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Creature.com

Opponents of tax incentives for the film industry scored a de-facto victory in the 2015 legislative session’s surprise ending. But Americans for Prosperity is bracing for the sequel.

The conservative government watchdog group released a letter Monday urging Governor Rick Scott to keep the film credits off the agenda when a special session convenes June 1.

Since 2010, the state has spent $295 million to attract films, TV shows and commercials. The program expired and some lawmakers are fighting to revive it.

Tasting rooms at Florida’s craft distilleries could be getting a bit busier soon.  Florida law may soon allow distillers to sell more bottles in face to face transactions.

Over 500 Local Non-Profits To Fundraise

May 4, 2015
Photo Courtesy of Humane Society of the Nature Coast, Inc.

  Tuesday is the second annual "Give Day Tampa Bay."

The event is a 24-hour online fundraiser that starts at midnight and lasts until midnight on Tuesday. Last year, 385 non-profit organizations participated and the event raised over $1 million. This year, 550 non-profits are participating and organizers are hoping to exceed the amount raised last year.

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

A national protest for higher wages for low-paid workers came to the Tampa Bay area Wednesday.

About 50 protesters gathered outside of a Walmart on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa. 

They were composed of Walmart employees, fast food employees and childcare workers.

Their demand: a higher minimum wage. It was part of a nationwide protest for the Fight for $15 movement, which seeks $15 an hour.

"Fifteen in my hand, I want fifteen in my hand," the group chanted. 

Two very different alcohol measures came before their final committee Wednesday.  But even though they began to converge, only one passed its final stop.

The Florida Senate is working on a measure that would alter the way some home insurance claims are billed.  And some in the repair and restoration industry worry it could put them out of business.

A bill allowing 64 ounce growlers is headed to the floor of the Florida Senate.

Florida is home to many world-famous flight schools, but the taxes on aviation fuel can further elevate the already sky-high education costs. Florida lawmakers see those taxes as unnecessary ballast.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Uber Preps For State Regulation

Mar 10, 2015

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Mar 3, 2015
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.

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.

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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