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Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Florida faces health insurance crisis as population spikes

Florida's population spike has pulled the state into a health insurance crisis as it grapples with a homeowners insurance crisis. The state is home to 22.6 million people, pressuring the health care industry with an aging population that has evolving health care needs. Between 2010 and 2022, Florida's population spiked by 18 percent, with adults age 60 to 69 forming the largest group of new residents. The population is expected to grow by nearly 300,000 annually over the next five years. More from Newsweek.

Ax-3 astronauts, SpaceX Dragon still awaiting Florida coastal splashdown

Ax-3, the first all-European crew of private astronauts at the International Space Station, continues an extended stay in low-Earth orbit amid unfavorable weather conditions at oceanic splashdown locations near the Florida coastline, SpaceX reported. Poor weather has postponed Ax-3's SpaceX Dragon capsule undocking-splashdown attempts Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. More from Florida Today.

Should you tip at a ventanita? How much at a hotel pool or beach? What to know in Miami

Do the waiters at your favorite restaurant rely on tips to make a living? What’s the “service charge” at the bottom of your bill, and who pockets it? And are you tipping well, or at all? Florida is one of the worst states for tipping, ranked 48. The rise of new technology has complicated consumer life. Tipping options pop up on the payment screen for you to make a quick decision at the coffeehouse and to-go counter. More from the Miami Herald.

Tampa's Project Dynamo joins 'Florida Volunteer Organizations Activated in Disasters'

Fearless volunteers are the foundation for the non-profit group, Project Dynamo. Based out of Tampa, the team has been mostly donor-funded since it formed in Bryan Stern's living room back in August 2021. Stern only expected the operation to last three to four weeks, but since has turned into a worldwide rescue mission. More from WTSP.

Orange County mayor wants to discuss raising the sales tax for transportation again

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings wants to give a sales tax to fund transportation another go. But based on the voters’ negative reaction last time around, it’s not clear if other politicians are willing to go along. In a memo to the board late last month, Demings said the transportation challenges around Orlando will only get worse without a dependable funding source to move the millions of annual visitors and the growing number of residents. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Life after lockup: Roofing CEO reflects on year in prison for PPP loan fraud

Casey Crowther, founder of Fort Myers-based Target Roofing, opens up about his experiences serving a little bit more than a year in federal prison after being convicted of PPP loan fraud conviction. Crowther says he knows he let people close to him down, which is why he says he knows he needs to prove himself every day.

» More from the Business Observer.


Natural Resources
Pollution taints even the most remote parts of Everglades, canoe journey reveals

One hundred and twenty five years ago, explorer Hugh Willoughby became the first non-Native American to cross the southern Everglades from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic. He traveled with a guide by canoe, and kept notes on water quality in his journal. In 2022, a group of adventurers, including University of Florida scientist Tracie Baker, canoed the very same extremely remote 130-mile path. Along the way, Baker took much more sophisticated water tests.

» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.