Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
According to the Florida Realtors Association, Florida's housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and a slight rise in inventory in April 2014. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,385 last month, up 4.1 percent over the April 2013 figure. More at World Property, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Miami Herald.
Al Austin [Photo: Tampa Bay Times]
On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist were among the dignitaries who offered condolences for civic leader Al Austin. Austin, a developer and civic leader known for his ability to secure funding for causes, especially his beloved GOP, died Thursday, apparently in his sleep, his family said. He was 85.
"Ann and I are saddened by the loss of Al Austin, one of the most influential Floridians to ever call Tampa Bay home. Never a stranger to hard work, Al invested in the city he loved so much, and our state is a better place because of his vision. He was a champion of growth and development, higher education, and economic freedom for everyone. Today, Ann and I join all Floridians as we mourn Al. We send our condolences to his family and those closest to him."
"Al was my friend and a true leader in our community. I am grateful for the guidance he provided to me over my career, and Carole and I are saddened by his passing."
More statements, from State House Speaker Will Weatherford, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, U.S. Rep. John Mica and others can be found at the Tampa Bay Times.
The financial crisis and Great Recession created a bull market in doom and gloom. But nearly six years after Lehman Brothers’ collapse, the worst hasn’t happened — unless you consider a 180% advance in the S&P 500 Index a disaster. Which it was, to those who avoided U.S. stocks because they believed the doom-and-gloomers. [Source: Marketwatch]
A slower-than-usual hurricane season is expected this year because of an expected El Nino, federal forecasters said Thursday, but they warned that it takes only one storm to wreak havoc and urged Americans to be prepared. More from the AP and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The Labor Department says applications rose 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000. The increase comes after applications fell to their lowest level since May 2007 two weeks ago. Florida was among the states with the biggest decreases in applications, down 1,230, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail. [Source: AP]
» Bubble States Underemployment Rates Haunt Yellen
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Tuition won't rise at UCF this fall
For the first time in at least a decade, UCF undergraduate students will not see a tuition increase this fall. On Thursday, trustees at the University of Central Florida voted to keep undergraduate tuition in 2014-15 the same as it was in 2013-14.
› Central Florida hotel industry is on a roll
Central Florida's hotel industry is on a roll, posting strong occupancy and average daily room rates for the fourth month in a row. Orlando-area hotels filled almost 77 percent of their rooms in April, up from about 72 percent for the same month last year
› Commercial damage numbers from flood rolling in
The Building Inspections Division in Escambia County reported that 159 businesses in unincorporated areas of the county had been impacted by flooding, and 83 of those businesses had suffered major damage.
› Ripley's moving jobs to Orlando from London
Ripley Entertainment, the parent company of Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums, is moving its publishing arm to Orlando from London. The move means about 10 new positions coming to Orlando, said Norm Deska, executive VP of intellectual development.
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