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Thursday's Afternoon Update

As many as 11,730 manatees remain in Florida, despite famine from seagrass loss

Sea cows seem to be fending off famine, at least as an overall population. Despite recent years of starvation, there were as many as 11,730 manatees in Florida last year, only one year after a record 1,100 sea cows died, according to a new report. But researchers warn that the data is too uncertain to read population trends. More from Florida Today.

See also:
» Conservationists call to put Florida manatees back on endangered species list as population rapidly declines

Not everyone happy as Citizens Insurance’s ‘depopulation’ drives decline of policies

Thanks to its depopulation efforts, state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. saw its first month-to-month policy-count decline in years between September and October. While that news is soothing to lawmakers and insurance regulators in Tallahassee who are eager to reduce the company’s size, it’s not exactly welcomed by many of the policyholders who felt they had no choice but accept offers from private-market insurers at costs projected to rise by up to 20% over the projected renewal cost of their Citizens policies. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Florida bill would bring back healthy food program for 'food deserts'

A new bill has been filed in the Florida Legislature to possibly expand the state’s ability to help provide nutritious food to Floridians and eliminate so-called food deserts. Senate Bill 112 sponsored by state Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, and would relaunch the Healthy Food Financing Initiative Program, created in 2016 by lawmakers to provide financial assistance to grocery retail outlets in low-income and low-access communities. More from the Center Square.

Florida gives anglers new way to log their record-breaking fish while still promoting catch-and-release

Catching a fish so big it’s a state record is a dream of many an angler. Until now, that meant weighing and usually killing the fish, but next year the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is launching three new categories, including adult and youth categories for catch-and-release length records. All told, there will be five state record categories. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Jeff Bezos’ superyacht is in Florida. It’s so big it has to anchor at a seaport.

South Florida, meet The Koru. That’s the name of Jeff Bezos’ colossal yacht that just dropped anchor in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The word means “new beginnings” in Maori, the language spoken by indigenous Polynesians of mainland New Zealand, where the Amazon founder’s private jet was spotted in 2020. More from the Tama Bay Times.

When the diagnosis is positive, Baptist Health Cancer Care has the experts.

Not every lump or bump is cancer, but when it is, Baptist Health Cancer Care offers a wide range of services from genetic testing and counseling to the most advanced surgical and reconstruction techniques. Clinical trials, rehabilitation and support services for survivors are all part of the comprehensive program. [Sponsored report]

In Memoriam
Author Tim Dorsey, who crafted novels tapping the weirdness of Florida, dies at 62

Tim Dorsey, author of 26 popular novels about a unique Florida Man named Serge Storms, has died at age 62. In interviews, Dorsey credited his journalism career as a rich source for his fiction, providing both his encyclopedic knowledge of Florida lore and his familiarity with bizarre crimes. He was a political reporter, copy editor and night metro editor at the Tribune before leaving in 1999, one day after his first book was published.

» More from the Miami Herald and the AP.


Out of the Box
Trash Wolf prowls the streets of Tampa Bay. Who is he?

There’s a litter problem on 34th Street. Look along the busy roadway and you’ll see the detritus blowing around: plastic bags, crushed beer cans and limp cardboard, cigarette butts sprinkled as far as the eye can see. This is where to find Trash Wolf in his natural habitat.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.