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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida lawmakers pitch radical idea to solve property insurance crisis

Instead of Floridians paying hurricane premiums to private, for-profit insurers, they could be covered by the state-run Citizens Property Insurance, and probably for cheaper. Private insurance companies would still provide coverage for fire, theft and other damage — and even wind coverage, if they wanted, Roach and Cassel said. But if Floridians pooled their hurricane premiums, Florida could break its boom-and-bust cycle of insurance failures triggered by storms since 1992′s Hurricane Andrew. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Defamation changes move through Florida House, Senate panels

Senate and House panels this week approved bills that would make major changes to the state’s defamation laws, potentially exposing news media organizations to increased liability and addressing the use of artificial intelligence to portray people in a false light. The bills could make it easier for public figures to sue journalists who rely on anonymous sources for information that turns out to be false. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida leads U.S. again in number of shark attacks. See what 2023 report had to say

It's official. Florida is No. 1 in the United States when it comes to shark bites. Not only that, but the U.S. leads world again in the number of unprovoked shark bites in 2023, according to the The Florida Museum of Natural History. The museum compiles an annual report known as the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, which is a scientific database of global shark attacks. More from Florida Today, Click Orlando, and USA Today]

Single women are winning real estate in Florida

Single women own more homes than single men in Florida — and overall homeownership is now majority female. Florida has the fifth-largest share of single-women homeowners in the nation, according to LendingTree. Census data show that more than 14.5% of homes in Florida are owned by single women, compared to about 10% by single men. [Source: Axios]

Billions of cicadas will emerge this spring. What does that mean in Florida?

Cicadas, the winged, red-eyed critters you hear chirping outside your window on hot summer days, are going to be even more abundant this year. Researchers are predicting a rare cicada emergence that will culminate in billions of bugs leaving their cocoon-like shells for trees and grasses across the Southeast. Two generations — or what scientists call broods — of cicadas will emerge together at the same time and in close proximity for the first time in more than 200 years. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Should Tallahassee city commissioners make more money? Charter Review Committee debates
The city’s Charter Review Committee debated the pros and cons of expanding the ranks of the city commission — an issue that’s already sparked partisan battle lines — during its third meeting. The CRC also discussed the possibility of paying city commissioners more money, moving city commission elections with only two candidates from the August primary to the November general election and requiring periodic reviews of the charter, the city’s governing “constitution.”

› Norwegian Cruise Line joining Carnival at Jacksonville port
Norwegian Cruise Line is on its way to Jacksonville in 2025, giving cruise travelers boarding here a second option for their tropical voyages. The ship called the "Norwegian Gem" would depart from Jacksonville between November and April every year through 2028 if the JaxPort board approves the agreement.

› Broward teachers could get average 3.96% raises after months of negotiations
Broward teachers would get an average 3.96% annual raise, on top of referendum dollars they’ve already gotten, under a tentative agreement. The agreement was reached Monday between the Broward Teachers Union and the school district after months of contentious negotiations. It still must be approved by a vote of teachers and the School Board to take effect.

› Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando names new CEO
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando — the region's third-largest chamber — has a new president and CEO, but its last leader, Gaby Ortigoni, is not going far. Pedro Turushina took the top spot on Feb. 1, with the change announced during the chamber's Feb. 6 Ignite Luncheon.

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› Miami and Orlando among top 10 cities for business travel in new report
Two world-famous cities in Florida known for leisure were named two of the best ciies for business travel. A report published this week ranked Orlando as the third-best city in the country for business travel. Miami finished in seventh place, and both cities moved two places higher in the rankings than their pre-pandemic rankings in 2019, when Orlando took 5th place, and Miami was in 9th place.

› Miccosukee Tribe seeks to end oil rights for Collier Resources Co.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Big Cypress National Preserve. It also marks the peaking of efforts by the Miccosukee Tribe to end oil drilling and pumping in the Everglades. When the federal government bought more than 700,000 acres from the descendants of Barron Collier in 1974 in creating the preserve, the deal allowed for the Tribe to live off some of that land in the form of fishing, hunting and ecotourism, including airboat tours. However, Collier Resources Co. maintained the mineral rights, which included two oil wells that already had been drilled and a third that since was drilled.

› New public trolley service will take SRQ visitors directly to downtown
Visitors flying into Sarasota can leave the rental car behind from the end of this week onward, thanks to a new airport transit initiative. Breeze Transit will introduce a new trolley, the 76 Flyer, from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport to downtown Sarasota on Friday. Local officials say it is part of the county’s continuing effort to bolster public transportation and enhance the tourist experience.

› Gaming company will close Miami factory, lay off 55 employees
Corsair Gaming will shut down its Origin PC factory in Miami as it moves more of its manufacturing to Georgia. The California-based firm, a maker of high performance video gaming gear, will lay off 55 employees at its facility located at 12400 SW 134th Court, Suite 8, Miami, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice filed in Florida.