night at the new hotel in the Florida Everglades
A hotel that recently reopened in the Everglades provides protection from the humidity, bugs and flooding from sea level rise. This time builders put the hotel on 13-foot stilts and made the rooms out of shipping containers with hurricane-grade windows to keep the hotel from being wiped out again.

› Disney wants trade secrets kept confidential in lawsuit with DeSantis appointees
Disney wants to keep confidential any proprietary information or trade secrets that comes out of its state court fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis' appointees over who controls the governing district at Walt Disney World. The entertainment giant asked a state court judge on Friday for a protective order allowing it to designate documents and depositions as confidential and requiring parties handling them to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

› This South Florida mall has Gucci, Prada … and soon, affordable housing?
In Bal Harbour, an oceanside village north of Miami Beach, a luxury mall says it wants to help tackle one of the nation’s — and Florida’s — most intractable problems: a lack of affordable housing. It is an unexpected move for a retail temple where Gucci, Chanel and Rolex are on offer. Affordable? Here?

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Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village
Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village

Hillsborough County and Feeding Tampa Bay are partnering with a local organization to provide healthy and fresh food in Progress Village. The Grow My Giving Mobile Fresh Market truck will provide free fruits and vegetables twice a month through at least September.

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