Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Top Stories

Article Icon 1Homeowners Gain With Squatter Law and Grants

Florida homeowners can reap the rewards of two state actions today: A new law with harsher penalties for squatters takes effect, and a popular grant program begins accepting applications.

As of July 1, homeowners can legally remove a squatter from their property, as the new law makes squatting a felony in Florida. The law also includes penalties for false statements in writing to obtain property.

Now that homeowners have more protection from someone unlawfully living in their homes, they can also protect their homes from hurricanes with financial help from the state.

The My Safe Florida Home grant program offers up to $10,000 to households that enhance their homes with hurricane-safe doors and windows or replace their roofs. You can read the eligibility requirements here.

Article Icon 1FAMU, FAU Programs Face Elimination

Florida A&M University’s law, nursing, and pharmacy programs and Florida Atlantic University’s nursing program may be eliminated because they have too many low-scoring students on licensure exams.

The performance statistics were shared at the Florida Board of Governors’ meeting last week, where the group awarded the state’s highest public university designation to Florida International University.

The University of West Florida earned its highest marks ever in key metrics measuring retention and median wages from the board, landing it in the top three among all state university institutions in the performance-based funding model.

The meeting included a nod to Florida being named the “Top State for Higher Education” for the eighth year by U.S. News and World Report.

Article Icon 1Business Leaders Push Economic Plan

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and a well-connected group of Florida business leaders are working toward the goal of Florida becoming a Top 10 economy worldwide.

Last week, the state chamber rolled out a new study on workforce challenges that the Sunshine State needs to overcome. Talent remains the No. 1 necessity, with more open jobs than qualified people to fill them.

At the same time, The Florida Council of 100 released a report on the types of businesses and industries that different areas of the state should work to attract.

Federal data shows Florida’s GDP hit $1.6 trillion last year, putting it roughly on par with Spain in the global rankings.

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Doctor Says You Need This 1 Protein for Joint Pain

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Around Florida
South Florida

 The new Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille visited South Florida on Saturday to foster U.S.-Haiti relations. (Video)

Miami: A California-based maker of lab-grown meats hosted a public party last week to allow people to taste its products, just before a Florida ban on cultivated meat and seafood took effect on Monday. (Video)

Miami-Dade County awarded Wait N’ Rest a five-year contract last week to offer two nap rooms at Miami International Airport, allowing ticketed travelers to sleep in beds on layovers. (More)

Central Florida

The Palmetto Gun Show returned to Manatee County this past weekend for the first time since a new federal law requiring firearm dealers to run background checks on buyers at gun shows took effect. Florida is challenging the law in court. (Video)

Melbourne: Several homes were damaged this past week when a weak EF-0 tornado was on the ground for three minutes. (See Photos)

North Florida

The Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority board approved the utility’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year last week, keeping rates the same for customers in 2025. (More)

Daytona Beach: A Sprouts Farmers Market is coming to the Shoppes at Williamson, with construction set for early 2025. It will be the first major chain specialty grocer in Volusia County. (More)

The Panhandle

Tallahassee: The federal government filed a brief saying it “has a strong interest” in a lawsuit challenging a Florida law requiring teachers to use pronouns that align with their sex assigned at birth. (More)

Panama City and Madison: Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a leading medical cannabis provider in the U.S., is having grand opening events for two new medical cannabis dispensaries on Friday. (More)

Texas Sports

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed a 3-year $66 million contract to join the Orlando Magic. Caldwell was a premier player for the Nuggets previously. (More)

Sam Reinhart is signing an 8-year $69 million contract to remain with the Florida Panthers. Reinhart scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (More)

Five-time all-star Kevin Love is signing a two-year deal to remain with the Miami Heat. The deal is for $8 million. (More

 A Polk County fisherman won first prize in a state TrophyCatch contest at Lake Rochelle, catching a pink-tagged bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces. His prize is $2000 in cash and fishing gear. (More)

Yesterday’s Results: MLB | Copa América Wimbledon | WNBA

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The Business Of Texas

Miami Beach-based Fontainebleau Hotel announced last week that its new convention center will be completed in November. The landmark location is already booking reservations for 2026. (More)

Norwegian Cruise Line extended its contract with Port Canaveral for a six-month extension last week while the port and company work out a longer-term deal. (More)

Naples-based Hoffmann Family of Companies bought a second ferry service that shuttles visitors to Mackinac Island from the mainland of Michigan on Friday. The company now owns both Shepler’s Ferry and Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Co. (More)

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Big Pharma HATES Studies Like These

Breakthrough new research on collagen proves how you can grow back cartilage in your bone joints.

Collagen supplements are odorless, flavorless, and easy to add in your morning coffee, tea, oatmeal, smoothie, or even water.

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Et Cetera

Vehicle club AAA expects record travel and delays for the extended July 4th holiday weekend as 4.5 million Floridians will travel more than 50 miles from home. (More)

Meanwhile, state offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, giving Florida state employees an extra day off for the July 4th holiday weekend. (More)

 A Florida auctioneer was about to sell a 19th century pocket watch when he learned it was Teddy Roosevelt’s stolen timepiece. It was returned to Roosevelt’s home last week. (See Picture)

Sara, an AI-powered robotic bartender, now serves drinks to guests at the Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center in Celebration using artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology. (See Image)

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The Polling Station

Will you go out to watch fireworks this week?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Monday’s Results:

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

    1. Yes: 50.3%
    2. No: 49.7%
Texas Trivia

What did Florida do on July 4, 1861?

Show me the answer

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