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Monday's Afternoon Update

New study projects sea level rise to drain Florida’s financial future

One million Florida properties are projected to become chronically flooded: properties that today fund nearly 30% of local revenues for more than half of the state’s municipalities, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Cornell and Florida State Universities. As sea level rise drowns those properties, the state can expect to lose a combined assessed value of $619 billion this century, the study’s authors write, and that figure’s likely a significant underestimation. More from WMFE.

Gasoline at a 3-month low in Florida, but will it last?

AAA said falling oil prices are behind the drop at the pump. However, conflicts like the war between Russia and Ukraine, and Israel and Hamas, could stall that trend. The auto giant also said that gas prices in Florida were at their lowest level in three months. The average cost for a gallon of gas in The Sunshine State fell another 15 cents last week, settling at $3.32 per gallon on Monday. More from WFTV and NBC Miami.

Orlando researchers are giving depressed, anxious people psychedelics

A growing number of clinical trials suggest single doses of psychedelics can have long-lasting impacts on the brain, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue “breakthrough therapy” designations to these drugs beginning in 2017. These treatments could have untapped potential for helping the estimated one in three people with treatment-resistant depression, meaning they have tried at least two different antidepressants that haven’t worked. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Besides fancy yachts and other vessels, luxury condo projects await visitors to Fort Lauderdale boat show

When marine enthusiasts and lifestyle-driven visitors arrive at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show a little more than a week from now, they’ll be greeted by a growing selection of luxury condominium projects that are destined to come on line in 2024 and beyond. It’s sort of a ritual that’s grown over the years as real estate developers seize the opportunity to grab the attention of out-of-town, high-earning visitors who are increasingly tempted to change addresses for reasons running from COVID-19 to lower taxes to a flat-out better lifestyle. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The staggering numbers behind Perry paper mill closing: 2,000 jobs, $10M in taxes lost

The November closing of the Foley Cellulose Mill in Perry will wreak economic havoc across the Big Bend and will cost Florida nearly 2,000 jobs and $9.9 million in state and local taxes, according to University of Florida economists. A report from the UF Institue of Food and Agricultural Science describes the paper mill along the Fenholloway River as the main economic driver for a county where one in five residents live below the poverty line. More from the Tallahassee Democrat.

Out of the Box
See a 1,500-pound pumpkin in Tampa— the largest in Florida

Bearss Groves is no stranger to gigantic gourds. The family farm stand has made harvesting enormous pumpkins a fall tradition. This year’s is the biggest yet: 1,500 pounds. “Bring your family, friends and pets to see the largest pumpkin in all of Florida up close and personal,” Bearss Groves posted on Facebook this week. “Photos are always free!”

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Fantasty fest

What started in 1979 as a way to gin up tourism during slow fall months has turned into a “10-day Halloween celebration for grown-ups in paradise.” The 2023 Key West Fantasy Fest’s theme — “Uniforms & Unicorns: 200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy” — salutes the bicentennial of the establishment of both Monroe County and Key West’s naval base.

» Read more from Florida Trend.