5 Things to Know in Florida for July 18

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.

Florida house speaker turns down US reps request for hearings

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is turning down a request from 15 Republican and Democratic members of Congress to hold statewide public hearings before the Legislature draws new congressional districts. Last week the state Supreme Court ruled the state’s congressional maps don’t meet the requirements of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits political lines from being drawn to favor incumbents or a political party. Crisafulli in a statement said legislators don’t have enough time to hold hearings. He said instead that legislators will take public testimony at the state Capitol prior to a final vote.

Beckham, Miami near negotiations over possible MLS stadium next to Marlins Park

David Beckham and his partners are inching ahead with plans to build a soccer stadium next to Marlins Park. The Miami Herald reports that Mayor Tomas Regalado said Friday that he would seek approval from the city commission to begin negotiations on how Miami could provide the land for the privately-financed stadium. The stadium would house an expansion Major League Soccer team that would be owned by Beckham’s group.

TECO Energy exploring potential sale

The parent company of Tampa Electric Co. and Peoples Gas is “exploring strategic alternatives” and has retained Morgan Stanley & Co to advise TECO Energy on a potential sale. A sale would affect 700,000 Tampa Electric customers, mostly in the Tampa Bay area, as well as 350,000 Peoples Gas Systems customers statewide.

Chiquita Brands is moving 2 divisions to Florida

Chiquita Brands will be moving its Fresh Express administrative offices to central Florida. The produce company also is moving its banana division to Port Everglades in South Florida. The move will bring about 200 jobs to Florida and bring the divisions closer to their biggest customers. Fresh Express has a major contract with Walt Disney World, and the banana division relies on imports.

South Carolina camp had no permit for ropes course where Florida teen died

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation say Carolina Point Camp should have applied for permits before operating the pendulum swing where 16-year-old Olivia Paige Grimes died earlier this week. Authorities say the Lakeland, Fla., teen died Monday after falling more than 100 feet from a swing at the camp on the South Carolina-North Carolina border. Deputies said Grimes wasn’t strapped into the apparatus but that they’ve found no evidence of foul play or mechanical failure.

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