12:49 am
Tue March 3, 2015

House Gambling Bill Includes Casinos, More Slots - Not For Seminoles

No more local monopoly on banked card games for the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa?

Two Las Vegas-style casinos, greyhound tracks without dog racing and slot machines at two pari-mutuels outside South Florida are all on the table in a sweeping House proposal released Monday.

A statewide commission to oversee the gambling industry is also part of a 316-page bill made public by the proposal's sponsor, House Majority Leader Dana Young, a day before the 2015 legislative session begins.

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8:18 am
Sat February 14, 2015

New Cuban Import Rules Are Historic – But No Cigar

A private Cuban vendor in Havana.

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 9:29 pm

The United States hasn’t imported a thing from communist Cuba in 53 years. Today the Obama Administration set out the rules for changing that. 

But you won’t see any of Cuba’s famous cigars arriving at PortMiami just yet.

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1:39 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Vinik Planning Corporate HQ, Just Needs a Corporation

Aerial rendering of Jeff Vinik's proposed new downtown Tampa district.
Credit Strategic Property Partners LLC

Along with the Amelie Arena and the proposed University of South Florida medical school/heart institute, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik wants the headquarters for a Fortune 500 company to be a centerpiece of his

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1:56 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Feds: Help is On The Way to Combat Citrus Greening

Fruit infected with citrus greening

Citrus greening, which has laid waste to vast swaths of Florida's famed orange groves, has definitely gotten the attention of the federal government.

Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced he was allocating $30 million for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat citrus greening. It's considered one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. It's also known as Huanglongbing, or yellow dragon disease. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.

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9:18 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Florida Fuel Prices Expected To Rise

Gas prices are expected to rise as spring arrives.

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 12:55 pm

Gas prices in Florida are going up.

Some gas stations are already increasing prices by about 10 cents and that’s normal around this time of the year.

According to the auto club AAA,  seasonal demand and maintenance are the causes for the gas price increase.

As we approach spring, prices usually rise between 30 and 35 cents.

But it’s not all that bad. Even when station gas prices do go up this spring, the national average is not expected to surpass $3 dollars a gallon. 

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9:17 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Legislator: Cut Red Tape For Developers

Wilton Simpson

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 8:27 am

The state could grow an even faster under a bill filed by a Southwest Florida lawmaker. Legislation by a Senate Republican would allow developers to cut through government red tape.

A bill by Senator Wilton Simpson of Brooksville would allow more builders to expedite their projects by avoiding a government approval process called developments of regional impact, or DRIs. It would boost economic development, but environmentalists like 1,000 Friends of Florida’s Charles Pattison have big concerns.

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9:17 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Citrus Greening Eating Away At Florida Icon

Citrus Greening Ravages Crop

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 8:13 am

A disease known as citrus greening continues to devastate Florida’s iconic crop. An expert warns time is running out for the state’s growers.

Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, says scientists are making progress to slow the disease, but it may not be fast enough.

“Without some interventions to slow the decline of these trees to allow for the replanting of citrus, we’re not going to retain the citrus industry as we know it.”

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2:41 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

FL Unemployment Rate Lowers

Credit Associated Press


Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop.

This morning, the state's December 2014 unemployment numbers were released. Last month, the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent—down 0.2 percent from November—numbers that mirror the national trend.

 Florida added an estimated 12,700 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the spring of 2008 when it was 5.4 percent. The new figures also show that there are roughly 543,000 people out of work in the Sunshine State. 

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8:55 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

After Decades Without Complaint Beer Retailers And Distributors Challenge Tourism Exception

Proof Brewing Company's vats at the Railroad Square brewery.

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:39 pm

It seems there’s new trouble brewing for Florida’s small but growing craft beer industry.  The Florida Retail Federation is challenging a long-standing exception to the state’s licensing rules that allows a brewery to sell beer in on-site ‘tasting’ or ‘tap’ rooms.  But this isn’t the only attack the state’s rules have drawn.

Beer is bipartisan.  Really, it’s hard to imagine something more people can agree on.  But, unfortunately in Florida, beer is a political issue.

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1:16 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Swoope To Depart Enterprise Florida Next Month

Enterprise Florida's Gray Swoope

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:56 pm

Florida’s top jobs recruiter is stepping down from his post.

At the end of February, Gray Swoope will resign.  He’s the state’s Secretary of Commerce as well as the head of Enterprise Florida, the state’s lead economic development agency.

Swoope was one of the few top officials who served during Governor Rick Scott’s entire first term.

In a statement following Swoope’s announced departure, Scott hailed Swoope for creating “a jobs legacy” and for making “major economic deals” happen for the state.

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4:32 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Ballot Proposal Seeks More Solar in Sunshine State

Businesses and property owners would be able to sell a limited amount of solar energy under a ballot initiative rolled out Wednesday by a coalition that brings together free-market conservatives, retailers and alternative-energy supporters.

The proposed constitutional amendment is expected to face opposition from large power companies, which offered little comment Wednesday.

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1:57 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Florida Legislative Support Grows For Film And TV Tax Incentives

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:05 am

After last year’s legislative session, Florida failed to secure the tax incentive money it needed to lure more movie and television projects to the Sunshine State.

But things could change in 2015. And Palm Beach County lawmakers want to play a starring role in replenishing those funds.

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7:05 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Florida's Craft Beer Industry Wary A New Challenge May Be Brewing

Proof Brewing Company's vats at the Railroad Square brewery.

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Beer distribution interests in Florida have launched a legal attack against a well-established exception to the state’s three-tier system.  The ‘Tourism Exception’ allows brewers licensed for manufacturing beer to sell it directly to the public. 

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9:46 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Publix Will Extend Coverage To Employees' Same-Sex Spouses

Publix at 1181 S. University Dr. in Plantation.

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 7:00 am

Publix will extend insurance plans to same-sex spouses of employees who are legally married.

The company announced that it will open enrollment on Jan. 1 for any employee who can who show proof of lawful marriage in a state where same-sex unions are allowed.

The couples will get the same health care coverage as any heterosexual couple.

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3:26 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Gov. Scott: Florida Has Reached His 2010 Jobs Goal

Gov. Scott
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott declared Friday that Florida has reached his 2010 campaign goal of creating 700,000 jobs within seven years, as the state's unemployment rate was posted at its lowest rate since May 2008.

Four years ago, Scott's jobs pledge was accompanied by the line "on top of what normal growth would be," a phrase abandoned by the governor shortly after he took office but not forgotten by Democrats.

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