February 25, 2024

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/7/2024

Florida ranks third in the number of reported human trafficking cases nationwide

Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain commercial sex or a labor act. According to the number of calls made to the human trafficking crisis hotline, Florida ranks third behind California and Texas for the number of reported cases. The Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking says that the prevalence of human trafficking in Florida is due to the people the state brings in. Whether it is to see the staple beaches or world-renowned theme parks, the state generates a lot of tourism, making it a prime target for human trafficking. More from WUFT.

Citizens CEO says hurricane-insurance-for-all bill would be too expensive for state

The CEO of state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. on Tuesday pushed back against a legislative bill that would require the company to provide hurricane coverage for anyone in the state who wants it. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Roach, a Republican from Lee County, and Rep. Hillary Cassel, a Democrat from Broward County, would make the so-called “insurer of last resort” into the insurer of first resort for windstorm coverage. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Why do Florida lawmakers have a beef with lab-grown meat?

Gov. Ron DeSantis had thrown his weight behind legislation to ban what he and Republican colleagues are calling “fake meat” – beef, chicken, pork and seafood grown from animal cells cultivated in a lab. “You need meat, OK? We are going to have meat in Florida,” DeSantis said at a recent news conference while blasting corporations for forcing “woke” ideology on consumers. “You can’t have fake meat. It doesn’t work.” But lab-cultivated meat isn’t grown, researched or sold in Florida, and it isn’t fake. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

JaxPort keeping eye on Panama, Suez canals

Pop into someone’s office at JaxPort these days, and you might find them watching news updates from the Middle East or checking weather forecasts for Central America. It’s a reminder that Jacksonville’s economy is globally connected. Terrorist attacks that have significantly reduced shipping through the Suez Canal are putting pressure on shipping lines that sail to Jacksonville. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Boca Raton is attracting some of the highest office leasing activity. What that means for the city’s future

Boca Raton’s office leasing activity led the way in South Florida in 2022 and 2023, surpassing some more populous cities in the tricounty area, according to a recent analysis. It’s yet another indicator of the city’s growth — as well as the demand for office space across the region in a remote-working era. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

In Memoriam
Tampa’s champion Joe Chillura

Joe Chillura Jr., architect and longtime elected official who crafted a half-penny sales tax that built a football stadium and went on to pay for billions in community improvements, died Saturday. He was 84. Chillura was a true son of Tampa, born in Ybor City, raised in Seminole Heights and a 1958 graduate of Hillsborough High before he went on to the University of Florida to study architecture.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Out of the Box
Publix rolls out giant shopping cart to celebrate new locations

When the Florida-based company was getting ready to open a new location in Wesley Chapel, it knew it had to go big. That’s where the giant shopping cart — and 80’s metal music — came in. On Jan. 24, a day before the grand opening, a Publix employee took a buggy topped with a giant shopping cart for a joyride around the Epperson Lagoon community, with Poison’s 1988 hit “Nothin’ But a Good Time” blasting from the cart’s speakers.

» Read more from the Miami Herald . and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

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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