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Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Big breakthrough in the fight against citrus greening

A major obstacle in the fight against citrus greening has been the inability of researchers to culture the bacteria that causes the disease in the lab. Scientists from Washington State University (WSU) have overcome that challenge. Being able to grow the elusive and poorly understood bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), will make it easier for researchers to find treatments for the disease that has destroyed millions of acres of orange, grapefruit, and lemon groves around the world and has devastated the citrus industry in Florida. More from Growing Produce.

Duke Energy says electric bills of Florida customers will be reduced in 2020

Duke Energy Florida said Monday it expects to see a reduction in customers’ monthly electric bills in 2020 because of factors such as lower fuel costs for power plants. For residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month --- a common benchmark in the utility industry --- bills would be reduced $4.69 beginning in January, according to Duke, which serves about 1.8 million customers in the state. More from WESH.

Chris Sprowls is about to become one of Florida’s most powerful politicians. Who is he?

At 2 p.m. today, the Republicans of the Florida House are scheduled to elect Chris Sprowls to serve as speaker for the 2021 - 2022 term. His district in northern Pinellas — with his home city of Palm Harbor — makes him only the second House speaker from Pinellas in state history after Rep. Peter Rudy Wallace in 1995. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Pop-up, seasonal stores draw Halloween enthusiasts in Southwest Florida

Alongside hurricane season, another yearly tradition is creeping its way through the state of Florida: Halloween pop-up stores and sales. Pop-up locations and seasonal stores offer more opportunities for holiday fanatics to purchase costumes, decorations and more, and the money thrown at the festivities can be downright scary. More from the Naples Daily News.

SeaWorld’s CEO quits after 7 months on the job

SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha, who took over the Orlando-based company in February, abruptly resigned Monday after feuding with the board of directors. “Mr. Antorcha informed the Company that his resignation was due to disagreements over the Board’s involvement in the decision making at the Company,” SeaWorld said in a new SEC filing. Antorcha, 45, is a former cruise line executive who started his $600,000 a year job on Feb. 18. He is not entitled to nor seeking severance benefits, the SEC filing said. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Out of the Box
Central Florida bicycle shop offers free bike if you build it yourself

 Unwholly Bikes, a unique new shop in Lakeland, wants to make a trade. The store will give you a free bicycle — but there is a catch. First, you need to work up a little sweat. “We believe that if you come in here and put the work in and you build a bike, it creates a sense of ownership,” says co-founder William Shaffer.

» More from WFTS and the Orlando Sentinel.


Trend Mention

Mention ImageFlorida Chamber's Future of Florida Forum

Attend the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Future of Florida Forum – two days of thought provoking discussions on Florida’s next strategic plan – Florida 2030. Join top business leaders, industry experts and elected officials as we work to take Florida from the 17th largest economy to the 10th largest economy on the planet. Register today and be part of securing Florida’s future on October 28-29 in Orlando. Register today!.

Entrepreneurial family has invested $500M and is just getting started

floridaDavid and Jerrilyn Hoffmann felt the magical draw of Naples about three years ago and made it their new home, like countless others before them. The global business owners and entrepreneurial couple, who recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, have been heavily investing in Naples and the greater Southwest Florida region ever since, when they relocated from their other homes in Illinois and Colorado.

» Read more from the Business Observer.