FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Thursday's Daily Pulse

Gov. DeSantis rolls out environmental blueprint for 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis intends to use the first set of recommendations from the state’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force to craft his environmental proposals for the 2020 legislative session, which begins in January. The task force, created through an executive order in January to respond to outbreaks of toxic algae across the state, finalized last week what members said was a broad roadmap for lawmakers. See the announcement from Gov. DeSantis and read more from the Tampa Bay Times, WLRN, and WJXT.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Healthier snacks from Windmere investment fund KEEN Growth Capital

Today, with a string of successes under his belt, serial entrepreneur Jerry Bello heads up a Windermere-based venture fund focused on food, beverage and wellness brands. Two years after its launch, KEEN Growth Capital’s second fund has attracted about $40 million and plans to close sometime this fall when it reaches about $60 million. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida names its first mental health coordinator for hurricanes, disaster recovery

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is hiring Darcy Abbott, a longtime state health official, as its first mental health coordinator for recovery efforts after hurricanes and other disasters, touting it as the first statewide position of its kind in emergency management in the country. More from the Miami Herald and Sarasota Magazine.

Florida Attorney General launches major investigation into vaping companies

The dramatic increase in teen vaping in the state has led Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody to launch a major investigation into 20 vaping companies that do business here. The investigation will “focus on the marketing practices and online sales strategies of these companies to determine if they have intentionally targeted minors, tempting them to vape,” Moody said. [Source: CBS Miami]

Nearly a fifth of all homes sold in South Florida are bought by investors

A new wave of real estate investors buying single-family homes to flip them at a higher price or add them to the rental market are contributing to South Florida’s housing affordability crisis, according to a new study by realtor.com. According to the study, the Miami metro area (comprised of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach) ranked third on a list of the top 10 cities in the U.S. with the highest percentage of home sales used for investment purposes. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Tech Data gets $5 billion bid from Apollo Global
Tech Data stock jumped 13 percent Wednesday following a report from Reuters Tuesday night that Apollo Global Management has approached the Clearwater-based information technology distribution company with a $5 billion acquisition offer.

› Report: Florida ports lead the nation in resiliency
Florida’s seaports are among the best prepared for sea level rise and natural disasters, according to a new study released by the Florida Ports Council. The study says Florida’s 15 seaports are already equipped to handle 2.5 feet of tidal fluctuations, which is “within the range of anticipated sea level increases in 2050.”

› Tampa Bay’s WingHouse acquired by Jacksonville company for $18 million
Jacksonville restaurant holding company ARC Group has purchased local chain WingHouse for $18 million, the companies announced this week. WingHouse first opened in Largo more than 25 years ago and was created by former NFL player Crawford Ker. In 2014, Ker sold his 24 restaurants to a company owned by the family of the Ashley Furniture founder, Third Lake Capital in Tampa.

› Florida’s risk of mosquito-borne illness rises with recent rains, says health officials
Health officials in Palm Beach County are urging residents to take precautions against mosquito-borne diseases, with recent rainfall and standing water creating a “breeding ground” for the biting, flying insects. Those diseases include dengue fever, of which there already have been two locally transmitted cases in South Florida, as well as the Chikungunya, West Nile and Zika viruses.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Hurricane Dorian estimated insured losses at $19 million in Florida
When Hurricane Dorian took a turn last month and avoided landfall in Florida, it largely spared the state’s insurance industry from getting hit with claims. Only 5,764 claims from Hurricane Dorian had been filed in Florida as of Oct. 4, with estimated insured losses at $19 million, according to information posted on the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

› St. Pete’s Hofbräuhaus faces eviction, lawsuit says
The Hofbräuhaus restaurant is behind on its rent and facing a threat of eviction from its downtown home, according to a lawsuit filed by its new landlord. The lawsuit claims that the German beer hall’s owners also are on the hook for millions of dollars for breaking its 15-year lease after they started falling behind on rent in August.

› Robots move bags around new $324 million MIA luggage system, speeding up screening
The new $324 million baggage screening system at MIA is designed to double the speed and efficiency of baggage screening and delivery for flights in concourses E, F, G, H and J, while also reducing the risk of injury for TSA officers.

› Stone crab season kicks off in Cortez
There’s a sure-fire way to gauge stone crab season, and that’s to check Danny Barrett’s hands. If they look like a lotion commercial, the hauls are light. If they ache, cramp and are cut-up, the traps are teeming with the delectable crustaceans, and all is right with the world in Cortez.