Forecasters predict Florida won't get break from hurricanes in 2023
With the official start of the 2023 hurricane season just over two months away, one of the first early predictions of what the season could bring has been released. And after a devastating 2022 season, Florida may not catch a break. AccuWeather forecasters predict the 2023 season will be a little less active than most seasons since 1995, but with about the same number of storms as seen in 2022. Forecasters predict two to four storms will impact the U.S. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Florida’s insurance help line open only 3 hours a day
Florida’s insurance consumer helpline is often the first resort for homeowners looking for help battling their insurance company. If they can reach it, that is. It’s only open three hours a day. The cutbacks to the call line, which used to operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., are the product of a surge in complaints against property insurance companies since Hurricane Ian and staffing shortages at the Department of Financial Services, which refuses to allow its employees to work remotely. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
DeSantis’ Reedy Creek board says Disney stripped its power
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handpicked board overseeing Disney World’s government services is gearing up for a potential legal battle over a 30-year development agreement they say effectively renders them powerless to manage the entertainment giant’s future growth in Central Florida. Ahead of an expected state takeover, the Walt Disney Co. quietly pushed through the pact and restrictive covenants that would tie the hands of future board members for decades, according to a legal presentation by the district’s lawyers on Wednesday. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Panhandle bridge transfer backed
A proposal that would move Northwest Florida’s Garcon Point Bridge into the state turnpike system is moving forward in both legislative chambers. The House Transportation & Modals Subcommittee unanimously backed the move Wednesday as part of a broad Department of Transportation bill (HB 1305), sponsored by Rep. Shane Abbott, R-DeFuniak Springs. The Santa Rosa County bridge was the subject of a long-running legal fight between bondholders and the state because the bridge did not generate enough toll revenue. More from the News Service of Florida.
Japan-America Society launching in Coral Gables
With the support of the Consul General of Japan in Miami, the Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida is set to be launched in Coral Gables. The nonprofit is dedicated to connecting Japan and South Florida through meaningful exchanges and programs in the educational, cultural, business and policy spheres. More from Miami Today.
Expanded Tampa Riverfest will return May 5-6 with new market, taco fest
For its seventh year, the Tampa Riverfest will celebrate the Riverwalk that took decades to create. The May celebration will expand this year to include a taco fest and a market of independent vendors, along with the return of the lighted lantern parade. The popular linear park was completed in 2014, connecting a series of parks along the Hillsborough River as well as restaurants and attractions such as the convention center, Tampa Bay History Center and Tampa Museum of Art in one pleasant stroll.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
New Miami Heat arena deal revealed: Software company matches FTX offer before crypto bust
The Miami Heat would play in the Kaseya Center under a proposed $117 million naming-rights agreement with a booming software company headquartered in the city’s Brickell Avenue district, according to a proposal released Wednesday evening by county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. If approved by Miami-Dade County commissioners next week, the 17-year agreement would mostly match the promised payments that fizzled from the arena’s prior sponsor, the FTX crypto exchange.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.