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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Coronavirus scams escalating just like the disease

U.S. and Florida officials are warning consumers to beware of 2019 Novel Coronavirus scams that include misleading emails and posts promoting awareness and prevention tips, along with fake information about cases in neighborhoods. In addition, fraudsters are setting up phony websites asking people to donate to charities that benefit victims of the virus, offering advice on unproven treatments, or containing malicious email attachments. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Record $14.1 million federal grant aimed at helping boost Port Canaveral's cargo business

Port Canaveral has been awarded its largest-ever federal grant, and hopes to use the $14.1 million allocation to jump-start its cargo business. The grant will be used to help pay for a $37.86 million project to modernize and expand Port Canaveral’s North Cargo Berth 3. The other $23.76 million will come from the port and grants from the Florida Department of Transportation. More from Florida Today.

Enterprise battles peer-to-peer upstarts in Florida car rental fight

The clash between traditional car rental companies such as Enterprise and upstart “peer-to-peer” online platforms, connecting car owners looking to rent out their car to drivers in need of a vehicle, is back in the Legislature. After failing to gain momentum last year, a bill to regulate and tax the peer-to-peer platforms like traditional companies is moving in the House and Senate. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Miami Beach's Lincoln Road is getting a major new store. Think food hall, but with retail and art

Showfields, the U.K.-based retail chain that bridges the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and online vendors, is opening its second U.S. location on Lincoln Road in May. The two-story, 14,300 square-foot venue, located at 530 Lincoln Road, will feature a curated selection of 40-50 pop-up shops, name-brand spaces and art installations. More from the Miami Herald.

Controversial bill would end permanent alimony in Florida, change child custody

The bill is a proposal to change Florida’s divorce law to end permanent alimony and create a presumption of a 50-50 split between parents in child custody. Two previous versions of the Florida bill have passed the Legislature before in 2013 and in 2016. Both times, then-Gov. Rick Scott vetoed them. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Out of the Box
Why are Californians asking about Florida cow poop?

 A California company has arrived in Florida for a kind of reverse gold rush, but it's not seeking precious metal -- it wants manure. Brightmark Energy out of San Francisco is one of multiple firms soliciting Florida dairy farmers to turn their cow poop lagoons into money-making biogas machines as carbon emission standards tighten to mitigate climate change.

» More from WUSF.


Business Profile
Growth for Florida social media marketing company Strategic Digital

floridaMatt Farrar and Joe Clements met in 2013 while working on a special election campaign for a state House seat in Pasco County. Their candidate lost, but the two young Republican consultants stayed in touch, bonding over a mutual interest in social media marketing. A year later, they founded Strategic Digital Services, an online marketing firm focused on politics and public affairs

» Read more from Florida Trend.