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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida, Washington scientists think they have potential citrus greening breakthrough

Researchers at Washington State University, along with colleagues at the University of Florida, may have discovered a long-sought holy grail in the quest to stem citrus greening, the disease that has decimated Florida’s flagship crop. WSU scientists are able to grow the bacteria that causes citrus greening, a major step in the creation of resistant plants or treatments for the disease. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida moves forward on plans to bury more power lines

State regulators moved forward Thursday with a new law aimed at building more underground power lines and making Florida’s electric grid better able to withstand punishing hurricanes. The Florida Public Service Commission approved proposed rules to carry out the law, which is expected to lead to residents and businesses paying more in their electric bills for storm-protection projects. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Orlando Sentinel.

How new human trafficking legislation will affect Florida's hotels and hospitality workers

Activists are praising legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis this past summer, requiring training for those in the hospitality and medical industries on how to spot and report human trafficking. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2021, affects employees of hotels and public lodging, doctors, licensed massage parlors and spas. Businesses that don't comply face fines of up to $2,000 a day. [Source: Florida Today]

Florida's health care cost markup among nation's highest

A newly released report by Johns Hopkins University, Hospital Prices in the United States: An Analysis of U.S. Cities and States, shows that seven out of ten of the states with the highest health care mark up ratios are in the south - including Florida. [Source: WLRN]

CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Andy Stuart stepping down after 31 years at the company

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Andy Stuart is stepping down at the end of the year. Stuart, who has been with the Miami-based cruise line for 31 years, will be succeeded by the president of the line’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd., Harry Sommer. Stuart will stay on as an advisor through March of next year, the company said. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Clearwater tech firm buys video production company
KnowBe4, which specializes in products designed to combat phishing and other cybersecurity attacks, has acquired the firm that produced a series of training videos for it. Twist and Shout Group, which has offices in both the United States and United Kingdom, will operate as “Twist and Shout Communications, a KnowBe4 company,” and “Twist and Shout Media, a KnowBe4 company,” as a result of the deal.

› More Miamians are living together — but not just with their families
Parents are finally getting relief from their boomerang kids. According to a new report based on Census data, Miamians increasingly are leaving home and sharing their households with anyone but family. A study on changes in household compositions from 2007 to 2018 found that in the Miami area, unrelated households — generally roommates and unmarried partners — grew by 46%.

› Seminole Hard Rock Tampa launching amped-up casino with flair
The Seminoles started with a modest bingo hall near Interstate 4 in the early 1980s and later added poker and video slot machines. Flush with cash from its gambling operations, the tribe bought the Hard Rock brand in 2006 for $965 million, creating an entertainment and gaming powerhouse that since has grown rapidly and thought big.

› Jacksonville-based CSX changes executive mix
Several key executive positions saw some changes at Jacksonville-based CSX railways in the past week. That transportation and logistics giant announced Kevin Boone was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer while Jamie Boychuk was appointed vice president of operations, the company announced.

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› Daytona Beach kennel club to stop live greyhound racing: report
Another Florida dog racing track will be ceasing live greyhound racing. The Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club, once known as the Volusia County Kennel Club and Daytona Beach Kennel Club, will stop races in March 2020.

› One Florida hotel makes Fodor’s list of 15 best hotels in United States
One hotel in Florida has made Fodor’s newest list of the top 15 hotels in the United States. The Life House hotel in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, dubbed a “cheap & chic” pick, offers travelers a retro slice of the tropics in a rapidly gentrifying area.

› West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis found in St. Johns County chickens
Chickens used to detect the presence of mosquito-borne illnesses in St. Johns County have tested positive for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County.

› St. Pete Beach to offer minibus service to Pass-a-Grille
City commissioners recently unanimously agreed to enter into a contract with Miami-based Beefree, which operates under the name Freebee, to provide transit service currently handled by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority buses. Freebee provides free rides on eco-friendly cars that are similar to golf carts.