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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

State gets another bump in tax dollars in August

As Florida lawmakers prepare to draw up a new budget, they continue to get a boost from residents and tourists spending money. A report released Monday showed that Florida collected $327.9 million more in general revenue in August than had been projected. Much of the bump, $248.2 million, came from higher-than expected sales-tax collections. [Source: News Service of Florida]

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Florida Icon: Paul Leone, CEO of the Breakers

The CEO of the Breakers in Palm Beach talks about his Italian upbringing, how he runs the famous resort and his moustache: "March 18, 2020, comes and we decided to shut the hotel down. The government hadn’t yet told us to do that, but we needed to get out in front of it. We’re the biggest business in town, certainly in Palm Beach and one of the biggest in Palm Beach County. I think a lot of businesses and local officials were looking to us. During the eight weeks we were closed, we paid our entire team full pay and benefits, not knowing if we’d get any help. Not to boast about that, but we needed to walk the talk." [Source: Floridxa Trend]

Florida fines county $3.5 million for mandating vaccines

The county government that is home to Florida’s capital was fined $3.5 million Tuesday by state health officials for requiring its employees to get COVID-19 vaccines and for firing 14 workers who failed to get the shots. The Florida Department of Health issued the fine for Leon County, saying the municipality violated Florida’s “vaccine passport” law which prohibits businesses and governments from requiring people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. [Source: AP]

This luxury shopping mecca in Florida is about to become even more of a dream with a $550 million renovation

When it comes to luxury shopping destinations around the world, locations like New York City, Milan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai immediately come to mind. However, this under-the-radar shopping center in Florida, filled with a plethora of designer stores, not only belongs on the list but may just move up the ranks with its ongoing $550-million renovation. [Source: Travel + Leisure]

DeSantis rebuffs audit of 2020 election

Florida does not plan to review the 2020 election, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday during an appearance in St. Pete Beach. “What we do in Florida is, there's a pre- and post-election audit that happens automatically,” DeSantis said. “So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors in terms of how that's going.” DeSantis was asked about an audit because a growing number of Republicans have pushed for a recount of the election that former President Donald Trump won relatively comfortably in Florida --- though he lost nationally. [Source: News Serv ice of Florida]


› Florida town blames rival for blocking big-money detention center. Now it wants $150 million. 
A long-running feud has finally made its way to a courtroom, where six jurors will decide whether Pembroke Pines is to blame for blocking a lucrative detention center from being built in Southwest Ranches. In a lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago, Southwest Ranches claims Pembroke Pines cost the town millions by refusing to provide water and sewer service to what would have been one of the nation’s largest immigration detention centers.

› Citizens adds nearly 22,000 policies in September
Adding nearly 22,000 policies last month, the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. totaled more than 708,000 policies as of Sept. 30, newly released numbers show. Citizens has seen massive growth since the middle of 2020 as private insurers have sought rate increases and dropped customers to reduce financial risks.

› Showdown over Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo’s future set for Wednesday at City Hall   
Miami commissioners will meet Wednesday afternoon to decide if suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo should stay or go. Hours after Miami City Manager Art Noriega moved to fire Acevedo following a string of controversies and missteps during Acevedo’s six-month tenure, city officials confirmed that a required hearing on Acevedo’s future is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Miami City Hall.

› New commercial air service comes to St. Augustine
Elite Airways plans twice-weekly service between Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine and the New York area, a move that is seen as a boost for tourism in Northeast Florida. The airline announced Tuesday that it will fly 50- to 90-seat airliners between St. Augustine and Newark Liberty International Airport on Mondays and Fridays beginning Nov. 19.

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› How much you can expect to spend at the Florida DMV
When moving to a new state, there are a few priorities that must get done when you arrive, such as updating your mailing address, setting up utilities and switching over your driver's license and car registration. Here in Florida, you will have 30 days after you arrive to change over your license. However, before heading to the DMV, you are going to want to make sure your wallet is full.

› Trial scheduled in last FIU bridge-collapse lawsuit. Criminal charges still undecided
More than three years after the deadly bridge collapse at Florida International University, the last remaining lawsuit has now been scheduled for a Jan. 10 trial, while separately, prosecutors say they have still not determined whether anyone should be charged criminally.  

› RV City returns to Florida-Georgia weekend
One of the biggest features of the Florida-Georgia rivalry weekend in Jacksonville is making a comeback. News4Jax confirmed Tuesday that RV City, the temporary town filled with motorhomes and college football fanatics, will return to its prominent spot in Lot E near TIAA Bank Field for the 2021 game.

› Breweries flock to Oakland Park: Black Flamingo Brewing Company to open new taproom downtown
Manny Jannes and Andres Wolff’s 2-year-old Pompano Beach taproom, Black Flamingo Brewing Company, has drawn so much unexpected traffic lately, the hop heads are already opening a second brewery in Oakland Park. Black Flamingo will debut its second brewery and taproom at 3482 NE 12th Ave., in Oakland Park, as soon as the duo’s beer license is approved, likely late-November.