Monday, June 17, 2024

Top Stories

Article Icon 1Record Donation to Florida A&M Under Investigation

A $237 million donation to Florida A&M in Tallahassee has been stalled following public backlash over whether the donation was properly vetted.

What would have been the largest-ever private gift to a Black college or university was pledged last month by Gregory Gerami, a 30-year-old donor who listed himself as Texas’ “youngest African American industrial hemp producer.”

The donation was in company stock that wasn’t independently evaluated. In response, university trustees now approved an outside investigation into the gift and a FAMU officer resigned from her senior post.

Article Icon 1 Florida Ranks No. 2 in Gun Sales

Texas, Florida, and California lead the nation in total gun sales, accounting for 22% of guns sold in 2024 to date, according to analysis of data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Americans bought almost 5.5 million firearms in the first four months of 2024. Nearly half a million of those were sold in Florida, where a law to allow permitless concealed carry was passed in March 2023.

Florida saw gun sales go up 1% last year and is one of only four states in the country to see an increase. 

Article Icon 1 $350 Million in Federal Funding for Energy Upgrades

Governor Ron DeSantis accepted nearly $350 million to improve residents’ energy efficiency through the federal Inflation Reduction Act.

This funding is part of an $8.8 billion package at the federal level for states to help families get their energy bills under control. Last year, DeSantis vetoed the money the legislature had requested to implement the program.

Some Florida households will get discounts for efficiency upgrades that could save at least 20% of the home’s energy use, and get back between $2,000 and $4,000 for buying energy-efficient appliances or weatherizing their homes.

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Around Florida
South Florida

 The number of South Florida condos for sale has more than doubled since the first quarter of last year due to rising insurance costs or repair fees. (Get the Details)

Cutler Bay: Pinnacle, a Miami-based developer, secured $50 million to build 120 workforce housing units at the Old Cutler Village Apartments. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2025. (More)

Central Florida

Sarasota: Congressman Greg Steube introduced a bill to rename the immediate waters surrounding the U.S., called the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, after former President Donald Trump. (More)

St. Pete: A new $1.3 billion Tampa Bay Rays baseball stadium received preliminary approval by the City Council on Thursday, with a final vote set for July. The enclosed stadium will be the most intimate in Major League Baseball with a capacity of 30,000. (See Renderings)

North Florida

Jacksonville: PureCycle moved its headquarters to Jacksonville from Orlando. The company holds a patent on technology that transforms plastic waste into a renewable resource. (More)

Local leaders are looking for ways to fund their projects after millions in funding were vetoed from the state budget. Unfunded projects include the new High Springs Police Department building and the Newberry Veterans Memorial. (See Full List)

The Panhandle

Leon County’s post offices lack oversight and have poor conditions, according to an audit from the Postal Service’s Inspector General. Rep. Neal Dunn ordered a comprehensive investigation. (More)

Panama City: The Florida Commission on Ethics found probable cause behind two complaints filed against Mayor “Doc” Rohan. He can choose to have a full evidentiary hearing, or work with an advocate on a stipulated agreement. (See Video)

Texas Sports

➤ The Florida Panthers lost 8-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Panthers maintain a three-game advantage going into game five on Tuesday. (More)

The Florida State Seminoles won 7-3 against Virginia on Sunday in the NCAA Baseball College World Series. The Florida Gators play NC State today after losing to Texas A&M on Sunday. (See Bracket)

The U.S. national cricket team has South Florida weather to thank for it advancing to the next round in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Officials called off the game due to heavy rain, automatically advancing the U.S. team. (More)

NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 will now be covered by Fox Sports. The network acquired the rights to broadcast the IndyCar racing series starting in 2025. (More)  

Yesterday’s Results: MLB NHL WNBA 

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The Business Of Texas

Boynton Beach: Egret Point Logistics Center, a new 457,000-square-foot joint venture between Orlando-based Foundry Commercial and Wheelock Street Capital, secured $52.3 million to build the project. (More)

 Emirates, a flagship carrier of the United Arab Emirates, now offers daily flights between Miami International Airport and Bogotá, boosting options for travelers to Colombia’s capital. (More)

Thirteen Florida companies were placed on a “continued examination list” last week to evaluate links to Iran. The state is moving to divest stock in China-owned companies and to expand sanctions involving companies working with Iran. (More)

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Et Cetera

➤ Two winning $4 million Mega Millions tickets were sold last week on the same day at Publix stores a half-mile apart. Both Publix locations are located on Ulmerton Road in Largo. (More)

Ocala reasserted its fame as “Horse Capital of the World” with the victory by Dornock in last weeks’ Belmont Stakes. The horse was trained at King’s Equine stables by owner Raul Reyes, who works with top horses. (See Video)

A Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the rarest and most endangered species of sea turtle, was spotted nesting in Ponce Inlet last week. Since 1996, only 26 Kemp’s ridley nests have been recorded in Volusia County. (See Photo)

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The Polling Station

Do you prefer Atlantic coast or Gulf coast Florida beaches?

  1. Atlantic Coast
  2. Gulf Coast

Friday’s Results:

Which new theme park addition are you most excited about?

    1. DreamWorks at Universal: 14.7%
    2. 5th Disney Theme Park: 14.7%
    3. Not interested in either: 70.6%
Texas Trivia

What numbers became the area code for the Space Coast after a petition in 1999?

Show me the answer

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