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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Federal appeals court weighs Florida law on felon voting rights

The case before the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could be consequential because of the razor-thin margins that sometimes decide election contests in Florida, a perennial battleground state. At issue before the appellate court is Amendment 4, a ballot measure approved by voters in 2018, allowing felons to regain the right to vote ahead of the March 17 primaries and November’s crucial presidential balloting. More from the Daily Business Review.

Mayors Jewelers converting Florida stores into fancy boutiques

While jewelry customers shop for their next set of diamonds, they mingle in a concierge-style lounge that offers Cuban coffee from Little Havana’s venerable Cafe Versailles. This welcoming scene at the Mayors Jewelers at Coral Gables at Merrick Park is a sign of improvements to come for the decades-old South Florida jewelry chain. It’s now appealing to clients with remodeled stores that offer customers upscale hospitality areas as they shop for rings, fancy stones and high-end watches. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

North Port ranch could be preserved under $21 million conservation deal

A 5,774-acre ranch in North Port could be preserved under a proposal that will go before the Florida Cabinet next week. Conservationists have long sought to protect the Orange Hammock Ranch from development. The proposed acquisition is one of the most significant regional conservation opportunities in years, maybe decades. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Knight Foundation granting more than $1 million to fuel Miami’s startup scene

The Knight Foundation announced Thursday approximately $1.1 million in spending to spur entrepreneurship in Miami. Eight local groups will be awarded as much as $250,000 each. The largest grantee is Black Angels Miami, a soon-to-be-launched organization of black investors focused on increasing spending on minority-owned startups. More from the Miami Herald.

Hardball: Rays threaten to block redevelopment of Tropicana Field

The Tampa Bay Rays are now playing hardball with the most lucrative piece of property in the city. Rays officials have told City Council members that the team will hold up any attempts to develop the 86-acre Tropicana Field site while its locked into playing at the dome through the 2027 season. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida History
How the mother of Miami, Julia Tuttle, set the future in motion

 It’s one of Florida’s top urban legends, and for Miami, it might be Number One: During a hard Florida freeze, Julia Tuttle sent fragrant orange blossoms from Miami to Henry Flagler. The godfather of Florida was so impressed he agreed to extend his railroad to the fishing village of a few hundred souls. And a tropical metropolis was born.

» More from the Florida Times-Union.

 

Out of the Box
‘Car vending machine’ rises in Doral

floridaSouth Florida residents bored of buying used cars in the same old way now have an eye-popping new option. Arizona-based Carvana has just unveiled its fourth car “vending machine” in Florida, and its first in South Florida.

» Read more from the Miami Herald.