Monday, July 1, 2024

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Article Icon 1State Sets July Sales Tax Holiday

A sales tax holiday dubbed Florida’s Freedom Month starts today, allowing shoppers to avoid paying sales tax on a wide range of recreational items and activities throughout July.

Eligible items include electric scooters, boating, fishing, and camping supplies, pool chemicals, and tickets purchased for live music events, sporting events, fairs, festivals, theater performances, and movies.

The state offered the tax holiday for three months last year, but it will be limited to July this year as part of a tax package signed into law in May.

Article Icon 1New Laws Include Jimmy Buffett Highway

The list of more than 185 laws taking effect today grew last week as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed several bills concerning highway designations, state statutes regarding sovereign immunity, and specialty license plates.

State Highway A1A along Florida’s east coast was designated as Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway. The coastal highway runs from Key West to the Georgia border and will celebrate the singer in 13 Florida counties.

Another law added specialty license plates to the growing list of 150 available in the state. Margaritaville, The Villages, Universal, and several other plates will become available in October for $15 to $25 annually.

Article Icon 1 Panthers Parade in South Florida

The Panthers Parade of Champions on Sunday kicked off with a peal of trumpets and a rally on Fort Lauderdale beach despite heavy rain. You can watch the fun here.

Thousands lined the streets and cheered for the hockey team that last week won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. 

Visitors from around the U.S. and Canada have poured into the area since the final game. Red jerseys dominated crowds all weekend, with fans filling hotels and bars.

Celebrations were big and small. Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven got in on the excitement by constructing a 4,000-piece Lego mini replica display of the team.

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Around Florida
South Florida

 The most severely wounded survivor of the 2018 Parkland school massacre was awarded ownership of the shooter’s name in an unusual lawsuit settlement last week. (See What it Means)

Miami: City commissioners voted Thursday to increase the cap on garbage fees by 15.8%, opening the door for increased trash collection fees for the first time in 14 years. The increase offsets a $20 million deficit in the garbage services department. (More)

Central Florida

Tampa: City council members voted to give themselves a nearly 40% raise on Thursday, hiking their salaries to more than $75,000. The raise will take effect in the next fiscal year. (More)

Space Coast: On Friday, NASA announced another delay for the return of the crewed Boeing Starliner. It will stay at the space station longer for more troubleshooting, with no date given for when the astronauts will return. (See Photo)

North Florida

Jacksonville: City officials are reviewing a $90 million construction project to develop the Boeing South Yard at Cecil Airport, adding a four-bay hangar building for KC-46A aircraft used to refuel military planes. (More)

St. Augustine was selected on Friday to be the home of the new Florida Museum of Black History by a state task force. The recommendation will be given to the governor’s office today for final approval. (More)

The Panhandle

 Pensacola: Breeze Airways now offers nonstop flights from Tampa to Pensacola for $49 one-way. The airline also announced service from Tampa International Airport to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, will start Oct. 18. (More)

Bay County: Transportation officials plan to reconstruct portions of State Road 20 from State Road 79 to U.S. 231 to accommodate the growing number of motorists. The project is undergoing a Project Development & Environmental study. (More)

Texas Sports

➤ Yandy Diaz’s hit streak has come to an end after an 0-for-4 performance during an 8-1 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 20-game hit streak is a new Tampa Bay Rays franchise record. (More)

 The Florida Panthers had their championship parade delayed by 40 minutes due to bad weather yesterday. Even amid the rain, plenty of Panthers fans showed up in great spirits for the celebration. (See video)

Miami Heat center Bam Abedayo is reportedly going to sign a 3-year $166 million extension to remain with the Heat. Abedayo has two years left on his current deal, meaning he would stay with the Heat through the 2028-2029 NBA season. (More)

Yesterday’s Results: MLB | Copa América | LPGA | NASCAR | PGA | WNBA

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The Business Of Texas

Orlando-based Cole Engineering was one of several tech firms raided by military investigators on Friday. The company focuses on modeling and simulation work for the armed forces. (More)

 Amazon will soon open a one-million-square-foot warehouse in Port St. Lucie, bringing 1,000 full-time jobs with hiring starting today. (Video)

Lee Vista Business Center next to Orlando International Airport was sold last week for $120 million to a real estate developer in the Orlando market’s largest industrial transaction of the year. (More)

 Boca Raton, North Miami, Bonita Springs, and Orlando were listed as having the best real estate investments in the state in a ranking last week by GOBankingRates. (See Why)

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Et Cetera

A man was injured on Friday in the latest shark attack while fishing on a boat off Fernandina Beach near Jacksonville. He’s in critical condition but expected to recover. (More)

Forbes ranked Jacksonville as the worst city in the U.S. for summer travel last week. Tampa and Miami also made the top 10. (Here’s Why)

 Bottles named for Biblical Kings, weighing 83 pounds and holding the same amount of wine as 20 standard bottles, will start being sold today by Florida wine sellers. (See Photo)

 A 10-month-old female capybara arrived at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society as part of a breeding program for the large South American rodents. (See Video)

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The Polling Station

Would you like to see Governor Ron DeSantis be the Vice President pick?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Friday’s Results:

Have you ever visited a Buc-ee’s gas station?

    1. Yes: 53.2%
    2. No: 46.8%
Texas Trivia

Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish fort in St. Augustine, is one of the few structures in the world built from what semi-rare type of stone?

Show me the answer

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