October 23, 2014

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/1/2013

Florida wants to reopen prisons to house more inmates

The state wants to reopen some prisons because of projections of a growing inmate population. The Department of Corrections wants the Legislature to open nine shuttered facilities next year from Miami to the Panhandle, including two prisons, five work camps and two re-entry centers at a cost of $59 million. The prisons, in Raiford and Polk City, were closed in July 2012 and were touted by Gov. Rick Scott as good-news, cost-cutting steps in the budget. Florida's current inmate population is about 101,000. More at the Tampa Bay Times.

Related, from Florida Trend:
» Crime & punishment: Changes at Florida Dept. of Corrections


FAA to allow gate-to-gate use of personal electronics

Air travelers will soon be able to use their tablets and other electronic devices from gate to gate, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday. The agency said it has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices during all phases of a flight. Phone calls remain banned, however, and laptops will still need to be stowed on takeoff and landing due to their weight. [Source: Washington Post]


‘Foreclosure king’ David Stern may be disbarred in Florida

Attorney David J. Stern, known as the mortgage industry’s “foreclosure king,” may soon lose his authority to practice law in Florida. The Florida Bar wants him out. This week, Palm Beach County Court Judge Nancy Perez says Stern “created chaos on the courts of the state of Florida, prejudicing the whole system as a whole.” Perez’s recommendation for disbarment now goes to the Florida Supreme Court. Stern could appeal. [Source: TBO]


Florida homes included in Blackstone's first rental-backed security deal

The financial instrument that became Public Enemy No. 1 during the housing crisis is back with a new set of stripes, as private-equity giant Blackstone shops a new rent-backed security based partly on the cash flow from homes in Tampa Bay. More than 3,200 single-family homes back a $480 million security, including 257 from Tampa Bay, investment reports show. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Related, from Florida Trend:
» By-the-numbers: Breaking down a rental home deal


Kim Yelvington
Confections by pastry chef Kim Yelvington of Bern's restaurant will soon be on sale at Chocolate Pi in Tampa. » Read more

Florida Trend Exclusive
How sweet it is: Savory treats at Florida restaurants

Breads, desserts and all the pizza dough, exotic ice cream and chocolate truffles in between are playing bigger roles today in top Florida restaurants. Restaurant editor Chris Sherman looks at ten of the best from around the state. (Warning: the photo gallery could make you hungry!)
» Full story...


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida’s top job recruiter gets large raise
The board of Enterprise Florida, the organization set up to lure companies to the state, approved a new two-year contract on Thursday for president and CEO Gray Swoope. The new contract allows Swoope to make up to $375,000 in salary and bonuses -- or a 25 percent increase over what he makes now.

Layoffs: SunTrust, HSN announce staff reductions
SunTrust Banks, Florida's third-largest lender, plans to cut 800 mortgage jobs in response to the sharp drop in refinancing activity. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
HSN has eliminated 59 jobs as part of what it called a yearlong restructuring to optimize growth and improve efficiency of the TV and online shopping network. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

› Is a smartwatch for you?
Smartwatches that display message alerts and weather updates are popping up everywhere this holiday season as consumer electronics companies try to persuade you to add them to your shopping list. But is there really a big demand for computerized wristwatches? Samsung and Sony have devices out, and Qualcomm has one coming before the holidays. Apple is believed to be making one, and a new report says Google is developing one, too.

» Take a Florida Trend quick poll: Does a smartwatch appeal to you?

› Florida man hits the lottery jackpot — again
An Orlando, Fla., man who won a multimillion dollar jackpot last year playing the Florida Lotto has done it again. The Florida Lottery says 67-year-old James Bozeman Jr. has claimed a $3 million Florida Lotto jackpot from the drawing held on Aug. 31, 2013. Last year, Bozeman claimed a $10 million Florida Lotto jackpot. The lucky man purchased both winning tickets from the same 7-Eleven in Edgewood.

Related, from Florida Trend:
» A-Lotto money


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