Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Article Icon 1 Over 165 New State Laws to Take Effect

Florida lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis had a busy 2024 Legislative Session, with the list of new laws taking effect on July 1 reaching more than 165 as of yesterday.

Several of the new laws have stirred controversy, including changes in sex education, immigration policies, and firearm regulations.

Significant changes are coming, including Floridians no longer needing a government-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon. House Bill 1069 will prohibit educators from referring to students using their preferred pronouns unless they match the students’ biological sex.

The four most recent bills were signed on Tuesday, creating health-related laws dealing with cancer research and insurance.

Article Icon 1 Russian Nuclear Sub Leaves Florida Coast

U.S. and Canadian warships, including destroyers and Coast Guard cutters, followed a Russian nuclear submarine up Florida’s coast on Tuesday after Russia split up the military forces it had docked in Havana, Cuba last week.

According to a U.S. official, Russia is sending the remainder of its visiting fleet south, where it’s expected to make a port call in Venezuela.

The presence of these warships in the Western Hemisphere marks the first significant Russian naval deployment in the region in five years, and the first deployment of a nuclear submarine of its kind since the end of the Cold War.

Article Icon 1 Report: Restaurants Facing Major Changes

According to a new report by Square, restaurants in Florida are experiencing major shifts in business, including increased food costs, labor costs, and more demand for online ordering and delivery.

While weekends are once again becoming peak dining out times post-COVID, maintaining a positive bottom line remains difficult. Lunch crowds are dwindling from people looking to save money, inflation has driven food prices higher, and labor costs have risen nearly 66%.

The report says restaurants that adopt technology to become more efficient are finding more success. Still, some industry insiders say that automated kiosks, new kitchen display systems, and a refusal to accept cash destroys the face-to-face nature of the industry.

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Around Florida
South Florida

The Broward County school board approved closing five unnamed schools by 2025 on Tuesday. It plans to repurpose under-enrolled schools by changing their grade levels or combining them with another school. (More)

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area has the highest number of vacant rental homes in the country. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the area had a 15.3% vacancy rate in 2023, up from 8% the year before. (More)

Indian River County: About 500 people gathered on Monday for the Sheriff’s Office election debate. Four candidates discussed major issues along the Treasure Coast, including population growth, fentanyl, and immigration. (More)

Central Florida

Mount Dora leaders have approved a plan to place a controversial “employment center district” along State Road 46 with hundreds of apartments and acres of office, commercial, and warehouse space. (More)

Orlando was chosen Tuesday as one of six cities nationally to offer a new in-person passport office. Currently, the Miami Passport Agency is the only office in Florida. The other cities selected were Cincinnati, San Antonio, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte. (More)

North Florida

President Biden on Tuesday approved a disaster declaration for 10 north Florida counties affected by severe storms on May 10. Federal funding for recovery efforts, debris work, and repair will now be available. (See Details)

Tallahassee and Gainesville, home of FSU and UF respectively, ranked second and third among the best U.S. cities for college grads to begin careers, according to a new study by LinkedIn. The rank is based on 10 cities with the highest year-over-year change in new hires. (More)

The Panhandle

Bay County sheriff’s deputies and nine other first-responder agencies participated in the area’s first large-scale active shooter drill Tuesday morning. Details of real-life school shooting incidents were used to plan and prepare. (More)

Panhandle beaches have been issued warnings for most of this week due to tropical storm dangers in the Gulf. The season’s first named storm, Alberto, will cause dangerous rip currents and undertow. (More)

Texas Sports

➤ The Florida Gators lost 5-0 to Texas A&M in their elimination match Wednesday evening in the college baseball World Series after the team beat Kentucky 15-4 in the morning. The loss ends the Gators’ run to the finals. (More)

The Florida Panthers announced they will sell tickets to a watch party Friday at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise as the team heads to Edmonton for another chance to clinch the Stanley Cup championship against the Oilers. (More)

The Marlins and Rays both finished their games in walk-off fashion on Tuesday. The Marlins were victorious defeating the Cardinals 9-8, while the Rays fell to the Twins 7-6. Watch Vidal Brujan’s game-ending single here.

➤ A surf team sponsored by Flagler Palm Coast High School placed third in the nation at the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s High School National Championships June 14-16 in Dana Point, California. (More)

Yesterday’s Results: MLB | WNBA | MLS

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The Business Of Texas

Jacksonville-based Trailer Bridge is expanding to Europe with a new headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The transportation provider’s announcement came last week on the heels of getting a multi-million dollar federal contract. (More)

The auctioned sale of Orlando-based Red Lobster Seafood Co. was approved this week by the judge overseeing the restaurant chain’s bankruptcy proceeding. Private investment firm Fortress Credit Corp. is confirmed as the reserve bidder for the July auction. (See Details)

Palm Beach Gardens-based Dycom Industries announced last week that CEO Steven E. Nielsen will retire in November after 25 years. The 5G engineering company, with nearly $4 billion in revenue, will promote EVP Daniel S. Peyovich to succeed him. (More)

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Et Cetera

Naples: A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer pleaded guilty this week to stealing nearly $19,000 in cash from arriving international passengers at the Florida airport. (More)

Miramar: Detectives solved a 37-year-old cold case murder of a former firefighter this week after discovering a DNA sample that led them to the killer. (More)

Disney Cruise Line revealed plans on Tuesday to keep four ships sailing from Port Canaveral as part of its 2025/2026 schedule, including the Disney Treasure set to debut this winter. (More)

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The Polling Station

Do you take beach vacations?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Wednesday’s Results:

Have you ever tried Florida Sour Orange Pie?

    1. Yes: 13.8%
    2. No: 86.2%
Texas Trivia

Which Florida State Park is considered to be the “Biblical Garden of Eden?” 

Show me the answer

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