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Friday's Afternoon Update

Hurricane watch issued for parts of South Florida coast, as Hurricane Isaias expected to reach Category 2 strength

Hurricane watches went up late Friday morning along the South Florida coast from Boca Raton through Brevard County, as forecasts called for Hurricane Isaias to reach Category 2 strength. A tropical storm warning was issued for the entire South Florida coast. South Florida remains with the western edge of projections of the storm's possible path, with most scenarios calling for the storm to remain at sea as it passes Florida. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Opinion: Florida's ports affected by the pandemic

Florida’s seaports are one of the state’s greatest economic assets, positively affecting every region and every resident. Our seaports have a $117.6 billion economic impact across Florida and account for more than 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, while linking our communities to vital national and international markets. During the COVID-19 crisis, ports across the country have sustained mounting losses. More from Florida Trend.

DeSantis’ popularity plummets amid widely-panned coronavirus response

In the span of a few months Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone from one of the most admired state leaders in America to one of the most disparaged, with an approval rating that has dropped precipitously as coronavirus cases surged. A pair of recent polls indicate more Floridians now disapprove of the job DeSantis is doing than approve. The latest was released Friday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. It shows that 49% of Florida voters disapprove of the governor’s job performance, compared to 45% who approve. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Palm Beach Post.

South Florida companies got big PPP bucks. New rules are leaving employees sidelined

A number of local hotels, alongside other businesses, landed PPP loans. But even as they got the funds, some have continued massive layoffs — a practice that not only may be perfectly legal but comes with no financial penalty. State data show at least nine South Florida hotels received loans for a combined total of between $15 million and $33 million, even as they announced worker separations or furloughs totaling more than 3,300 employees. More from the Miami Herald.

Downtown Orlando’s Church Street struggles without office workers, sports and shows

Not much is happening these days on Church Street in downtown Orlando, an entertainment district that once drew office workers and fans of pro sports, concerts and touring Broadway shows. Before the pandemic, Church Street would get customers from Orlando Magic games and concerts at the Amway Center or for Orlando City and Pride soccer games at nearby Exploria Stadium. Church Street also is close to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, making it a place for theater-goers to have a meal before or after a show. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Research
Ascension Sacred Heart participates in COVID-19 clinical trial

 Pensacola-based Ascension Sacred Heart is participating in a national clinical trial that involves extracting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and using it to boost the immune systems of patients still fighting the virus. The procedure is called COVID-19 convalescent plasma and was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in certain hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

» More from Florida Trend.

 

Florida Dining
Family bringing Filipino bakeshop to Jacksonville

floridaOwners hope to open The Baker’s Son by Valerio’s, a Filipino bakeshop, by Thanksgiving in Jacksonville. “We believe that there’s a good opportunity for us to not only serve the growing Filipino population in Jacksonville but also introduce a wealth of Filipino baked goods made from scratch throughout the city,” said Ariosto Valerio Jr., the grandson of the founder of California-based Valerio’s Tropical Bakeshop.

» Read more from the Jacksonville Daily Record.