Business

Business
6:33 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Former Orca Trainer For SeaWorld Condemns Its Practices

John Hargrove, a trainer who spent 14 years working with orcas, mostly at SeaWorld, eventually became disillusioned with the company's treatment of its killer whales.
Courtesy of Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 9:12 pm

Last year 4 million people visited SeaWorld's theme parks, where the top shows feature orcas, also known as killer whales. For years, activists have charged that keeping orcas in captivity is harmful to the animals and risky for the trainers who work with them, a case that gained urgency in 2010 when Dawn Brancheau, a veteran orca trainer, was dragged into the water and killed by a whale at the SeaWorld Park in Orlando, Fla. When Brancheau died, there was some dispute as to whether the whale's intent was aggressive and whose fault the incident was.

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Business
10:04 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

New Women's Leadership Conference Announced

Arlene DiBenigno, CEO and President of the Women's Conference of Florida, announced the date for May 2016.
Credit Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Hundreds of business women gathered Thursday at the Floridan Palace Hotel in downtown Tampa for a luncheon, guest speakers and special announcement.

The announcement was tucked inside a black, matte envelope and covered in orange, purple and pink chevron print with a quote from Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

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Business
8:41 am
Thu March 19, 2015

More Americans Opt For Risky Long-Term Car Loans

Nearly a third of new auto loans now last 74 months or longer, which alarms some analysts.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 7:05 pm

There comes a day in every car owner's life when she knows, it's time. For Carolyn Ballard of Atlanta, that was on a hot day last July, while driving her SUV with misfiring cylinders.

"I drove to the dealership with the car literally chugging along," she says. "I mean, in traffic on the interstate. I was just sweating, thinking I've just got to get to the dealership so I can get rid of this, before I put any more money into it."

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Business
12:29 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Florida's Unemployment Rate Remained Flat in January

Credit leftlearninglive.org

Florida's unemployment rate is staying flat.

New numbers released Tuesday show that the state's unemployment rate for January was 5.7 percent. That's unchanged from revised figures for December.

The state's unemployment rate is now slightly higher than the national unemployment rate.

Florida added an estimated 13,900 jobs in December. The new figures show there are roughly 551,000 people out of work in the state.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the new jobs numbers during a visit to a production company that moved from Virginia to Ellenton in 2012.

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Business
10:38 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Growlers Marching Through Senate

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater)

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:19 pm

The Senate Commerce and Tourism committee took up the state’s growler ban Monday.  Measures doing away with the state’s restriction continue to march forward in both chambers of the Legislature.

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Business
9:10 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Uber Preps For State Regulation

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 5:42 pm

The ride-hailing app, Uber, has been operating in the state for the better part of 2014 despite statewide concerns over safety, insurance coverage and legality. While a patchwork of regulation has begun to develop on the local level,  state lawmakers are eager to settle the issue once and for all.

The most valuable tech start up in the world does not want to be legally defined as a car service alongside taxis and limos.

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Business
9:28 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Rays Urge Supreme Court to Back Gay Marriage

Credit Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are among the thousands of businesses, religious groups, advocacy organizations and politicians who are filing legal briefs at the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

So are reigning football and baseball champions, the New England Patriots and San Francisco Giants.

The cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee will be argued April 28, and a decision is expected by early summer.

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Business
1:18 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Bill To Prevent Rate Increases From Meter Reading Extensions Moving In Senate

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 11:00 am

Utilities won’t be able to up a customer’s rates because of how they read meters if a bill sponsored by  Sen. Charlie Dean (R--Ocala)  becomes law. Dean says some of his constituents saw higher bills after a utility in his area extended its meter reading period. The longer time bumped customers' usage up into a more costly pay bracket. Dean says his bill would prevent that.

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Business
8:58 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Hearings For Beer Rule Exception Begin

Rulemaking for Florida's tourism exception began Monday in Tallahassee.

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:17 pm

After beer retailers and distributors challenged a legal exception that helps craft brewers open up tap rooms, two Florida senators put forward a measure doing away with the exception completely—in effect ensuring breweries can sell beer on-site.  But that original challenge hasn’t disappeared.

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Business
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?
Credit blog.hardrock.com

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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Business
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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Business
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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Business
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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Business
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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Business
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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