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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Life expectancy keeps falling under opioid crisis. Here’s how Florida bucks the trend

Though there are significant declines in sales among the top ranked states, such as Florida, the “opioid crisis” is by no means nearing an end. The U.S. life expectancy rate dropped for a third consecutive year due to the drug crisis and climbing suicide rates. This is the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the period of 1915 to 1918 during World War I and a 1918 influenza pandemic. [Source: Miami Herald]

Gov. Scott says he won’t leave office early to become a senator

Florida Gov. Rick Scott won’t become Sen. Scott until Jan. 8. Scott announced Tuesday that he will remain in his current role until Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is sworn in. A delay in the swearing-in ceremony will affect Scott’s seniority, which plays a major role in things like the seating chart on the Senate floor, office space and committee assignments. More from the AP and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Supervisors: Florida election worked well, just needs ‘tweaking’

Fresh on the heels of a wild election season that saw three recounts in statewide races, Florida election officials gathered this week for a conference in Sarasota said their offices performed well overall and they are not recommending big changes to state election law. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

See also:
» Florida elections supervisors express confusion over restoring felon voting rights

Estimated insured losses from Hurricane Michael top $4 billion

With nearly 130,000 claims filed, estimated insured losses from Hurricane Michael have topped $4 billion, according to numbers posted on the state Office of Insurance Regulation website. As of Friday, 129,876 claims had been filed from the October storm, with estimated insured losses of $4.01 billion. More from WJCT and CBS Miami.

Florida cities, counties lead climate change response

In Florida, local governments are already planning for a future plagued by climate change and responding to impacts that have begun to affect the state. In the southeast, stronger storms, sea level rise and warmer temperatures are already affecting communities. [Source: WUSF]


› For the second time in a row, the Navy's Blue Angels are set to headline MacDill's Air Fest in 2020
The Blue Angels are coming back to Tampa to headline AirFest 2020. The display of military might and aerial derring-do, now a semi-annual event, is scheduled to be held March 28-29, 2020, according to officials at MacDill Air Force Base.

› Port Canaveral to decide on bonding for $150M cruise terminal complex
With waterside construction now underway on Port Canaveral's new $150 million Cruise Terminal 3 project, port commissioners this week will discuss the best approach to pay for it all. Commissioners on Wednesday will consider authorizing issuing three series of bonds totaling up to $117 million for the terminal project.

› Sarasota rents ‘more expensive than most large cities’
Rents in the city of Sarasota inched up an average 0.1 percent in November from last year, a new report said. But the median monthly rent of $1,389 for a two-bedroom Sarasota apartment was $179 more than the Florida median and $208 higher than the nationwide median.

› Moldy mice food delays SpaceX's Cape launch to resupply International Space Station
Blame it on the space mice. Mold found on food bars for a rodent experience heading to the International Space Station is causing a one-day delay in SpaceX’s resupply mission to the ISS. The launch was scheduled to take off Tuesday afternoon from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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› Broward may investigate governor's replacing of Brenda Snipes
While Brenda Snipes says she will challenge Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to replace her as Broward’s elections supervisor, county commissioners may take a look to see if the governor handled the issue appropriately.

› 3 great white sharks detected off Florida's east coast
There’s a whole lot of teeth surrounding Florida. Three great white sharks were detected around the Sunshine State’s eastern shores this week by Ocearch’s Shark Tracker.

› At Sarasota airport, a unique kind of flight risk
In the last 12 months, pilots leaving Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport have been involved in 21 bird strikes, six involving commercial aircraft. Most were single-bird strikes, but mid-air encounters, like Sunday’s involving a United Airline’s passenger jet and a flock of birds, are less common and can have serious consequences.

› Florida strawberries see strong early demand thanks to California weather
As the Florida strawberry season gets started, it’s picking up some of the demand for berries from California. “We’ve got an influx in demand because of the rain in California,” says Gary Guynn of Guynn Family Produce Sales Inc. in Lakeland, who notes that Florida is only about 10 days into picking.