Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Florida unemployment rate still below national average

Florida’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the nation and continues to outpace some of the most populated states. The Sunshine State’s unemployment rate in October was almost unchanged from September, with a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.8%, up slightly by 0.2% since May, ranking 11th in the nation, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More from the Center Square.

Final U.S. OK will bring Tri-Rail to downtown Miami in December

Long-awaited Tri-Rail service into Downtown Miami is still expected this year, and a proposed operating schedule is being reviewed by all involved as final federal approval is awaited. The $70 million, tax-funded project originally was on the schedule for a 2017 arrival. But the teen years came and went, as did the early 2020s. More from Miami Today.

Orange County may inherit a $400,000 debt to the state if it accepts onePulse land

Orange County may be on the hook to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds if it inherits property from the soon-to-be dissolved onePulse Foundation, county commissioners were told Tuesday in the latest messy revelation from the struggling effort to memorialize the Pulse nightclub tragedy. The organization is seeking to hand over a 1.7-acre property at 438 Kaley Street once intended for a museum honoring victims and telling the story of the 2016 massacre. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

In Clearwater, Michael Jackson’s test photos from ‘Thriller’ are up for auction

Fans of Michael Jackson will wanna be startin’ the bidding on some rare items at Blackwell Auctions in Clearwater on Dec. 9. The auction house will offer a group of original Polaroid test shots from the 1982 photo shoot for Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” LP, as well as the Hasselblad camera that took the photos. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

State lawmakers field big-dollar requests. Here are top 10 for Jacksonville area.

Mayor Donna Deegan's pursuit of $63 million for two riverfront parks in downtown Jacksonville tops the list of big-dollar requests that state lawmakers will consider in their upcoming session. The University of North Florida also has a big ask. It's in the hunt for about $40 million in state money for a new student support and academic building. More from the Florida Times-Union.

A career worth talking about

As an actress, you may not know Mauriett Chayeb’s face. But you - or your kids, actually - might know her voice. Mauriett has brought to life characters in such U.S. and international animated TV shows and movies as Anpanman, Topo Gigio, Space Dogs 3: Tropical Adventure, Treasure Trekkers, and Japanese anime series, Detective Conan Case Closed. Her latest - Goodbye Monster - was released in September. [Sponsored report]

Plant City’s summer was record hot. What could that mean for strawberries?

While communities across the Tampa Bay area broke heat records this summer, Plant City incinerated them. For nine infernal days in August, for instance, temperatures sizzled between 103 and 104 degrees — the hottest in the city’s recorded history. If temperatures continue to rise and Plant City endures longer and hotter summers like this year’s, the last of the town’s precious crop â?• strawberries â?• may have to be grown somewhere else.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Out of the Box
Staring into the eyes of a king cobra was required, so Florida lab took drastic steps

King cobras are highly venomous, so it’s nothing short of suicidal to sit inches from one’s face, staring into its eyes. Yet that’s what was required when a 10-foot long cobra ended up blindfolded by its shedding skin, according to reptile experts in Northeast Florida. The large snake lives at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, and a risky mission to uncover its eyes was mounted by the University of Florida’s College of Zoological Medicine.

» Read more from the Miami Herald.