Around the State
- The Franklin County Commission approved zoning and land-use changes for the Gramercy Plantation - where 162 houses, 80 hotel rooms and 161,000 square feet of office space will be built on 400 acres near St. George Sound at U.S. 98 and State Road 65.
- Two Florida counties, Bay and Monroe, were named as endangered species "hot spots" along with parts of California and Hawaii. The study is expected to help target funds for these areas when the Endangered Species Act is reauthorized by Congress later this year.
Fort Walton Beach
- Vitro Services, a subsidiary of Texas-based Tracor (Nasdaq-TTRR), received a $20.4 million, five-year contract to provide support to the Army's Electronic Proving Ground located in Arizona. With 1996 sales of more than $1 billion, Tracor is one of the 15 largest defense electronics firms in the country.
- The Trane Company of LaCrosse, Wisc., received a $20,834 grant from Enterprise Florida to train 200 to 250 production technicians for its new $3.9 million air conditioning parts manufacturing facility.
- Stone Container Corp. will shut down one of its pulp machines April 5 to 23. Twelve days are for regular maintenance; seven days due to soft market conditions. The company will temporarily lay off 150 of its 585 employees. Stone had two similar shutdowns in 1996.
Caterpillar dealer Thompson Tractor of Birmingham, Alabama, will build a 26,600-square-foot branch facility that will employ about 30 and is scheduled for completion this fall.
- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services signed a $15,000 settlement with four telemarketing companies for alleged violations of Florida's telephone sales law. The companies - Advance Telemarketing, ICT Direct, ITI Marketing Services-Outbound and West Telemarketing-Outbound - reportedly made calls to Florida residents who where on the "no sales solicitation calls" list.