Friday, June 21, 2024

Top Stories

Article Icon 1 Citizens Approves a 14% Rate Hike 

More than 1.2 million customers across Florida could face double-digit rate increases in their house insurance policies from a rate hike proposed by the state’s largest insurer.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is proposing an average increase of 14%, the company’s biggest average rate hike and only the second double-digit rate hike in the company’s history. It would take effect in 2025.

Run by the state, Citizens is known as the “insurer of last resort,” but it’s also the largest insurer in Florida.

According to Citizens’ projections, average premiums would jump $699 in Miami-Dade, $670 in Palm Beach, and $360 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. State insurance regulators still need to give final approval.

Article Icon 1 Bomb Threats Hit Dozens of Synagogues 

More than 50 Jewish synagogues across the state received bomb threats on Tuesday, resulting in evacuations and the arrest of a Boca Raton man, officials reported.

Authorities say anti-Semitic incidents have increased dramatically since Hamas attacked Israel in October, with 463 anti-Semitic incidents reported in Florida in 2023.

Bomb squad sweeps were conducted at the synagogues and no threats were found. Several local and state agencies are now investigating.

Article Icon 1 Schools Wrestle with Artificial Intelligence

Seminole County is the latest among a growing number of counties in Florida where school districts are planning to restrict Artificial Intelligence from being used by students.

Schools in counties such as Orange, Osceola, and Volusia have either blocked AI tools from their campuses or implemented strict policies and consequences for its use.  County details are here.

survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that most teachers are uncertain or concerned about the downsides of AI in K-12 education.

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Around Florida
South Florida

Collier County: Tourism revenue has increased by 12.7% since the start of the fiscal year in October, based on a report from the local visitors’ bureau. Records show that 6.79 million visitors spent $1.94 million, with most coming from the Midwest and Northeast. (More)

LaBelle: Eight first responders were hospitalized on Wednesday after encountering a toxic substance while responding to a hazmat situation at a stolen mobile home. (See Details)

Miami-Dade County: Financial Advisors have recommended the county choose JP Morgan Chase over two other bidders to finance $210 million worth of county electric bus purchases. (More)

Central Florida

Port Tampa Bay commissioners approved a half-million-dollar contract to plan a fourth cruise terminal. The plan could amount to an $80 million investment, with potential funding coming from grants, private investors, and other sources. (More)

St. Pete ranked as the best-run city in Florida, and #36 overall, according to a new WalletHub report listing the top 148 cities nationwide. Seven other Florida cities made the list. (See Complete List)

North Florida

The City of Jacksonville and the Fraternal Order of Police reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, including a 13% raise for police officers and a 15% increase for corrections officers. (More)

Mayport: Global shark-tracking organization Ocearch partnered with Jacksonville University to build a headquarters combining lab space for marine science research with museum-style displays for the public. (More)

The Panhandle

Panama City Port Authority announced an $11 million expansion project at the East Terminal that includes a new warehouse, an upgraded bulkhead, and an extension of the rail yard. (More)

Jackson County Commissioners approved a controversial ordinance Tuesday by a 3-2 vote that dropped the restrictions on mobile and manufactured homes in Compass Lake in the Hills subdivision. (More)

Texas Sports

➤ The Marlins won a walk-off victory against the Cardinals for the second straight day to clinch the series win. Otto Lopez hit the game-winning 1-run single. (See Video)

Florida Gator hitting star Jac Caglianone became the Gators’ all-time home run king when he hit his 75th career home run against Kentucky on Wednesday. (See Video)

Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium and Orlando’s Inter&Co Stadium will host games for the international soccer tournament Copa America. The first game in Florida will be on June 23rd, and the final will be played at Hard Rock Stadium on July 14th. (Match Schedule)

Yesterday’s Results: MLB | WNBA | MLS

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The Business Of Texas

Childcare tax credits will be offered to businesses in Florida starting July 1. According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, child-care issues are the top reason Floridians are leaving the workforce or changing jobs. (More)

 Tampa-based oil shipper Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) moved forward this week with a buyout offer from Saltchuk Resources in a $480 million deal. Saltchuk is the largest privately held company in Washington and OSG’s largest shareholder. (More)

 Maritime company MSC Group paid $67 million for an office in Miami. The Swiss company plans to open its North American headquarters in Overtown. (More)

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Et Cetera

Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean this week about seven miles off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. (More)

A Florida woman filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld, alleging she was injured when another person crashed into her on a water slide at Aquatica last summer. She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. (More)

Rich Uncle Pennybags is headed to Ft. Lauderdale, the latest city chosen for Monopoly’s new city edition board game, to be released in early 2025. Tampa’s version was released earlier this year. (More)

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The Polling Station

Have you ever visited Everglades National Park?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Thursday’s Results:

Do you take beach vacations?

    1. Yes: 45.3%
    2. No: 54.7%
Texas Trivia

Which Florida town is the spring training home of the New York Mets?

Show me the answer

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