May 22, 2024

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/17/2024

Florida's timber industry is in trouble. Can it be saved?

Timber has been one of the state's top cash crops for years. But continued success is dependent on whether landowners replant for the future – and some have decided to give up. The multi-billion-dollar market isn’t what it used to be. Landowners are reevaluating whether to replant since Hurricane Idalia slammed into Perry and Taylor County, once dubbed the “The Tree Capital of the South.” More from the Gainesville Sun and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Florida Trend Exclusive
From bedside to C-suite

Audrey Gregory knows how to treat an alligator bite. Stephanie Conners learned fast that being a nurse takes guts. Martha McGill held two pediatric nursing jobs at the same time. And Lisa Nummi knows all the ways a hospital is different at night than it is during the day. All of them started their careers as nurses. Today, they’re CEOs and COOs, leading hospitals and health care systems with thousands of medical professionals, billion-dollar budgets and big decisions to make. [Source: Florida Trend]

Bob Graham, former Florida governor and U.S. senator, dies at 87

Bob Graham, the former Florida governor and U.S. senator who ushered in the state’s era of school-competency testing, crafted the foundation for its modern environmental policies and grappled with the mass influx of Cubans fleeing across the Straits of Florida in the early 1980s, died Tuesday night, according to his family. He was 87. Graham left his fingerprints throughout the state over his more-than four decades in Florida politics, during which he became known for his pragmatic, centrist approach. More from the AP, the Tampa Bay Times, and the Miami Herald.

Florida's agriculture commissioner restricts cattle imports due to the spread of avian flu

Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson issued an emergency rule that prevents importing some cattle because of the evolving spread of a type of avian influenza in dairy herds outside of Florida. Known in livestock as Bovine Associated Influenza A Syndrome, the strain has been found in several western and central states and is believed to have previously caused illnesses in wild birds, domestic turkeys and chickens and occasionally wild mammals. [Source: News Service of Florida]

$58 million in unclaimed 2020 tax refunds owed to Floridians

The IRS is sitting on an estimated $58 million in unclaimed tax refunds from the year 2020 that are owed to Floridians. The IRS confirms that nationwide there’s more than $1 billion in unclaimed refunds from 2020. The money that’s been left on the table is likely from people who worked part-time or lost their job during the pandemic and didn’t hit the income threshold to trigger the filing requirement. [Source: Spectrum News]

Trend Mention

Mention ImageOur Goal is to Make Winter Haven the Coolest Small City in Florida

From "authenticity" and "really rare" and "amazing to watch," Downtown Winter Haven is being reimagined - thanks to growth, opportunity, and vision that is being maximized by uncommon collaboration and cohesion. In the nation's third fastest-growing city, and in the second fastest-growing MSA, the once sleepy historic area is sprouting new places to live, work, play and visit.


› Lakeland hires consultant to see if human waste could lead to wealth
Lakeland officials are wondering whether the city's unwanted waste could lead to a new source of revenue, without making a big stink. City commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to contract Tampa-based Geosyntec Consultants Inc. to run a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether Lakeland could benefit from opening its own composting facility. It will pay nearly $120,000 for a six-month study and report.

› Struggling to stay in Hialeah: Evictions surge in new luxury enclaves
The housing boom has precipitated a surge in rental prices, with rates ranging from $2,050 for a studio unit to $3,765 for a three-bedroom apartment. This stark reality stands in contrast to the economic landscape of Hialeah, where predominantly working-class residents take home an average family income of about $49,000 annually.

› St. Cloud considers public arts fee for residential developments
A year after St. Cloud adopted strict new architectural standards, the City Council is considering another ordinance requiring developers to install public art in their new subdivisions or pay into a public art fund. Slated for a final public hearing and vote on April 25, it states that developers of non-residential commercial projects and residential subdivisions must pay 1% of the total development costs for public art in their project or on city property, or to pay that amount into the city’s public art fund before they can start construction.

› DOH issues blue-green algae advisory for Caloosahatchee River. Where else are blooms?
A blue-green algae outbreak in the Caloosahatchee River appears to be spreading as the state issued more contact advisories Friday. The Florida Department of Health in Lee County issued an advisory for the Alva Boat Ramp after April 8 samples taken there showed toxins in the water.

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Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue
Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue

Tourism leaders are celebrating a big win as Marion County has seen a record-breaking couple of months when it comes to tourist development tax revenue.


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