April 13, 2024

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/28/2024

Disney, Florida settle lawsuits over tourism district

A Gov. Ron DeSantis-backed board and Disney settled lawsuits Wednesday over who controls the governing district of Disney World’s theme parks and resorts. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s board voted to accept the deal, which ends much of the litigation between Disney and Florida officials. The agreement says development agreements and covenants approved by a Disney-friendly board shortly before a state takeover in February 2023 would be null and void. Disney also agreed to drop a lawsuit seeking public records and withdraw its requests. More from the AP, Reuters, the Tallahassee Democrat, and the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida Retail Federation pushes for local spending during robust Easter shopping season

Florida Retail Federation (FRF) officials are projecting that the Easter season will be a prosperous one for retailers, as the annual holiday approaches Sunday. The National Retail Federation (NRF) published a report based on a survey this month that stated 81% of consumers will celebrate Easter in some fashion this year and they plan on being customers of retailers to help celebrate the occasion. [Source: Florida Politics]

AccuWeather forecasts near-record storms this Atlantic hurricane season

U.S. private forecaster AccuWeather expects an above-average 2024 Atlantic hurricane season with a near-record number of storms and a greater than usual risk of direct impacts in parts of Florida, Texas and the Carolinas, it said on Wednesday. This year's hurricane season, potentially one of the most active in history, begins on June 1, but there are signs that the first named system could swirl even before that, AccuWeather noted in its forecast. [Source: Reuters]

State University System records $2.94 billion research spending

research expenditures for the State University System of Florida reached $2.94 billion for the 2022-23 academic year, which is an increase of more than $400 million over the prior year. Today’s announcement beats the projection of $2.68 billion set by the System in 2019 and puts Florida’s universities on a course to far exceed the goal of $3 billion by 2025. [Source: State University System of Florida]

Broker reflects on the conservation conversation that changed Florida

Dean Saunders' work on conservation easements has preserved hundreds of thousands of acres across Florida by bringing businesses and environmentalists together. The effort to bring his idea to life took years to bring to fruition. Saunders continues to broker conservation easement deals. [Source: Business Observer]


› Melbourne defense contractor wins another $23M for high-tech Navy project
Melbourne-based DRS Systems Inc. has won another $23 million from the U.S. Navy to make an anti-missile defense product designed to keep military rotorcraft such as helicopters safe during high-stakes missions. While the contract came from the Navy, it is funded by, and benefits, multiple military branches, according to a March 18 Department of Defense (DoD) announcement.

› Companies linked to firm that designed FIU bridge that collapsed facing debarment
Six years after the deadly collapse of a Florida International University pedestrian bridge, Tallahassee-based companies affiliated with a bridge-engineering firm are fighting a proposal that could prevent them from working on federally funded projects. Nine companies and their owner filed a federal lawsuit last week seeking to block the proposal by the Federal Highway Administration.

› How Tampa Bay’s share of EVs compares to Florida, the nation
Thousands of Tampa Bay residents have gone electric in the past five years, a period that saw EVs explode in popularity here. While Florida didn’t embrace EVs as quickly as some early adopters like California, its registrations of electric vehicles have ramped up, with some of the state’s metro areas leading the charge.

› Kroger will stop grocery deliveries in the Miami area. Here’s what you need to know
In a terse announcement to its membership group, Kroger told its customers it was closing three of the company’s delivery facilities, including the delivery fulfillment center in Opa-locka that opened in June 2022 amid much fanfare. The move ends the grocery giant’s initial foray into the South Florida market as a competitor to Florida’s market leader Publix, Walmart, Amazon, membership programs like Costco and BJ’s, and discount grocer Aldi — which recently absorbed Jacksonville’s Winn-Dixie.

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