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Thursday's Daily Pulse

There’s a new invasive mosquito species in Florida. Will this one spread disease?

An invasive mosquito with a curved mouth and a striped body is the latest addition to a growing list of nonnative mosquito species bridging the gap between the tropics and Florida. Scientists aren’t sure yet whether this particular species will help spread diseases to humans, but they do know it comes from the same group of mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. More from the  Tampa Bay Times, WFTV, Florida Today and Action News Jax.

Florida’s newest doctors choose primary care and psychiatry, shun emergency medicine  

Florida’s newest batch of medical school graduates want to become internists, psychiatrists and other higher-paying specialties. What few want to become are emergency medicine doctors, one of the most needed jobs in Florida. Nationally, in this year’s match day on March 17, when medical school graduates are assigned to hospitals that will train them, 555 positions in emergency medicine went unfilled, more than double the 219 unfilled positions last year. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida NAACP calls for travel advisory amid political tensions

The NAACP Florida Chapter wants its national board to issue a travel advisory to anyone planning to visit the state in light of recent proposals targeting diversity and racial issues. At the organization’s state conference on Saturday in Orlando, members proposed asking the national board to issue a travel advisory — especially for people of color. When the vote came back unanimously, Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis said she felt relief. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Business owners learn to be nimble to manage financial impact of red tide blooms

Shelton Weeks, a professor of real estate at the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University, says bad blooms affect tourism. “When we have these extended blooms that are severe and stretch a significant distance up and down the coast they become not just local stories, but national stories. And that has a direct impact on the number of visitors that will come to South Florida,” said Weeks. The professor is helping to lead research of the impact these blooms have on tourism by comparing state data on red tide levels and numbers from Lee County’s visitor and convention bureau. That research is ongoing. [Source: WGCU]

Florida DCF looks to take over child protection investigations amid turnover, vacancy surge

Investigations into child abuse, abandonment and neglect in some Florida counties may soon be handled by the state’s Department of Children and Families, an agency that’s been suffering surging turnover and vacancy rates for years. DCF leads child protection investigations in 60 of Florida’s 67 counties. The local sheriff’s offices in the other counties – Seminole, Walton, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Broward – have managed their own such investigations for the last 20 years. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Disney to host gay rights summit in Orlando
The Walt Disney Co. will host a major conference promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the workplace in Central Florida this September, gathering executives and professionals from the world’s largest companies in a defiant display of the limits of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign against diversity training.

› Italy opens cultural institute in Coral Gables
Italy has launched its latest Italian Cultural Institute in Coral Gables. The new cultural institute at 209 Altara Ave., one of six in the US, is set to showcase the best of Italy in culture, design, style and manufacturing, said Maeci Mariangela Zappia, ambassador of Italy to the US.

› Jacksonville-based Jax Federal Credit Union rebranding as RadiFi Credit Union
Jax Federal Credit Union announced that it is changing its name and brand to RadiFi Credit Union on March 29. The Jacksonville-headquartered credit union recently sent a letter to members unveiling the new name and logo with intentions to implement the changes through the spring and summer. This rebrand is the first in the credit union’s 88-year history.

› Achoo! Sarasota leads in worst places for allergies, new study shows
Spring has sprung and so has allergy season. A new study shows that Sarasota leads the country in the most challenging places to live with allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has conducted the Allergy Capitals study since 2003 to explore which cities were the worst when it comes to perpetual runny noses and watery eyes. The study looks at tree, grass, and weed pollen scores, over-the-county allergy medicine use, and availability of board-certified allergists.

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› Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returns to Tampa, without animals
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey is bringing back The Greatest Show on Earth, without animals. An outcry over animal cruelty, and financial hardships, forced the circus to disband in 2017. The new all-human show features acts including Triangular Highwire, Criss-Cross Flying Trapeze, double wheel, Extreme Box Jump Trampoline, hand-to-hand balance acts, acro sports, original Teeterboard combinations and a physical comedy troupe.

› Brevard Zoo voted top zoo in Florida, No. 3 in North America
Brevard Zoo has been voted the No. 3 zoo in North America by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards. A panel of travel experts worked with 10Best’s editorial team to choose the nominees for each category, and the winners were decided by popular vote. This is the fourth year Brevard Zoo was nominated as one of the best zoos in North America, and the first year the zoo has placed in the top three.

› To ease rent crisis, Miami looks to co-living development zones
After gaining notoriety as the center of the housing crisis in the US, Miami is looking to co-living developments to calm soaring rent prices. Today (3/23), the Miami City Commission is considering changes to the zoning code to establish regulations regarding co-living. If adopted, the amendment will allow for communal living developments to rise in Miami’s bustling central business district, health district and Wynwood.

› Futurist and author Brett King to speak at FSCJ fintech forum
Author Brett King is the keynote speaker for Florida State College at Jacksonville’s “FinTech Forum: Emerging Trends in the FinTech Space” on March 30. King will discuss blockchain, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency at 9 a.m. in Auditorium F-128 at FSCJ’s Kent Campus at 3939 Roosevelt Blvd.