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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida asks court to cap much of Georgia’s water use at current level

Florida hammered Georgia in a federal courtroom Thursday for not doing enough to limit agricultural water use in southwest Georgia as the oyster industry downstream in Apalachicola Bay collapsed. Georgia’s southern neighbor is asking the court to freeze Georgia’s water usage at current levels in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin to 2050 and approve even tighter controls during droughts. [Source: AJC]

See also:
» Your cheat sheet to the Georgia-Florida water wars

Florida Trend Exclusive
In good company: Florida's top industries

Many states compete to attract new business, but few can match the scale and scope of Florida’s industry assets. Boasting competitive costs, a large and well-trained workforce, superior global connectivity and ready proximity to wide-ranging markets, Florida has a proven record of success in these key industries. [Source: Business Florida]

Restaurant industry on alert amid Hepatitis A outbreak

Cases of Hepatitis A skyrocketed in Florida in 2019. According to the State Department of Health, nearly 3000 cases have been reported this year compared to only 548 in 2018 and 276 in 2017. In August, the State Surgeon General issued a Public Health Emergency due to the high case count. [Source: WOFL]

See also:
» Florida’s hepatitis A outbreak prompts a door-to-door push to vaccinate

Florida’s recreational marijuana initiatives are low on signatures and time

Two citizens initiatives that would legalize recreational marijuana in Florida are still far away from gathering enough signatures to get on the 2020 ballot – and time is running out. Regulate Florida has only about 92,000 signatures of the required 766,200 needed by Feb. 1 to qualify. The other group, Make It Legal Florida, has about 57,000 signatures. By comparison, John Morgan’s $15 minimum wage initiative hit the signature mark last week and is now on its way to state Supreme Court review. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida mangroves can reduce flooding and insurance costs, new study shows

Scientists have known for years mangroves can help prevent flood damage along Florida coastal areas, but the researchers behind a new study hope insurance companies will include mangroves when assessing risks and in turn save counties money. The study, conducted by the Nature Conservancy Florida chapter, analyzed mangroves and if they can be used to measure benefits for insurance companies that assess coastal properties and coastal infrastructure. More at Florida Trend and WKMG.


› Red tide problem escalates off Florida’s west coast
Florida’s west coast was painted in a deeper shade of red last week as red tide bloomed in greater concentrations since the previous week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission showed in its Wednesday update. The dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, also known as red tide, was found in high concentrations in Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties, the update showed.

› Manny Medina’s tech firm is spinning off a new cybersecurity company
Manny Medina’s Cyxtera tech group has announced its latest move: a spin-off of its cyber-security unit. The new firm, called AppGate Inc., will be composed of four cybersecurity units. Cyxtera says the move would allow each organization “to pursue the most appropriate business strategy to leverage its respective market opportunity.”

› Flipping houses is again a big business in Orlando, but investors aren’t profiting like they once were
Orlando is currently one of the top markets in the United States for flipping projects, ranked No. 8 by Realtor.com. Miami also made the list at No. 3, as well as Tampa, at No. 4. House-flipping is back across many parts of the U.S., with the economy recovered from the recession and housing crisis that began in 2008.

› St. Augustine Distillery founders build award-winning business
Before Philip McDaniel and Mike Diaz started working to open the St. Augustine Distillery, neither knew a thing about craft distilling. In 2011, McDaniel, retired and working with the St. Johns County Cultural Council and Tourist Development Council, wanted to start a business that would “take St. Augustine to a new level,” improve the community, and of course, make a living.

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› University of Miami to adopt new telecommunication technology, including 5G+
The University of Miami is poised to become the first campus in the nation to adopt a new technology that could speed and expand computing time and mobile app tools, according to the school and the providing company.

› Florida aerospace forum showcases expanding space-related technology
New players in Florida's rapidly expanding aerospace industry came together Wednesday in a funding competition that included innovative ideas ranging from space debris detection to a specialized antennas for small satellites.

› Sunscreen Proposal Gains Traction In Florida House
A House panel has approved a proposal that would prevent local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens and cosmetics, despite pushback from Democrats who contended the measure is a “knee-jerk” effort by lawmakers to limit local control.

› Office Depot to close 90 stores over next two years
Office Depot shuttered dozens of stores in 2019 and revealed plans to cut more locations over the next two years. The Boca Raton-based office supplier (Nasdaq: ODP) expects to close another 90 stores in 2020 and 2021, according to the company's third quarter earnings report for the period ended Sept. 28 released this week.