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Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Blue Origin investing more than $1 billion into Space Coast to build 'road to space'

If all goes according to Blue Origin's ambitious plan, the Space Coast will become the opening phase of a "road to space" for millions of people taking their livelihoods beyond Earth's fragile atmosphere. The Jeff Bezos-led company is investing more than a billion dollars into the region to transform infrastructure — old and new — into gateways for its upcoming New Glenn rocket, a towering vehicle slated to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station no earlier than 2021. More from Florida Today.

 

Port Tampa Bay welcomes its biggest container ship ever

Check out the size of this ship. The CMA CGM Dalila, the largest container ship ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, passed under the Sunshine Skyway bridge Wednesday morning en route to a berth at Port Tampa Bay. The 1,096-foot-long vessel is the first container ship to arrive from the CMA CMG Group, a global shipping company based in Marseilles, France. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

How a genetically altered virus could save Florida’s decimated orange industry from citrus greening disease

The iconic orange juice industry in Florida is facing an existential threat because of a severe bacterial disease of citrus that was introduced to the US from Asia in 2005. HLB has since spread to virtually all the back yard and commercial citrus trees in Florida, killing many of the trees and forcing the growers to struggle to keep the remaining ones alive with intensive nutrient feeding and other stop-gap measures. More from the Genetic Literacy Project.

See also:
» Study Aims to Use Orange Peels for Something Useful: Better Heart Health

Florida named the 2nd most fun state in America

Florida may be a lot of things, but at least it's fun! The state rides California's coattails as the second most fun in America, according to a list from Wallethub. Wallethub compared all 50 states based on 26 metrics related to entertainment, recreation and nightlife. Florida was in the top percentile for most restaurants per capita, tying both California and New York. It came in third for golf courses. More from WFLA and WalletHub.

Miami River office space swap could cost City of Miami $150 million

The City of Miami is preparing to devote $150 million toward its new government office complex near the Miami River, as part of a complicated deal to turn over city land to a private developer who plans a large mixed-use residential project on the riverfront site. More from Miami Today.

Profile
Sarasota County’s hardcore fossil fan would rather be digging

 Truth be told, Bryan Robertson would rather be digging for fossils out west in, say, Wyoming’s Green River formation, and it’s easy to see why. Frankly, says Robertson, Sunshine State fossil hunters don’t have that many options. The only designated quarry he knows within a reasonable distance is in Brooksville, 50 miles north of Tampa, and it’s fairly monotonous. “Sea biscuits are about all you’ll find up there,” he says, “and I’ve got a bucketful of those.”

» More from the Florida Times-Union.

 

Innovation
Panama City Beach-based TechFarms startup Dragonair Aviation lands in finals of Boeing competition

floridaA Northwest Florida team lands in the finals of a Boeing competition. GoFly, an international human flight competition, has named Panama City Beach-based TechFarms startup Dragonair Aviation one of five finalists for its $1-million grand prize. Sponsored by Boeing, the GoFly challenge calls on inventors to design and construct a personal aircraft. Dragonair Aviation was one of more than 800 teams that entered the international competition.

» Read more from Florida Trend.