Firefly Aerospace Is Behind Florida Rocket Project: Sources

Firefly Aerospace Inc, a resurgent rocket company founded by a former SpaceX engineer, plans to build a factory and launch site at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Spaceport in a $52 million deal, people familiar with the project said on Wednesday.

The Firefly project is strategically important for the Cedar Park, Texas-based startup as it competes with several other new entrants vying to cash in on a big jump in the number of small satellites expected in the coming years.

VoaNews.com

SpaceX Will Build Prototype Mars Rockets In Texas, Not California

It’s not often that the Los Angeles times covers news with a Texas slant, but this time, it was somewhat unavoidable.

Last week, the Times reported that Elon Musk’s SpaceX was canceling plans to build its biggest rockets at the Port of Los Angeles, and shifting production to South Texas. The story got lots of play in Southern California where it was considered something of a blow to the region’s dream of becoming the epicenter of the next wave of space exploration. And it was seen as a victory for Texas – one of California’s economic rivals.

SpaceX already has a launch facility in Boca Chica, near Brownsville, and Steve Clark, a staff writer at the Brownsville Herald says the facility was initially expected to host 12 launches a year once completed. When Musk attended the site’s groundbreaking in 2014, he hinted that Boca Chica could have an even higher-profile role in SpaceX plans.

TexasStandard.org

Unemployment Drops Below 3% In Ten States

In December, the unemployment rate was 3.9% nationwide, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, in ten states, it was much lower than that, dropping below 3% in each one

BLS researchers reported the trend across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Unemployment rates were higher in December in 4 states, lower in 3 states, and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fourteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 36 states and the District had little or no change.”

Trend of adaptive-reuse food halls in Atlanta suburbs shows few signs of slowing

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Krog Street Market should be beaming from compliments, thanks to the number of similar food hall developments popping up OTP.

First announced in 2017, Marietta Square Market will soon open the doors to an 18,000-square-foot venture along Church Street in that city’s downtown, although just when is uncertain.

Instead of welcoming patrons this month as planned, city officials told the Marietta Daily Journal it looks like opening day will come in February or possibly March as tenants continue to wrap up construction.

Curbed.com

Millions approved for three Atlanta affordable housing ventures

During Invest Atlanta’s first meetings of 2019, the city’s economic development agency and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms approved millions of dollars of funding to build three new affordable housing projects in neighborhoods in need.

The initiatives “represent the type of thinking needed to make affordable living in the city an option for many more residents,” said Eloisa Klementich, Invest Atlanta CEO and president, per a press release.

“Longterm ground leases, land trust models, and layered financing strategies give us a bigger toolbox to work with and opportunities to address more of the affordability spectrum,” she added.

The first development, called CityPlace, earned a loan increase of up to $1 million from the Vine City Housing Trust Fund, which will help Place Properties build five new single-family residences in English Avenue and Vine City.

Curbed.com

Micro-homes pitched as a solution to Nashville’s affordable housing crunch

A bunk squeezed between a window and the ceiling serves as the guest bedroom, and the work desk is jammed between the washer-drier combo and refrigerator.

The 450-square-foot “micro-home” isn’t large enough for a family. But one Nashville affordable housing developer sees big potential in the little houses.

Eddie Latimer, CEO of nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources, is developing a “micro-village” of 13 small modular houses in North Nashville.

They will rent for about $1,000 a month – nearly $200 less than the average efficiency in Davidson County. In the immediate downtown area, median studio apartment rent is even higher at $1,545 a month, according to Zillow.

The Tennessean

Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Families With Kids?

Look around a hip neighborhood in Lower Manhattan or downtown San Francisco, and you’ll see lots of young people, and Baby Boomers whose kids have left the nest. There are also some stylish moms (or nannies) pushing tots in strollers. But you won’t see many traditional nuclear families with school-age children.

There’s a growing consensus that our cities are becoming “childless.” This past October, Axios ran a story on the ”great family exodus,” showing data that the share of families with children under the age of 20 has fallen in 53 large cities across the country. As far as I can tell, the phrase “childless cities” was first advanced in 2013 by Joel Kotkin in an essay of that title for City Journal.

Several factors are said to be pushing families with kids out of cities: the expensiveness of city living; the lagging performance of urban versus suburban public schools; and the preference of immigrant families for the suburbs over urban locations. But just how childless are our cities, really?

CityLab.com

One of America’s best places to retire is right here in Georgia

A comfortable retirement depends a lot on location, according to a new report from SmartAsset.

Experts over at the personal finance tech company sought to find America’s best places to retire and live out your golden years by first comparing state and local income and sales tax rates.

The rates, according to the report, are based on a typical retiree earning $35,000 per year from savings, Social Security or part-time work,and take into account disposable income spending on taxable goods.

SmartAsset researchers also looked at the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area and, lastly, the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population.

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Walmart confirms plans to add hundreds of tech jobs this year

Walmart continues to staff up its massive technology arm known as Walmart Labs. The retail giant added roughly 1,700 tech-related jobs in fiscal 2019 which ends Jan. 31. There are roughly 2,000 more jobs to be added to its nine tech centers located across the globe this next fiscal year, according to Jenn Ericksen, a corporate spokeswoman with Walmart Labs.

She told Talk Business & Politics the new technology jobs will include data scientists, software engineers, designers and other professionals who will expand the technology division by roughly 25%. The jobs will support Walmart’s store technology, online commerce as well as data and cloud services.

TalkBusiness.net

Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater in at least 22 States, Utility Reports Show

The clearest picture yet of coal ash contamination in the United States is emerging, with utilities reporting serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states.

At dozens of power plants across the country, including many in the Southeast, utilities have found coal-ash pollution severe enough to force them to propose cleanup plans. Those plans will likely become the next front in a decades-long battle over how to manage one of the nation’s largest industrial waste streams—one tainted by toxic heavy metals.

InsideClimateNews.org