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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Tropical system heading toward Caribbean is likely to become hurricane, with Florida in its long-term path

A tropical wave emerging in the Atlantic has a high chance of becoming a hurricane in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service Miami. In the next week, several long-term weather forecast models show the system turning north, passing over Cuba, and heading towards Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. “It looks like it’s going to end up being a major hurricane,” said Will Redman, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Miami. Redman said the current path shows the storm’s center anywhere between the west coast of Florida and New Orleans, while the area facing the brunt of the hurricane’s force would likely be the Florida Panhandle. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Florida Today.

Citizens insurance’s ‘roller coaster ride’ gets even wilder

Barry Gilway, president and CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., said Wednesday the state-backed insurer has been a “roller coaster ride” for the past two decades. Right now, it is continuing to pick up speed. Citizens last week reached 1.055 million policies — more than double the number two years ago — as private insurers drop customers to try to curb financial losses. Meanwhile, the industry continues to grapple with underlying problems, including costs of critical reinsurance and large amounts of claims-related litigation. [Source: News Service of Florida]

More women registering to vote in Florida following Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

As we close in on the midterm elections, it looks like more women are registering to vote. Political watchers think it might be a consequence of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The abortion issue has sparked demonstrations, but perhaps of greater consequence, it has more women registering to vote. In just the first month after that June 24 ruling, records show Florida added 87,000 people to its voter rolls — that’s a 22% increase over the same period last year. Of those, 49.6% are women and 46% are men. The rest didn’t specify. [Source: WTSP]

Florida has become the budget-friendly Amazon for anglers

There is a running joke that goes like this: If there’s a jungle fish you want to catch and it doesn’t live in Florida, just wait longer and it will. There’s some truth to this. There are bullseye snakeheads, a fish you’d have had to fly to Southeast Asia to catch before they invaded Florida. There are clown knifefish, native to Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, popping up. Florida is the only place outside of Australia where you can catch barramundi, albeit at a pay lake, not in the wild. [Source: Outdoor Life]

NASA works through new leak for Artemis I tanking test ahead of potential launch next week

NASA began its tanking test of the Space Launch System core and upper stage Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center that could pave the way for the Artemis I launch to the moon next week, but a new leak in a fuel line yet again gave NASA headaches. The test at Launch Pad 39-B looks to make sure repairs to fuel lines made since a scrub on Sept. 3 can support the more than 730,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that needs to flow into the core stage as well as the upper Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage of SLS. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Black farmer chosen for Florida medical marijuana license
The owner of a Suwanee County farm is in line to be the state’s newest medical-marijuana operator, beating out 11 other applicants competing for a license earmarked for a Black farmer with ties to Florida. The state Department of Health on Tuesday announced it had issued a written notice of intent to approve a medical-marijuana license for Terry Donnell Gwinn, setting the stage for what could be protracted litigation over the sought-after opportunity to join the medical-pot industry.

› Hillsborough to consider regulating rabbit sales
A ban on retail sales of pet rabbits could be hopping into Hillsborough County. Hillsborough County commissioners agreed unanimously Wednesday with Commissioner Pat Kemp to obtain similar ordinances from other Florida locales “that we can use to regulate rabbit sales.” New rules could include banning the retail sale of rabbits unless the animals are sterilized and come from a shelter or rescue group.

› To raise money, Miami looks at billboards in downtown parks
The City of Miami boasts two large waterfront parks, attracting scores of tourists and residents to the shore of Biscayne Bay. This week the city commission is to consider allowing billboards in those parks. On the agenda for the commission’s meeting today (9/22) is the first reading of an ordinance that would allow outdoor advertising signs at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., and Maurice A. Ferré Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd.

› Construction slowdown will worsen Orlando’s housing pain
As Orlando’s hot housing market begins to cool, construction of new homes and apartments has slowed, which is bad news for the critically short supply of housing. Nationally, single-family housing starts were down 10% in July from June, according to the Census Bureau. A survey from the National Association of HomeBuilders showed that more than half of U.S. builders believe market conditions for new construction are poor.

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› Disney’s ‘blue sky’ ideas keep fans guessing on parks’ plans
Sometime in the next decade, Disney World visitors could venture into Maleficent’s castle or sit down for a meal in the village of Santa Cecilia from Pixar’s 2017 film “Coco” — but Disney could also scrap plans long before the first guest sets foot inside. In an unusual move for the company, Disney executives pitched early-concept, or “blue sky,” prospective additions to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks during the D23 fan expo in California earlier this month.

› Port Tampa Bay increasing parking fees, tariffs on cruise passengers
Port Tampa Bay will raise tariffs on more than a dozen services over the next few years, including fees on parking, cruise ships and passengers. Port commissioners on Tuesday approved the 13 tariff hikes — the most in one year since 2014 — following an annual review of its finances and fees at other ports around the Gulf Coast and Southeast.

› JAA negotiating with Scannell Properties to build $26 million Boeing facility
Scannell Properties is seeking to build a $26 million component repair, maintenance and warehouse facility at Cecil Airport for The Boeing Co. Scannell would lease the property from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. Approval of a ground lease for 18.3 acres to Scannell is on the JAA board’s Sept. 26 meeting agenda, which was circulated Sept. 20.

› Fort Lauderdale’s legendary pools by the beach reopen after a 3-year makeover
Most of you have heard about Fort Lauderdale’s famous dive tower by now. But the 27-meter platform — the tallest in the western hemisphere at nearly nine stories — is just part of the big news. Last week, the city reopened the pools at its Aquatic Center, recently renovated to the tune of $47 million. It was a long wait. The pools — just south of East Las Olas Boulevard and a block from the beach at 501 Seabreeze Blvd. — closed in April 2019. But they opened right on time in mid-September.