Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
From citrus fields to rooftops, why solar power is surging in Florida
A number of solar centers — being built on land that once supported citrus groves, and cattle and sod farms — are symbolic of the future of energy in Florida, where utilities seek a shift to renewable energy, and away from energy sources that have more volatile price swings. More from the Gainesville Sun, Florida Today, and the Florida Times-Union.
Crypto mining CEO steps down after merger with Miami company
There's new leadership at Hut 8 Corp., a digital asset mining company headquartered in Miami. CEO Jaime Leverton is no longer with the firm and was replaced by Asher Genoot, a member of Hut 8's board of directors. Genoot is the founder of U.S. Bitcoin Corp., the Miami business that completed an all-stock merger with Hut 8 last November. The deal created one of South Florida's newest publicly traded companies. More from the South Florida Business Journal.
Tampa Bay area tourism industry preparing for major spring break travel
Spring break is around the corner and it is big business for the tourism industry across the Tampa Bay region. Peak days at Tampa International Airport between March and mid-April are busier than the holidays. TPA is expecting more than 90,000 passengers on peak days, like weekends. To put that into perspective, TPA sees an average of 60,000 passengers per day. More from WTVT.
Offshore earthquake rumbles across Space Coast
A rare magnitude 4.0 earthquake rattled to life about 100 miles east of Cape Canaveral Wednesday night — just hours before a major overnight launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No tsunami alerts were issued. The earthquake happened about 10:48 p.m. and had a shallow depth of about 6 miles, the federal agency reported. More from Florida Today.
Tourist-tax collections down again in Orlando area
December collections of tourist taxes dropped from a year ago, continuing a nine-month downward trend. Collections totaled $29.8 million for the month, about 4% or $1.4 million lower than December 2022. December was the eighth month of the past nine in which monthly revenues dropped year-over-year, said Comptroller Phil Diamond, whose office tracks the county’s 6% surcharge on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
South Florida company develops robot expected to change the way neurodivergent people learn
Normally when you think of a technological companion, it typically means your phone. You already use it for so much, including watching videos, answering your questions, even capturing your owns thoughts and feelings. Now, one South Florida entrepreneur wants to take that idea of a digital friend and make it more personal, radically changing the way people learn.
» More from WPLG.
Publix opens a new, larger ‘prototype’ in Wesley Chapel
The Epperson Ranch area was the first to have a crystal-clear manmade lagoon built for residents, and now, it is one of the few areas with a new Publix prototype designed to elevate the shopping experience for customers. The 55,701-square-foot store is larger than your regular Publix and offers more goods and services.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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