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Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Yaupon ‘tea’ grows wild in Florida and could help struggling citrus farmers

A plant that grows wild in Florida and is the only native North American plant to contain caffeine is growing in popularity and could serve as an alternative crop for Florida farmers battling challenges such as citrus greening. Already, one coffee chain is serving drinks made from Florida yaupon leaves throughout Central Florida, and a grocery store has it on shelves. At the same time, the University of Florida is studying the plant as a potential commercial crop. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Karen regains tropical storm strength, path could include Florida next week

Karen bucked forecasts that expected it to remain a weakling depression into late this week by regaining tropical storm power overnight as it nears Puerto Rico. The system, which was about 85 miles south of San Juan as of 8 a.m. has 40 mph winds and is moving north at 7 mph. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. More from the Florida Times-Union and the Palm Beach Post.

Ron DeSantis’ Florida budget wish list: a sneak peek

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to boost spending next year on a controversial economic-development program, while tourism-marketing money wouldn’t increase, according to budget requests rolled out last week. During meetings of House budget panels, state agencies outlined proposals that ranged from money to repair National Guard armories damaged by hurricanes Matthew and Michael to funds for joining a national electronic center to exchange voter-registration data with other states. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tourism hot in Collier County in August

Tourism in Collier County heated up in August. The county saw 112,700 visitors staying in hotels and other paid vacation rentals last month — up 9.6% from a year ago. Those visitors also opened their wallets more — generating an economic impact of nearly $100 million, an 11.2% increase over the same month last year, according to the latest report by Tampa-based Research Data Services Inc. More from the Naples Daily News.

JEA employee protections take center stage with board, Jacksonville City Council

JEA will have a whirlwind day Tuesday as its board votes on labor contracts with five unions in the morning and the City Council votes in the evening on a package of enhanced pension benefits that JEA workers would receive if there is a JEA sale or other kind of privatization deal. More from the Florida Times-Union.

Trend Mention

Mention ImageFlorida Automated Vehicle Summit

The Florida Automated Vehicles (FAV) Summit assembles industry leaders from around the world to address technologies, operations, and policy issues. Topics include automated, connected, electric and shared mobility, operations, infrastructure, design, cybersecurity, ethics, aftermarket products, enabling technologies, and public policy. Live demonstrations showcasing connected and automated technologies will provide a visualization of the positive impact these technologies will have on Florida roadways. November 20th-22nd, Miami, FL - Register Today!

Grocery Wars
Colorado grocery store chain expands its reach in Florida

Lucky’s Market, a relative newcomer in the grocery industry, unveiled details about its first Lee County store at a groundbreaking ceremony this week. The new 30,200-square-foot store, which will be located at 2615 Santa Barbara Blvd. in Cape Coral, will be the national chain’s 39th spot and 21st in Florida.

» More from the Business Observer.


Florida's Most Influential Business Leaders
BankUnited is the second-largest Florida-headquartered bank, with more than $32 billion in assets and 185,000 accounts. Rajinder Singh is one of the bank’s founders and is credited with helping transform the bank from a thrift.
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