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The Tampa Epoch Publishes May Issue Despite Doubts

May 1, 2012

The May issue of the homeless newspaper The Tampa Epoch was issued Tuesday to vendors putting to rest doubts about its future, in the wake of its publisher's death.

After Tampa City Council banned panhandling on city streets in November last year, Bill Sharpe took the initiative and thought outside the box. A loophole in the ordinance allowed newspapers to be sold everyday on city streets. That meant Sharpe could publish a newspaper specifically for panhandlers.

The Tampa Epoch was born.

Photo by Steven Brooke

Credit the surging economies of South America and increased passenger routes -- Miami International Airport welcomed more international passengers between January and March of this year than any other U.S. airport according to the Sun-Sentinel, overtaking New York’s JFK airport, officials said.

Florida consumers are a little more pessimistic this month according to a survey released Tuesday by the University of Florida. Rising gas prices get part of the blame for the slip in consumer confidence from a January high of 77 percent to 73 percent in April.

Yet, the Governor and Florida Cabinet heard some encouraging news, car purchases from January through March are up in 2012.

Unemployment Rate in Florida Falls to 9 Percent

Apr 20, 2012

The unemployment rate in Florida dropped from 9.4% in February to 9% in March, acorrding to the Tampa Bay Times. States officials say that is the biggest improvement month-to-month in about 10 years.

But it may not all be as good as it seems.

The state's labor force is still shrinking. Last month, about 15,000 Floridians have dropped out of the labor pool and experts are saying many of them are discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job. When they go back to the search, the unemployment rate could rise again.

Landlords in Sarasota County appear to be discriminating against minorities and those with disabilities, according to a study by the firm Mullin & Lonergan Associates.

Minority and disabled investigators posing as prospective renters were quoted higher prices or were asked for more income information than white, non-disabled investigators. Rentals sometimes were available for whites but not for minorities.

The study found that Sarasota County landlords discriminated in two of five disability tests, and in three of four racial tests.

Women Still Not Paid as Much as Men in Florida

Apr 18, 2012

According to a report from the National Partnership for Women & Families, Florida's working women make 80 cents for every $1 men make.

But that's still better than the national average.

Florida ranks 11th among the nation in women's equal pay. The national average is 77 cents paid to women for every $1 men are paid.

The report says the median yearly salary gap between women and men has increased by $1,000 since last year.

One of the people invited to President Obama's speech at the Port of Tampa is Eileen Rodriguez, director for the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida.

She's been working with the SBDC since 1997, providing one-on-one confidential counseling and teachings seminars in English and Spanish on small business start-up, international trade, and women and minority certification.

Richard Elzey / Flickr

The most recent numbers from RealtTrac.com give Florida a "foreclosure rate heat"  of hot with 1  out of every 336 housing units in foreclosure.

It takes on average 861 days - more than two years - to process a foreclosed property in Florida according to a National Public Radio report:

USF Chooses New Dean for College of Business

Mar 20, 2012
Photo Courtesy Walton College, University of Arkansas

After an eight month world-wide search, the USF College of Business has found its new dean: Dr. Moez Limayen.

He comes from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, which U.S. World and News Reports ranked as the 25th best among public universities.

Dr. Limayen said the college’s vision will be “distinctive and very exciting.” It includes the following strategic priorities:

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