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June 24, 2018

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/11/2013

Florida in the middle of national education battle

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is in the middle of a tug-of-war over education that could reshape the state's schools while also turning upside down the 2016 presidential race. The Republican governor in recent weeks has refused to come out strongly in favor of Florida's transition to new standards known also as the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. [Source: AP]

Florida 'opaque' on Obamacare rates so far

Good luck trying to figure out how much insurance might cost Floridians who buy it through the new Obamacare federal insurance exchange, at least based on what Florida has revealed so far, said officials of a leading national think-tank tracking Obamacare. However, Floridians may know the full set of rates available to them under Obamacare within a week, and certainly by the federal deadline of Oct. 1. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP and read the analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

» An Early Look at Premiums and Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces, 2014

Florida business community may back Scott in 2014, if only by default

They may hold their noses while doing so but business leaders are leaning toward backing Florida Gov. Rick Scott in his 2014 re-election bid. Polls suggest Scott is beatable on a broad set of issues. Yet on the topic of the Florida economy and jobs, where the business community's heart lies, Scott's message remains hyper-focused. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida grocers take to social media

Two Florida-based grocers have launched new social media campaigns recently in an effort to better connect with shoppers. Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets debuted a new Twitter initiative this week. The grocery chain, which is relatively new to Twitter, unveiled the hashtag "#PublixCheese." Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie launched a social media contest this week encouraging shoppers to submit their own videos about the brand. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Unintended consequence for "faster foreclosures" law

The controversial Florida law intended to whisk foreclosures through court has instead led thousands to pile up, prolonging the agony of the state's housing crisis, new court data show. When the "faster foreclosures" law first took effect in July, Florida courts saw 4,386 new foreclosures, plummeting 70 percent below the state's average of 15,000 filings a month. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Gov. Rick Scott's statement in remembrance of September 11, 2001.
"Today we honor those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and pray for the survivors and family members who were affected that tragic day. We also reflect on the importance of our military, law enforcement and emergency responder heroes who serve and sacrifice to protect our families in Florida and our nation. Ann and I hope this day will further strengthen our honor and respect for all those who serve us, our love for this great nation, and the many freedoms we enjoy."


› Florida Supreme Court takes online hotel fee case
The Florida Supreme Court said Tuesday it will hear a long-running feud over tourism taxes between 17 Florida counties and online travel websites including Expedia.

› Astronaut training resumes at undersea Florida lab
Starting Tuesday, five astronauts will spend five days living and working at the Aquarius Reef Base. While they're underwater, they'll be trying out an exercise device that could be used on the International Space Station and spacewalking tools.

› Gainesville Cultural Affairs Draws Big Crowds with Annual Events
Linda Piper, the Gainesville Cultural Affairs events coordinator, has been with the city for 27 years. For 20 years she has produced the Downtown Festival & Art Show and the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Piper has taken these small-town shows and made them nationally recognized.

› Moody’s downgrades Port Miami credit rating
Spending nearly $1 billion on a new tunnel, dredging and rail yard may bring Port Miami too much debt as it faces competition for cruise passengers and cargo business, according to financial analysts at Moody’s.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Brevard Zoo releases sea turtles
Brevard Zoo releases sea turtles

Sea turtles Skipper and Ginny were released Thursday, June 21, 2018 after recovering from medical problems at the Brevard Zoo. (There is no audio track on this video from the Brevard Zoo.)

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