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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

'We're still here': Florida Panhandle still working to rebuild 6 months after Hurricane Michael

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. Six months later, people living in the areas hit hardest by the hurricane are still working to rebuild but feel alone. They feel left behind and forgotten by the rest of the country. Six months later, they have a message for everyone: "We’re still here." More from WFLA, The Weather Channel, and the Washington Post.

Related Florida Trend Archived Content
» Newsmaker of the Year: Hurricane Michael

See also:
» State appealing FEMA ending shelter aid for hurricane-displaced families
» Flooding continues to plague Washington County six months after Hurricane Michael
» Fried, lawmakers eye hurricane damage

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's opioid legislation facing resistance from drug stores

The state of Florida late last year sued CVS and Walgreens in federal court, accusing the nation’s largest drugstore chains of creating – and profiting from – a nationwide opioid crisis that kills 17 people a day in Florida alone. Now, the state’s new attorney general, Ashley Moody, is asking the Florida Legislature to help her make the case. CVS and Walgreens are trying to persuade lawmakers not to do it. [Source: Florida Trend]

'Florida's Flint': State health dept. emails show agency struggled to manage algae crisis

With toxic algae fouling Southwest Florida’s inland waterways and coastline last year, state health officials faced a flood of worried questions as people turned to them for crisis leadership. Some were specific: Were Caloosahatchee blue crabs safe to eat? Was it dangerous to breathe near the algae-choked canals? How about swimming in the Gulf? Others were systemic: Who posts warning signs? Was any agency monitoring illness reports? Would water and air be tested for toxins? [Source: USA Today]

The age of robot farmers

At a large operation, such as the University of Florida’s strawberry-breeding program, which is run by Vance Whitaker, people must manually inspect thousands of seedlings each year to see if any carries the desirable traits that the breeder is looking for. A robot, equipped with machine vision and enough artificial intelligence to recognize the traits the breeder is seeking, could automate the laborious process. [Source: New Yorker]

A faster internet is coming. Telecoms and cities are fighting over how soon and how fast.

Faster downloads, stronger signals and more reliable internet service is coming to Florida residents. But how soon and how fast – and how costly it will be – could be decided in the Capitol, where telecommunications companies are fighting with local governments on rules for installing the new technology. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel.


› Miami is the 7th least affordable city in the world
A new report says Miami is the seventh least-affordable large metro area in the world. The recent report by urban researchers Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo says the Miami region's housing unaffordability crisis reinforces its high levels of inequality.

› Drawing more talent, large employers to Southeastern Florida
At a panel discussion during ULI’s Fort Lauderdale Emerges conference in February, Mike Jackson, longtime chief executive officer of AutoNation, was joined by Vinnie Viola, chairman and owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and chairman emeritus of Virtu Financial, to discuss Fort Lauderdale’s place among America’s most important business communities.

› USF expands and names Center for Supply Chain Management for $5 million donor Monica Wooden
Six years ago, the University of South Florida had one professor working in the field of supply chain management — the trillion-dollar business of moving goods, money and information around the globe — but in an economy being reshaped by the likes of Amazon, that's changing.

› New proposed Florida bill aimed to prevent power outages at cost to customers
A bill moving through the Florida House would require Florida utility companies come up with a plan to strengthen their systems, in some situations switching from utility pole to underground power lines.

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› UF employees recognized for superior accomplishments
Twelve members of the University of Florida Business Affairs Division were honored with Superior Accomplishment Awards, presented at a ceremony hosted by Kathy Porter, UF diversity relations chairperson, and Curtis Reynolds, vice-president of business affairs. Juan Segarra, chief executive officer and president of Foresight Construction, delivered a keynote speech at the ceremony, held recently at Emerson Hall.

› Another golf course will be renovated — with plans to turn it into an upscale resort
Of the golf courses being renovated across South Florida, one of them will get a 26-story luxury apartment building to turn it into a world-class resort. An SLS Residence building, under the same brand as SLS Hotels, will rise this year on the grounds of the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club in Hallandale Beach as part of a $220 million makeover.

› SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch pushed back to Wednesday
The first commercial launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket, will apparently have to wait at least another day. The Titusville Police Department on Monday posted on social media that the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch that had been set for Tuesday night has been moved to 24 hours later.

› Monday brings slight relief from gas prices, but an uptick could be ahead
Gas prices finally broke over the past week, providing some relief from the high spring price tags. State prices dropping four cents to $2.71 per gallon Monday, while Tampa Bay prices sunk 6 cents to $2.68 a gallon, according to AAA, the Auto Club Group.