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Monday's Afternoon Update

The space tourism industry has created a new profession: Space travel agents

Historically, going to space has always been part of a government-backed effort that require extensive training, funding, and a justifiable mission. A crop of commercial space companies are vowing to change that. Most human spaceflight companies are still a few years away from regularly flying paying customers. But they are already attracting prospective customers and, trailing in the wake of the would-be passengers, luxury travel brokers who believe space tourism is the next big pursuit for the ultra-wealthy. More from the Observer.

'We're going to remain optimistic': New rays of hope and dollars shine on Florida manatees

After Florida’s deadliest year for manatees, new blades of seagrass that spring usually brings and all the dollars donated have delivered slivers of hope for Florida's favorite at-risk creature, those tasked with saving them say. But others assert that the threatened sea cows' plight is far from over, unless we're willing to spend much more. More from Florida Today.

Relief at the pump: Florida gas prices continue to drop

We’re finally starting to see some relief at the pump. Florida gas prices dropped another seven cents last week. The state average has now declined nearly 25 cents per gallon over the course of a little more than two weeks. The average price in the state is now $4.01 for a gallon of regular gas. That’s 27 cents less than a month ago, and the lowest price since Russia invaded Ukraine. More from WJXT.

ACC considers Orlando as possible site for its headquarters

Orlando is reportedly one of the front-runners as a possible site for the ACC to move its headquarters. Orlando and Charlotte are the leading contenders for the league, which is considering a move from its current location in Greensboro, N.C. A vote is expected no later than this month. A conference spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the report or any specific timeline for such a move. The ACC announced in October that the league it would look into the possibility of moving its current headquarters out of Greensboro, where it’s been since 1953. More from the Orlando Sentinell.

Logistics company relocates to Tampa, plans to hire 150

An Indiana freight and trucking company is relocating its logistics division to Tampa in a move that could result in up to 150 new jobs. AFC Logistics, which provides freight and shipping services for more than 1,000 companies, is moving into a temporary space in downtown Tampa as it finalizes a new corporate headquarters, the company’s president, Kyle Ingraham, said in a statement. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Trend Mention

Mention Image2022 ACEC-FL Transportation Conference

If you are a public or private sector professional engineer, planner, FDOT policymaker, or consultant whose practice areas involve transportation, then you should attend the 2022 ACEC-FL Transportation Conference! You will:

• Learn more about major projects underway or being planned in Florida
• Get up-to-date information about state policies and initiatives that are shaping your profession
• Network with other professionals in transportation, development, and infrastructure
• Interact with FDOT decision-makers from all districts
• Earn Professional Development Hours and Continuing Education Credits

Register here: www.fleng.org/tc22

In Memoriam
Daniel Pontet, a South Florida artist known for his paintings, courtroom sketches and political cartoons, has died

 Daniel Pontet, an artist and activist who was known for his large-scale expressive works but also his sketches of some of South Florida’s biggest courtroom dramas, has died. Pontet, who moved to Florida from Uruguay in the early 1990s, had sketched scenes of major federal and international criminal court trials, worked as a political cartoonist for newspapers and magazines and had become a staple of Hollywood’s monthly ArtWalk event, where he would often paint with his feet to the beat of local drummers and other musicians.

» More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Out of the Box
This Thonotosassa wedding venue hosted WWE commercials

floridaDon Balaban has been a professional wrestling fan for decades. This is not a topic he broaches with brides at his Lemon Orchard Venue on the Lake, a 23-acre Thonotosassa citrus farm and event venue. But he has recently learned which of those brides are fans. The WWE and Mike’s Hard Lemonade teamed up for two days in March to film a series of vignettes on Balaban’s property. The videos were part of WWE’s WrestleMania 38 on April 2 and 3.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.