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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Oil and gas industry pushes to explore off Florida

A national coalition with deep Florida ties brought its message of supporting offshore oil and natural-gas “exploration” to Tallahassee on Wednesday, as pushback continues against a Trump administration plan that could lead to expanded drilling off the country’s coasts. The coalition is backed by the American Petroleum Institute and the Florida Petroleum Council. Their project - and website - have been dubbed "Explore Offshore." More from the Lakeland Ledger, The Hill, and WJCT.

See also:
» From Explore Offshore: The Benefits of U.S. Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Development in the Eastern Gulf
» Earlier this year: Florida Petroleum Council: Offshore exploration beneficial to Florida's economy and jobs

Florida Trend Exclusive
Company profile: Rayonier

Rayonier

The timber and real estate company envisions its 261-acre Wildlight project as the beginning of something bigger - it owns another 25,000 acres within five miles of the project. (Wildlight is located north of Jacksonville, near Yulee.) After the housing collapse of 2008, and with real estate markets beginning to flicker back to life, Rayonier management had decided that the company could make more money harvesting rooftops rather than timber. Full profile here.

MacDill says its economic impact jumped 8 percent in three years

MacDill Air Force Base has long been a key driver of the Tampa Bay economy, spending billions on payroll, construction and retiree pensions. But just how much of a powerhouse the base is depends on how you look at the numbers presented Wednesday by MacDill officials. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Scripps Florida scientists awarded nearly $4 million to develop new meds

Two Scripps Florida scientists have been awarded a $3.68 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to advance their work developing safer pain medications, the Scripps research institute said Wednesday. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

'Devastating' dolphin loss in Florida red tide disaster

More than 100 tons of dead sea creatures have been shoveled up from smelly, deserted beaches in tourist areas along Florida's southwest coast this month alone. In just the past week, 12 dolphins washed ashore dead in Sarasota County, typically the toll seen in an entire year. [Source: Digital Journal]

See also:
» Thousands of dead fish are clogging these Manatee canals. Residents are demanding action
» City of Sarasota declares emergency over toxic red tide
» They moved to escape Florida's toxic algae slime. Now red tide has shut down their business.
» Longboat Key businesses hope for rebound after red tide clears

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› With vacation rentals now legal in Orlando, city offers amnesty period to rogue listers
The city of Orlando was once one of the biggest holes in the international vacation rental home sharing market: one of the world’s great tourist destinations, where vacation rental homes were against the law. That came to an end in July.

› The Villages kick-starts new industrial corridor
The Villages just became the linchpin in a plan to bring about 20,000 new jobs to the area over the next 10 years. The Sumter County Commission unanimously greenlighted a plan for a 1.75 million-square-foot industrial park, a move intended to ignite a growth corridor along 4,000 acres south of Wildwood.

› Hillsborough to regulate massage parlors in crackdown on prostitution
Hillsborough County has followed the city of Tampa in cracking down on illicit services like prostitution being offered in massage parlors and bathhouses. County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt a law to regulate massage and bathhouse businesses, a move they said would help combat human trafficking.

› XG Technology suffers wider loss in second quarter
Sarasota's XG Technology Inc., which produces high-definition wireless video and voice products, says its loss widened in its second quarter to $6.4 million, or 40 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1 million, or 9 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2017.

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› CDC monitoring measles outbreak in 21 states, including Florida
107 people from 21 states have reportedly contracted the measles, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday. Measles is a virus that is easily spread by air droplets when infected persons breathe, cough, or sneeze.

› Tampa women’s center to host national leadership conference
The national Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) chose Tampa as host city for its 2018 Leadership Conference, three days of workshops, lectures and panel discussions at the Westin Tampa Waterside.

› Early voting, mail ballots top 700,000
More than 26,000 people have voted early in counties where the option is already available, while nearly 700,000 have returned vote-by-mail ballots, according to numbers posted Wednesday by the Florida Division of Elections.

› Football star sues Miami restaurant chain over deal. A murder case is one reason why
Former University of Miami football and NFL star player Jonathan Vilma made a splash in South Florida’s business community, announcing he was partnering with a hip new restaurant chain to open five locations selling delicious sizzling Latin kabobs known as pinchos.