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Friday's Daily Pulse

New jobless claims in Florida stabilize at triple pre-pandemic level

The number of Floridians who filed new unemployment claims last week remained almost unchanged from the previous week, suggesting some stabilization in job losses as Florida businesses have started reopening after being closed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, according to labor figures released Thursday. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that Floridians filed 223,927 jobless claims last week, compared to 223,082 claims filed in the previous week. More from WJXT and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

NOAA calls for a busy 2020 hurricane season, with the possibility of ‘extreme activity’

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has already broken one record, and it might be in line to break another. Arthur, the tropical storm that formed weeks before the season’s start, marked the sixth season in a row with an early storm. On Thursday, NOAA announced the basin is likely in for another above-average hurricane season. More from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Communities didn't wait for lockdown orders from above

When states should have issued statewide lockdown orders and lifted them for reopening became a contentious issue in the pandemic. It turns out three quarters of the desired change in human activity to slow the virus happened without state lockdown mandates, says research by Florida Atlantic University economics professor William Luther. [Source: Florida Trend]

Data breach at Florida’s unemployment system exposed personal information

A data breach at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity exposed personal information about 98 people applying for unemployment compensation, the state agency revealed Thursday. DEO spokeswoman Paige Landrum said the department has notified anyone who was part of the “data security incident." “This issue was addressed within [one] hour after we became aware of the incident,” Landrum said in a statement. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Sea turtle nesting in Florida: Loggerheads, leatherbacks off to strong start

Some wonders of nature continue happening despite the global pandemic, and sea turtle nesting season is no exception. In Florida, those turtles are off to a strong start. Along 13 miles of Brevard County’s Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, UCF’s Marine Turtle Research Group has logged 1,752 loggerhead nests, 29 leatherback nests and three green turtle nests. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Orlando airport scaling back $3 billion new terminal, offering rent breaks to tenants
Orlando’s airport authority on Wednesday launched its most far-reaching responses to COVID-19 by scaling back a $3 billion new terminal and cutting deals with airlines, rental-car companies and concessionaire to defer or waive three months of rents.

› Pandemic forces St. Pete Pride to cancel 2020 parade, celebration
St. Pete Pride announced Thursday it has canceled its 2020 celebration because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move comes a month after the organization announced it would postpone the June celebration — billed as the largest Pride event in Florida — until the fall.

› Socially distanced slots, masks in the casino — How Miccosukee gambling looks amid COVID-19
When Miccosukee Resort & Gaming opened its doors on Sunday, close to 2,000 people flocked to the west Miami-Dade casino to try their luck at the poker tables or the slot machines, tribal leaders confirmed Wednesday. And while the tribe has faced criticism for its handling of the pandemic — it was the last casino to close in South Florida and is the first to reopen — tribe leadership said Wednesday they have done everything to make it safe for employees and patrons.

› Feds demand new payment records from Tampa Bay CareerSource job centers
Two years after turmoil erupted at public job centers in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, federal regulators ordered both agencies on Tuesday to turn over records tied to more than $3.6 million in spending in 2016 and 2017.

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› Legal woes force Florida carrier to file for bankruptcy protection
Florida-based DM World Transportation LLC of Longwood, Florida, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This action comes just two weeks after a trailer leasing company filed a motion for final summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit against the carrier and its CEO for nearly $1.3 million.

› Sarasota County wants to be reimbursed for costs of redistricting lawsuit
Sarasota County commissioners want to recover the $20,000 in court costs associated with the redistricting lawsuit they won. The wealthy Palmer Ranch developer who spearheaded the legal challenge has offered to pay them. “You spoke succinctly today on your stance that the plaintiff should pay the costs of the county,” Hugh Culverhouse told commissioners in an email on Wednesday. “With the virus and need for our county to open and rebuild, this case needs to be finished.”

› New 18-hole championship golf course opens
Taylor Morrison has unveiled its new 18-hole championship golf course within the Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch community. Golf Course Architect Chris Wilczynski designed the course. It's now open to the public with special introductory prices, according to a press release.

› Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopens May 28
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will reopen to the public — with new limitations — on May 28, the Brevard County attraction announced Wednesday. There will be attendance limits, face-covering requirements and a ticket deal kicking in at that time.