Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
In Florida, a drop in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations
For the first time since early October, Florida has shown meaningful improvement in the struggle against the coronavirus pandemic. The trend, a real sign of hope, mirrors what has happened in most of the United States. Across Florida, the number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is less than 7,000. While that’s much higher than throughout most of the past year, it’s down from nearly 8,000 earlier in January. High daily case numbers persist, but after a winter peak about two weeks ago, those have fallen as well. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
DeSantis calls for $1 billion to brace for climate change
Faced with mounting evidence that sea level rise and intensifying storms will cost Florida governments billions into the future, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced a $1 billion investment over four years to allow local governments to build new infrastructure to address the impacts. If the Legislature approves the new program, “Resilient Florida” will use revenues from the state documentary stamp tax to pay for the debt service on $1 billion in bonds for projects that address the impacts of climate change. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WMFE.
Guess what’s new in downtown Miami? A full-fledged drive-in movie theater
The Nite Owl Drive-In Theater has been operating for nearly a month during a soft 60-day opening. City of Miami commissioners will meet on March 11 to give the theater final approval. The $750,000 drive-in was made possible by grants and assistance from the Knight Foundation, the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, the Wolfsonian Museum, Zoo Miami and Fairchild Tropical Garden. More from the Miami Herald.
Winn-Dixie parent Southeastern Grocers pulls IPO
Southeastern Grocers Inc. late on Jan. 28 announced it is postponing its planned initial public offering, a day before the deal was expected to be priced. The Jacksonville-based supermarket operator did not give a reason for the postponement. “The company will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop,” Southeastern Grocers said in a news release. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Darden donation to help bring mobile food pantries to places hardest hit by pandemic
Despite a historically bleak year for the restaurant industry, Darden Restaurants’ charitable foundation is donating $500,000 to create mobile pantries for food banks in five states, including Second Harvest in Central Florida, targeting communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Out of the Box
Bongo babies! Endangered antelopes born at Florida zoo
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has announced the addition of two critically endangered eastern bongo calves. One of the female calves was born Dec. 17 and the other was born Jan. 8. They are stepsisters, the first offspring for mothers Sienna and Shimba and father Mickey. Sienna is the mother of the first calf, who weighed 42 pounds at her exam on Dec. 22, according to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Shimba is the mother to the second calf, who weighed 38 pounds at her exam on Jan. 11.
» More from WFLA.
How to eat great, cheap food in Miami
Miami makes it easy to splurge on a great meal. But sometimes you can’t splurge. You want great food, a night off from the kitchen, and, as Kevin Hart says, the way your bank account is set up, you don’t want to have to transfer from savings to checking before calling in an order. Fortunately, Miami also makes it easy to dine on a budget. Even if you’re comfortable only ordering takeout during the pandemic, Miami’s best restaurants have found smart ways to choose what foods travel best.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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