April 24, 2024

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/21/2024

Lawmakers aim to overhaul state energy laws

Florida lawmakers are moving toward approving an overhaul of state energy laws, including eliminating references to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and imposing a ban on offshore wind-energy generation. The bills address numerous issues, ranging from natural gas pipelines to calling for a study of using “advanced” nuclear power technologies. Perhaps bigger picture, they would ditch parts of state law about reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Artificial intelligence: Donor science

Artificial intelligence might be all the rage these days, but Michael Peterman was an early adopter of the technology. In the early 2000s, the Naples native was working at a Fort Myers company called AccuData and started closely watching what tech giants like Amazon and Netflix were doing with all the data they were collecting. “It was around the time when some juggernauts in Silicon Valley were launching their early forms of machine learning,” he says. [Source: Florida Trend]

Researchers ‘optimistic’ that manatees are making a comeback in Florida

The number of manatees roaming Florida’s rivers, harbors, and coastline has dwindled in recent years, but experts are ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the population is rebounding. A sighting of nearly 1,000 manatees at Blue Spring State Park, on a chilly January morning, is the latest sign of a turning point for the gentle giants, that have been struggling to survive. [Source: Accuweather]

Florida gas prices rise on anticipated demand, refinery shutdown

Gas prices in Florida went up last week and topped the national average as anticipated demand and the unplanned shutdown at a large refinery pushed pump prices higher. The AAA auto club said the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded Tuesday in Florida was $3.34, up seven cents from a week earlier and up 34 cents from a month ago. [Source: CBS News]

One year later, Florida legislators are updating the $711 million Live Local Act

A year after passing the landmark Live Local Act aimed at spurring the construction of affordable and attainable housing in Florida, lawmakers are tweaking the law to ease concerns from a small number of localities and to strengthen some provisions. The proposed legislation to tweak the law has won wide bipartisan support.  [Source: Business Observer]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Dozier School victims could get compensation for abuse they endured
Survivors of the Dozier school could soon receive money for the physical and sexual abuse they endured at the state-operated program. Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, has repeatedly filed legislation seeking to create a fund for the school’s victims, but it never got far off the ground. This year, though, bills are nearing their final stops.

› Who won 2024 HGTV Dream Home in Florida? The cash option and other things to know
Who won HGTV's 2024 Dream Home giveaway? Now that voting is over, it's a waiting game. The sweepstakes officially ended this month for the beautiful Anastasia Island, Florida, home that was designed by architect Michael Stauffer and built by local builder Glenn Layton Homes. The home's interior design was by Brian Patrick Flynn.

› Pension-based 'Stadium of the Future' funding option sparks concerns in Jacksonville
Jacksonville City Council Vice President Randy White says he received a stream of calls from his former co-workers to the news that the city was exploring the idea of borrowing from pension fund assets to help pay for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ “Stadium of the Future.”

› New FEMA flood maps for Sarasota County will update insurance requirements, risk levels
Federal officials have drawn new maps for Sarasota County, documenting areas vulnerable to flooding to inform homeowners of the dangers they face and also document possible insurance requirements for property owners with mortgages. The maps will take effect on March 27.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Florida shoe cobbler mends more than soles
Florida shoe cobbler mends more than soles

Jim McFarland, a fourth-generation shoe cobbler in Lakeland, Florida, never anticipated his trade mending shoes would lead to millions of views on social media. People are captivated by his careful craftsmanship: removing, then stitching and gluing soles on leather footwear.

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