Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida's students continue to perform below the national average on the SAT college entrance exam, mirroring results from the ACT test. Results for the Class of 2013, released today, show SAT scores have hardly budged from 2012, and the number of test-takers remained nearly flat. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.
After getting burned badly in the real-estate crash, commercial banks withdrew from construction lending. However, as housing and other sectors of the real estate market have been reviving, lenders have increasingly agreed to back construction in South Florida and elsewhere, albeit at more conservative levels than before the crash. [Source: Miami Herald]
» Positive signs in commercial real estate
Universities are adapting their foreign language curriculum, in part to better prepare graduates for a globalized world where it pays to be professionally fluent in more than one language. With 37 million Spanish-speakers in America, most heritage classes are in Spanish, and courses have bloomed across campuses in California, Florida and several Southwestern states. [Source: AP]
Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, more than 7,000 Floridians had applied for a government program that could reduce as much as $50,000 of the principal homeowners owe on their mortgage. Once the state receives 25,000 applications, it will shut down the application process. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
As hotels seek to attract more eco-friendly travelers, some are installing battery charging stations for guests with electric and hybrid cars. Joining the growing sustainable effort is the PGA National Resort & Spa, which is installing charging stations for plug-in vehicles. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Legislature weighs options as higher flood insurance costs loom
A state House subcommittee received options Wednesday to help homeowners fend off an expected end to federal flood-insurance subsidies that Realtors claim could devastate Florida's economy.
› Davie-based Mako Surgical to be sold for $1.65 billion
In one of the biggest acquisitions in South Florida's bio-medical industry, device maker Stryker Corp. announced Wednesday it will buy Davie-based Mako Surgical Corp. for $1.65 billion.
› Veterans get another chance for in-state tuition rates
All military veterans would pay in-state tuition rates at Florida’s public universities and colleges under legislation moving through the state Capitol, potentially saving those students tens of thousands of dollars on their education.
› Marlins still adding stadium construction expenses to list
The Miami Marlins are continuing to submit their stadium-related expenses to county officials to be counted toward their share of construction costs under the controversial deal that built Marlins Park in Little Havana.
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