What you need to know about Florida today
Sometimes, the devil is in the deals. Americans shopped the winter clearance racks in January, resulting in strong sales during the month for retailers. But spending is expected to slow as the deals dry up, and as Americans begin to digest rising gas prices and a 2 percent payroll tax hike that started in January. [Source: AP]
Boizao, a Brazilian restaurant in Tampa, serves up vertical spits rotated over a log fire. » Go to story
Once upon a time, dining on Latin American food in Florida meant Cuban and Mexican. Frijoles negros or rojos. Today, the Latin table stretches all the way down the Southern Hemisphere. The cooking of South America, from the bright taste of marinated seafood in Peruvian ceviche to robust gaucho steaks on skewers, has spread throughout Florida and across the price spectrum. Full story.
The latest hotel-tax figures out of Broward and Miami-Dade show the recovery from the recession continues at a decent clip, with Miami-Dade far outpacing Broward in the rebound. But the more interesting recoveries may be comparing the fall-out from the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2008 financial crisis. Both events slammed tourism in South Florida. [Source: Miami Herald]
The Florida Wildlife Federation is suing Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet over Everglades restoration land deals that enable two major farming companies to get no-bid, long-term leases for 14,000 acres in western Palm Beach County. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the AP.
Floridians believe their state should stay out of the insurance business, rather than supporting a state-run insurance company, according to a recent poll sponsored by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. [Source: Insurance Journal]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Theme parks unite in new Florida tourism ad
It's an ad that has everything: Animals, kids and sand castles. On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott unveiled Visit Florida's newest ad campaign to help position the state as the No. 1 vacation destination in the world.
› Monster Jam to debut 'Hispanic truck' at Sun Life Stadium
The all-American appeal of crushing a car with a giant truck may transcend language, but Monster Jam isn’t taking any chances. Say hola to El Diablo.
› Gainesville Regional Airport pursuing direct flights to NYC
The airport has been pursuing a direct route to NYC for some time as Gainesville continues to experience growth in technology, bio-tech and other creative service industries that require frequent travel to the northeast region.
› Unemployment claims up in South Florida
The bad numbers continue for Miami-Dade’s job market. On the heels of its worst payroll report in two years, Florida’s largest county also shows a continued increase in new unemployment claims. January brought another increase in claims over the prior year — extending the streak first started in October.
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