Florida’s property insurance crisis prompts DeSantis to call another special session
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the Florida Legislature will be called back for a second special session in May. The property insurance session will be the second special session called by DeSantis this year. The governor said he will sign a proclamation this week with more specifics — the same week the Legislature will meet for a special session on congressional redistricting. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the News Service of Florida.
Housing lotteries grow popular as homes go up for grabs in Florida. Feeling lucky?
When people sign up for lotteries, they usually do so in the hopes of winning millions. But with the scorching housing market, people are signing up for lotteries in the hopes of spending millions. As the demand for luxury properties in South Florida reaches unparalleled highs, gated communities are using lotteries as a way to create a semblance of order when listing new homes on the market. These lotteries have become especially commonplace in southwest Palm Beach County, which has quickly transformed as a hot spot for upscale home developments due to the wide swath of available farmland. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A USF survey reveals Floridians’ opinions on COVID-19, Ukraine, Biden and DeSantis
Floridians are still divided politically, despite some agreement between Democrats and Republicans on key issues. That’s according to researchers from the University of South Florida, who polled 600 people from around the state on the U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, presidential/gubernatorial job approval, and COVID-19. The economy also supplanted COVID-19 as the most important issue to Floridians. [Source: WUSF]
Central Florida a finalist in Space Force search for training command center
Florida's Space Coast is again on the hunt for a major U.S. military command. Patrick Space Force Base in Brevard County is a candidate to host the U.S. Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command Headquarters, according to the U.S. Air Force. Known as STARCOM, it's used to educate and train space professionals, for program testing and evaluation and teaching "warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures." The Air Force will begin site surveys for STARCOM headquarters in late April or early May. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]
Florida airports lead pandemic recovery as Miami capacity surges
Miami International Airport saw the biggest increase in passenger seat capacity from pre-pandemic levels amid a surge in domestic tourism in the Sunshine State. Airport capacity in Miami rose 23% in April from the same month in 2019, according to a report from OAG Aviation Worldwide Ltd. that examined the world’s largest hubs. [Source: Bloomberg]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Sharks cause delay in East Coast Dog Surfing Championships in Cocoa Beach [Florida Today]
Standing paw-tiently on her padded surfboard, and staring into a sea of spectators while awaiting her second wave, Lily likely didn’t notice a couple of curious sharks who had invaded the shoreline on Easter Sunday. But, after a 30-minute shark timeout, the soon-to-be 7-year-old yellow lab conquered a field of eight talented dogs, a nagging undercurrent and, of course, any fear of sharks to win her second consecutive East Coast Dog Surfing Championships at Lori Wilson Park.
› Some of Gainesville's highest-paid employees receive pay bump [Gainesville Sun]
Gainesville's city commissioners voted to increase the pay of two of its charter officers, while four others remained at their same rate of pay. The increases in pay were based on annual evaluations given by the city's elected leaders and a pay study that compares similar jobs around the state.
› The first Miami Beer Week is here and local breweries made a new beer to celebrate [Miami Herald]
Adrian Castro, a confessed lover of locally brewed beers, asks the question though even he doesn’t know the answer: How many breweries are in Miami? As little as five years ago, you could count them on both hands with fingers left over. Now, with more than 20 and new microbreweries popping up almost every month, it’s harder to keep track. And that’s why Miami Beer Week exists.
› New musical makes world premiere in Sarasota [Tampa Bay Times]
The creative team behind Ragtime is familiar with shows about life in America at the turn of the 20th century. It’s the setting for their hit show that opened on Broadway in 1998, and it’s the setting for a new musical they are debuting April 23 in Sarasota. Knoxville will have its world premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, reuniting the Tony Award-winning Ragtime team for the first time.
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› Pinellas influencer got 1.4 million TikTok followers cleaning local beaches. Now he wants your help. [Tampa Bay Times]
Caulin Donaldson likes to be on the sand before the sun rises. Every morning he wakes in his Redington Shores apartment at 6:30 and heads right to the beach, where he strolls in pursuit of junk. As the colors of the sky change and the world wakes up, he scoops up bottle caps, crushed beer cans, greasy food wrappers and handfuls of cigarette butts.
› New Pulse documentary highlights need for survivor support [Orlando Sentinel]
The Florida Film Festival played host to the world premiere of “Surviving Pulse: Life After a Mass Shooting,” a new documentary that not only tells the story of what happened on the night of the 2016 mass shooting, but also catches up with survivors and loved ones several years later, many of whom are still dealing with feelings of grief and PTSD related to the event.
› Naples homebuilder, soaking up demand, adds solar unit [Business Observer]
Kaye Lifestyle Homes recently launched solar home division. The Naples-based firm, in a statement, says it’s responding to “increased homebuyer requests for innovative building practices that address energy efficiency, sustainability and durability in new home construction.” Kaye Lifestyle Homes Operations Manager Ben Kaye was named to lead the new division.
› Sea turtle nesting season starts in May. Here's how to protect turtles and hatchlings. [Northwest Florida Daily News]
Beachgoers can take several steps to ensure the safety of sea turtles during the turtles’ nesting season that runs from May through October. “Up here, we’ll maybe get a nest in May but we don’t typically start seeing them nesting until closer to June,” Okaloosa County Coastal Resource Coordinator Jessica Valek said. Local beaches typically have 30 to 40 sea turtle nests each season, she said.