Monday's Afternoon Update
Why are Florida gas prices surging?
With global demand up and refining capacity down, average gasoline prices have jumped 57 cents a gallon in Florida since the end-of-the year holidays. Florida motorists Monday were paying an average of $3.56 a gallon for regular unleaded gas, a nickel above the national average and 15 cents higher than a week ago, according to the AAA auto club. "It's unusual to see big gains like this in January, but global fundamentals have kept upward pressure on prices at the pump,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. More from the News Service of Florida, WFLA, and CBS Miami.
Live bombing in Ocala National Forest slated this week
Some parts of Central Florida can expect the occasional boom in the distance as live bombing is scheduled for Monday-Thursday in the Ocala National Forest. According to a statement on Naval Air Station Jacksonville’s website, the Navy has planned training exercises for both inert and live bombing at the Pinecastle Range Complex from 3-5 p.m. each of the four days. The Navy posts its bombing information on its website. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
‘The world is excited to return to Fort Lauderdale’ as aquatic center officially opens
It was a good day for Fort Lauderdale. The grand opening of the city’s brand new aquatic center brought locals, visitors, and Olympians of multiple generations together beneath the shadow of the tallest dive tower in the Western hemisphere Saturday morning to watch performances from titans such as Greg Louganis, one of the greatest divers of all time. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
NY billionaire talks about his St. Pete tower on visit
Nearly 15 months after a ceremonial groundbreaking event, the billionaire developer behind the $40 million Residence at 400 Central in St. Petersburg paid a visit to the city Jan. 28 to see the site of what’s expected to be the largest residential tower on the Gulf Coast. Rather than tussle with affordable housing protesters and glad hand with well-wishers at a staged event as he did in October 2021, this time John Catsimatidis Sr. held court at the tower’s sales office after filming a promotional video on the construction site to provide an update on the tower and to discuss his plans for St. Petersburg. More from the Business Observer.
Gainesville embarks on $2 million Boulware Springs restoration project
Boulware Springs for more than 100 years has been a vital resource for hundreds of thousands of gallons of the cleanest water stretching far beyond the city limits of Gainesville. The more than century-old pump station perched on a bluff overlooking Paynes Prairie has not aged well. These days, the industrial-style metal hip-roofed, masonry building sits unused and boarded up, a frequent target for graffiti artists. That's why city officials are now planning a $2 million restoration. More from the Gainesville Sun.
A Florida dairy farm lost 360 cows in Hurricane Ian. Can the damaged business survive?
Hurricane Ian inflicted more punishment on Dakin Dairy Farms than any other storm in history. Owner Jerry Dakin estimates the damage at $3 million, plus 360 cows lost during the storm. Four months after Ian, the hurricane’s calling cards can be seen on every acre with piles of twisted metal and missing roofs on cattle barns.
» More from the Miami Herald.
First Florida Vanlife Gathering coming to Central Florida
What was once a fringe movement has suddenly come into the mainstream thanks to Instagram, the pandemic, a lack of affordable housing and an itch to get outdoors. Van life has surged in popularity in the last several years and a Central Florida event aims to celebrate the culture and lifestyle of van dwelling. The first Florida Vanlife Gathering will be set up with hundreds of vans, product demonstrations and workshops Feb. 3-6 at Withlacoochee River Park near Dade City.
» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.