Super sports year kicks off in Florida
Some of the country’s largest and most visible sporting events will call Florida home in 2020, making this year an especially big one for a burgeoning state with a thriving sports scene. “Florida is a big winner,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman and president of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, which brought the big game back to South Florida for the first time in a decade. [Source: Villages Daily Sun]
» South Florida businesses feeling benefit of Super Bowl
» Super Bowl mania struck real estate, too: inquiries soared for these luxury condos
» Six big Tampa Bay projects racing to be ready for Super Bowl 55
» Climate Change Could Threaten Future South Florida Super Bowls
After shunning Medicaid expansion, Florida Republicans see the political power of tackling health care
Backed by a scorched earth attack on Big Pharma and the “health care industrial complex,” House Speaker Jose Oliva is promoting wide-ranging changes to the state’s medical landscape that may cause a possible side effect. Republicans hope they help at the ballot box in the nation’s biggest presidential swing state. With polls showing health care access and cost among the top issues for voters, Oliva is among a chorus of Florida Republicans getting behind President Donald Trump’s promise last spring to make the GOP “the party of health care.” More from the Florida Times-Union and the Gainesville Sun.
Opinion: Time has come for Florida to start taxing internet commerce
Local retailers – the “brick and mortar” stores, as the FRF calls them – pay local property taxes, hire local people, buy supplies and services from local businesses and help sponsor hometown events. When you see boarded-up storefronts downtown or hear the echo of your footsteps in a shopping center with vast vacant spaces, that’s largely the result of online competitors taking away their customers. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
Assault weapons ban misses deadline for Florida’s 2020 ballot
Florida voters won’t get a chance to vote this fall on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban assault weapons after the initiative failed to get enough signatures. Instead, the organizers behind Ban Assault Weapons Now say they’ll focus on getting the amendment on the ballot in 2022. Chairwoman Gail Schwartz said in a statement that they’ll continue gathering signatures “despite the best efforts of the NRA and politicians in Tallahassee.” [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Internet crimes costing victims more money in Florida
Criminals lurking online are costing Floridians a lot of money. A new report from Florida Atlantic University's Center for Forensic Accounting says victim losses for internet crime grew 88 percent from 2015 to 2018 in Florida. According to the report, it jumped from $95 million in 2015 to $178 million in 2018. [Source: WFTS]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Amid growth, Sarasota manufacturer leases new office space [Business Observer]
Harmar has leased a 19,916-square-foot office space in Northgate Center Business Park to house its sales, executive and operational staff. The Sarasota-based manufacturer of wheelchair and scooter vehicle lifts and other accessibility equipment will continue to operate out of its current location at 2075 47th St. in Sarasota. The new space will accommodate Harmar’s growing front office staff, according to a press release.
› FIU experts assess global impacts of China’s coronavirus outbreak [Miami's Community Newspapers]
Just moments after the World Health Organization declared China’s coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, FIU experts went live online to break down the crisis – from how the virus is spread to the effects the outbreak will have on global trade, travel and financial markets, as well as politically inside China and beyond.
› Sanford International Airport’s 6.3% jump marks another record year for passengers [Orlando Sentinel]
Year after year, a growing number of air travelers prefer using the smaller airport in north Seminole County rather than the much larger and more sprawling Orlando International Airport in south Orange County. In 2019, the Sanford airport saw a record 3.3 million passengers go through its gates. That’s a nearly 6.3% jump from 2018 and a 93% increase from 2009, when the airport handled 1.7 million passengers.
› LISC Jacksonville celebrates 20 years, man behind the funds [Florida Times Union]
LISC partners with residents and other nonprofits to revitalize neighborhoods through lending, grant making and its EPIC Communities comprehensive approach, which focuses on housing, education, health, physical environment, economic activity and family income. J.F. Bryan IV has been key to its inception and success.
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› Small Florida town worries toll road may wipe it out [Fort Myers News-Press]
Some residents of the Lee County enclave of Alva, population 2,500, are organizing to oppose a massive road-building project that may ultimately eclipse any in Florida's history. Sometimes referred to locally as the toll road, the project would create connector roads through corridors in three parts of the state. The roads would link rural Florida with an existing highway grid that offers highway connections from Pensacola and Jacksonville to the north to Naples and Miami in the south.
› Florida court clears way for automated beer, wine dispensing [The Star]
Automated, self-serve wine and beer dispensing machines? A Florida regulatory agency said no to the idea, but an appeals court ruled Friday that the devices a company hopes to install at high-end residential properties aren’t illegal. La Galere, a South Florida based company that has a chain of self-service food stores in business and residential properties around Florida, asked the Department of Business and Professional Regulation if it could add wine and beer to its operation.
› Here’s how Tampa Bay has changed since its last Super Bowl [Tampa Bay Times]
Much has changed locally and globally since Tampa last hosted the championship in 2009. That means planning for an event with much activity centered on downtown, not the stadium.
› Sarasota mental health counselors to receive ‘groundbreaking’ PTSD training [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
A “groundbreaking therapy” for treating Post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions could soon be coming to mental health facilities in Sarasota. A group of local mental health professionals gathered around a table at Aloft Sarasota on Friday to undergo an intensive workshop where they will spend their weekend learning the ins and outs of Accelerated Resolution Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapy which experts are saying is a highly effective technique for treating PTSD, trauma, anxiety, phobias and other mental health conditions.