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Friday's Daily Pulse

Judge gives final approval to ‘remarkable’ $1 billion Surfside condo collapse settlement

One day before the one-year anniversary of the Surfside condominium collapse that killed 98 people, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman made his deadline and gave final approval to a $1 billion settlement of the second-largest class-action lawsuit in Florida history, which he praised in court on Thursday as “remarkable not only in terms of its size but for its speed.” More from WESH and the Miami Herald.

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of June 24th

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State of the market: Sales slow, prices rise as real estate market starts to shift

Closed sales have gone down in Florida, with more inventory coming back to the market, signaling a potential shift in what has been a two-year housing boom. “There is definitely a slow down, “said Patty Da Silva, real estate broker with Green Realty Properties in Cooper City. “It’s palpable. We have less visits and less offers. We don’t know if that means buyers are taking a little break or if this regrouping is part of a larger trend.” [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Ken Griffin moving hedge fund headquarters from Chicago to Miami

Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is moving his company’s headquarters from Chicago to Miami. In a note to employees Thursday, Griffin said his investment firm, Citadel, will relocate to new headquarters in Miami’s financial district after more than 30 years in Chicago. Citadel, which has about 1,000 employees in Chicago, will maintain an office in the city, but many are expected to shift with the corporate locus to the Sunshine State, where Griffin, a Florida native, recently moved with his family. More from the  Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal.

Darden Restaurants raises prices but keeps hikes below inflation rate

It’s costing diners more to eat at Olive Garden and other Darden Restaurants chains, but the Orlando-based company says it’s not raising prices to match inflation completely. The company said it was hit with 7.5% inflation during the quarter ending May 29. It raised prices an average of 6% as the business continued its strategy of strengthening its “value leadership position,” said CFO Raj Vennam during an earnings call Thursday. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› ‘I wanted to do more.’ Miami trauma surgeon went to Ukraine to work on war victims
A woman whose arm and leg were shattered from mine-like projectiles shot into her apartment. A young man whose face was nearly blown away by a rocket-propelled grenade. A man whose chest and liver were obliterated from a missile strike. These were among the cases that Dr. Enrique Ginzburg, trauma medical director at Jackson South Ryder Trauma Center, encountered on his recent trip to Ukraine, where he worked side by side with local physicians performing complex surgeries on victims of Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European country.

› Florida steakhouse says he's become a full-time chef who cooks 200 steaks a day due to the pressures of the labor shortage
A shortfall in staff at a Florida steakhouse has forced the owner to become a full-time chef in charge of cooking around 200 steaks a day. Jay Johnson, owner of Bubba's Roadhouse and Saloon in Cape Coral, told Insider in an interview that he's working eight-hour shifts seven days a week to cover for the gaps in his workforce. There should be 12 people working in the kitchen, but there are only nine.

› FAMU Marching 100 performs in Louis Vuitton Men’s Paris Fashion Show
FAMU’s Marching 100 performed in Paris during the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show on Thursday. Benji B, music director at Louis Vuitton Men’s, said this year’s show called for a marching band, and FAMU was an easy choice. “Authenticity is really at the center of everything we’re interested in,” Benji B said, according to a university press release. “We don’t reference things or emulate things. We go to the top, and that’s why we came to you.”

› Fraz Ahmed sworn in as new JBA president
Jacksonville Bar Association President Michael Fox Orr called the final meeting of the association’s 2021-22 Bar year to order June 15 at the Marriott Jacksonville Downtown. Orr presented the annual Professionalism Award to Kelli Lueckert, assistant county attorney for the Clay County Board of Commissioners and president of the Jacksonville Women Lawyer Association.

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› Pasco takes one step closer to banning retail sale of rabbits
The fluffy, long-eared icons of Easter are often victims of their own cuteness. For months now animal advocates have been working on Pasco County leaders to recognize that rabbits bought as pets more often than not are discarded, abandoned and mistreated. But this week Pasco County commissioners voted to add one layer of assistance that might begin to turn that around.

› Only 8% of households can afford a single-family home in Broward County
Only about 8% of households in Broward County can afford a single-family home at the median sale price, according to a new study. Based on spending the recommended 30% of income on housing, a home at the median sale price for Broward County, around $545,000, is far out of reach for almost all residents in South Florida, according to a preliminary assessment from researchers at Florida International University. Experts involved are concerned about the effects on the regions economy, particularly for workers in the hospitality and service sectors.

› Company ordered to pay in COVID-19 clinic case
A Leon County circuit judge this week ordered a company to pay more than $3.9 million in damages after the state Division of Emergency Management said the firm did not provide a mobile-health clinic for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge John Cooper on Tuesday issued what is known as a default judgment against Verity International, Ltd., for $3.917 million and also ordered it to pay $314,000 in interest.

› JaxPort completes improvements at Blount Island
The Jacksonville Port Authority announced June 23 completion of the final phase of $100 million in infrastructure improvements at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island. The last stage of the project, the rehabilitation of 700 linear feet of deepwater berthing space, was completed at the end of June in coordination with the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project completed in May.