What you need to know about Florida today
Florida didn't move up, but neither did it go down. Florida's small businesses recorded zero job growth in February, according to payroll firm Intuit Inc. Nationwide, the monthly report found that small-firm employment increased by 0.7 percent, adding 15,000 new jobs. Over the year, small business has added 75,000 jobs, Intuit said. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
BestBet Jacksonville earned more than $6 million from its card room from July to November 2012.
» Story here
Poker rooms have been a boon for the pari-mutuel industry statewide since the Legislature approved them in 1996. Card room revenue at 21 of the state’s betting sites has risen nearly 9% from four years ago, while gambling revenue from greyhound racing declined 30% over the same period. In northeast Florida, however, card room revenue at most venues has lagged. Full story...
Florida has found that employees of a company once aligned with the Republican Party of Florida engaged in voter registration fraud. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced on Tuesday that two former employees of Strategic Allied Consulting turned in 27 fake voter registration forms. [Source: AP]
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who died on Tuesday, may have been full of anti-American rhetoric, but that hasn't prevented close banking ties with South Florida. The government of Venezuela even controls Miami-based Eastern National Bank, which is the 25th-largest bank in South Florida. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]
» Venezuelans in U.S. hope for change after Chavez's death
» Hugo Chavez's death will impact South Florida
» In South Florida, Venezuelans react to Hugo Chávez’s death
» Central Florida Venezuelans worry, wait
» Latin American Connection: Going South?
Across Florida this time of year, it's the start of what's unofficially considered the "sinkhole season," State Geologist Jonathan Arthur said. It coincides with the beginning of the state's rainy season and usually lasts until the end of summer. "Florida is famous for bugs, alligators, pythons, hurricanes and now sinkholes," said Larry McKinnon, a Hillsborough sheriff's office spokesman. "I think our salvation is that for most of the time, our weather is picture-perfect." [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Orlando quietly buys up even more Parramore land
Orlando's purchase of $4 million worth of Parramore property last week wasn't the full extent of the city's land grab in the neighborhood. The City Council on Feb. 25 approved the purchase of four parcels of land thought to be the preferred site for a new Major League Soccer stadium.
› A school where students are the computer techs
A group of 15 teenagers often do the grunt work to keep the equipment online and running at Pine View School, which has not only the most technology but also the oldest devices in Sarasota County schools.
› Hollywood may reverse longtime ban on animal displays
In 1990, Hollywood became the first city in the nation to ban the display of animals, including petting zoos and circuses. But on Wednesday, the commission is expected to give final approval to a plan that would allow the exhibition of animals for movie and TV productions as well as parades and other special events.
› $700K gift helps Ocala Symphony Orchestra
The Ocala Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday morning kicked off its fundraising campaign to renovate the closed City Auditorium at Tuscawilla Park into the 700-seat Ocala Cultural Center as a home for the symphony by announcing it had already received $775,000 in contributions — $700,000 of which came from one generous, but anonymous, donor.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
In case you missed it: